The story of a Tokyo man?

It’s often easy to at least imagine the life led by many of the people one sees out and about in Tokyo. Their clothes, the time of day, or where they happen to be generally offering hints about their job, social status etc. Speculation that could of course be way off the mark, but quite often it’s probably not. Or at least not by too much.

But then there are others whose stories are almost impossible to speculate on — certainly not with any kind of conviction anyway. Like this man for example. A Tokyoite whose stained coat, single glove and heavy backpack are conspicuous, and yet as clues they are far from conclusive.

The story of a Tokyo man


  1. says

    LOL, it is difficult to play ‘Sherlock’ in a different country even if you’ve lived there for a long time. The clues are there, I cannot make them add up either. (This is Ueno, right?)

    • says

      Yes, I’m a long way from Sherlock-like detection!

      It is. Walking up Ameyoko from Okachimachi Station. It’s a great place to photograph people when the sun is shining. From morning til early afternoon-ish, the light is lovely.

  2. Carrie Ann says

    Looks like a woman to me and wearing lipstick. Would definitely change the story if so.

    • says

      I hadn’t even thought about it being a woman, and the rather red lips I’d put down to the cold, dry weather. Those aspects do/would change the story enormously. Although I’d be even less unsure as to what it could be…

  3. says

    “Like this man for example. A Tokyoite whose stained coat, single glove..”

    Saaaa, that man is wearing lipstick, his coat is lavender colored with fashionably upturned cuffs that matches his sporty women’s bucket hat that is a jaunty light green to contrast with the lavender.

    He is walking up from the remnants of the ‘Bara-zuku’ (Rose-tribe) district of Ueno that’s just off Ameyoko near Shinobazu Pond. That “heavy backpack” that he is carrying all or most of his belongings that he must transfer back and forth from the coin lockers in Okachimachi Station to those in Ueno. Oh and that single wool glove? It covers a bandage or large lump on his hand that perhaps caused his current wandering situation.

    • says

      Now that is a back story. Fascinating stuff. Had no idea about that aspect of Ueno, and both you and Carrie Ann above pointing out the lipstick has made me look at him (her?) in a completely different light.


  4. says

    I used to live a few stops away and I always was wondering what the weird vibe of the tiny Ueno porno street between Shinobazu Pond and the main entrance to Ueno Park was. Read:
    For more about the porn aspect of the street, refer to:

    I love creating “back stories” to the weirdos I encounter in Tokyo (I’m a strange magnet). That one gloved hand of the cross-dresser or old lady could have an sad back story of a unlucky sex worker (even though there is likely no more than 4% per-act transmission hand-genital of any HPV strain).

    • says

      Cheers for the book link. Fascinating stuff. An aspect of Ueno I was totally unaware off.

      And you definitely have more imagination than me when it comes to imagining people’s back stories!

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