Photographs from a small group of islands
Sep 29 2017 19 Comments
9/29/2017 at 9:28 am
This picture reminds me what I saw on the news the other day, that phone booths in France will totally disappear until the end of the year.
My wife was like “Clear you don’t have earthquakes in France.” Obvious. Phones helps in case of earthquakes.
9/29/2017 at 5:50 pm
Yes, they really do. That said, a lot have disappeared in Tokyo too, even though they were a very important means of communication after the big quake in 2011…
9/29/2017 at 2:37 pm
Very cool. Great colors and framing as always. 🙂 I don’t see many pay phones in my area anymore…….
Thank you! A change that’s happening the world over I guess. Inevitable, and yet somehow quite sad.
9/29/2017 at 5:00 pm
I have to confess that payphones are an interest of mine. They have such a presence, regardless of type location or condition. In my youth they were a magical way of being able to talk to distant people as if they were right next to you. Sounds trivial these days, but in an era when not everyone had a land line, overseas travel was unheard of for most, and sources of news were days or weeks out of date, standing in a phonebox with a few friends, a precious list of overseas payphone numbers and certain phone system manipulation knowledge, chatting to some kid in Mexico City, an itinerant sheep shearer in Alice Springs or a particular type of lady in nighttime LA, was incredible, formative, memorable.
2600 magazine still runs eight photographs of payphones from around the world in each issue, a recent one was of a payphone on a shinkansen. And like your photograph here, and others you have generously shared with us, each one still sparks that magic in me.
9/29/2017 at 6:04 pm
Really nice to hear the photo had that effect.
I know exactly what you mean too. As a young fella I worked and stayed in the US for a while, and the humble payphone was the only way to say hello to my family and let them know I was fine and still alive. Ok, they weren’t visual or free like Skype and the like, but at the same they were definitely a lot more special.
Never did what you did, but desperately wish I had after hearing your story. I can well imagine what a blast that must have been. That innocence and a sense of the world being so big and utterly alien has gone now I guess. A good thing in that’s it’s possible to know about, understand and even visit such places, but that truly wide-eyed sense of wonder has certainly been dented.
9/29/2017 at 11:44 pm
“I’m in the phone booth, it’s the one across the hall”
You always know where you are with wires. Interesting how the phones are a similar eye catching green as many mobile phone cases.
9/30/2017 at 5:36 am
Lee made my day with his photograph, you’ve made my evening with your quote.
The late seventies, happy phreaking days 🙂
9/30/2017 at 8:44 am
.. just pleased it resonates. Such craft, but now we have Helen Feng and friends :O)
Mr Lee has tapped into the romance of the telephone.
Red Frame/White Light. Two Six Double ‘O’.
9/30/2017 at 10:05 am
Always really nice when a photo results in different thoughts and tangents like this. Gives the image a whole new dimension.
9/30/2017 at 6:02 am
I remember being very interested in these phones when I first visited Japan back in…um…’03. Never saw anything quite like those before. Anyway, my highlight memory of these phones are of the ones that used to be in the lobby of the hotel we stayed at just across the street from Shinegawa station. After a 6pm-to-6am marathon exploration of Tokyo nightlife, two of my smashed coworkers thought it would be *hilarious* to have me take pictures of them pretending to make phone calls on them back to the States. Wish I could share those pics here!
9/30/2017 at 10:10 am
The design I’ve seen quite a lot, but they are often grey if my memory is correct.
Excellent. That was clearly quite a night out. The photo no doubt serves as a great reminder too. A frozen moment in time without the hangover that may well have folllowed it!
9/30/2017 at 10:29 am
I’ve actually only seen green ones in public places, and yellow ones at the factories we’d visit.
9/30/2017 at 3:01 pm
I’m beginning to doubt my memory now! I shall keep my eyes open for phones, and see what colour they are.
Yellow ones sound interesting. Special factory/work editions perhaps?
10/1/2017 at 5:58 am
It’s possible the yellow ones had special features but I have no idea what those might have been. I did see the yellow ones outside the entrance to a factory cafeteria, though. (that was some exceptional cafeteria food, too! yum!)
Once an Expat says
10/1/2017 at 10:39 pm
Yes, I always wondered what functional difference there was between the yellow, red, blue and flesh-colored phones, outside that the yellow phones were I believe, the only ones designed to accept 100 yen coins.
10/2/2017 at 7:50 am
Interesting. There must be some differences. Pretty sure the grey ones can make international calls, but not sure that means the others aren’t capable. .
9/30/2017 at 1:19 pm
Are the red pay phones gone?
9/30/2017 at 3:04 pm
To be honest I don’t even recall seeing any red ones, so I’d say yes, long gone.
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