ABSTRACT

It is now clear that, in Japan, whether we are looking over the pages of the child’s first magazine, along the very adult streets of the seedier side of Shinjuku or across the glamorous glitz of Ginza, the important can take its place with the inconsequential, the large with the little, and the famous alongside the anonymous with some measure of visual equality. Similarly, gliding over the urban landscape on stilted train track, monorail or highway, there are many areas of cheek-by jowl factories, ‘farm’ fields, pachinko parlours, civic centres, ramshackle timber houses, smart new apartment blocks, and other seemingly incongruous neighbours. In this muddled man-made landscape, signs can rise on poles from agricultural plots like trees to shadow a ground cover of vegetables, fruit, flowers or even rice.