the people’s festival

There are festivals everywhere at this time of year, so it’s not odd to see these lanterns strung up in most neighborhoods. They identify the sponsors and you can tell how well they are doing by how many lanterns they hang.

Usually they are small local businesses. Near my place, though, it’s a bit different. These lanterns are for Uniqlo, the retail clothing chain run by Japan’s richest man leading the Japanese economy in its deflationary “race to the bottom:”


This one is for the Japanese Communist Party:


campaign season

Elections start this morning, so there’s been lots of activity recently.


The slogan on the top reads “Now it’s my turn.” This candidate (not the man with the camera) is running for  party that had been in power for over 50 years until they were deposed last year. The campaigners were handing out lots of literature, even to these Chinese tourists in the Ginza:




At a different hour another candidate stumps on a small truck in the Ginza. She’s an animal-rightist who believes that lives of humans, cats and dogs all have the same value.



Below is a campaign flyer for a well known inventor. He claims that looking through  the mask improves eyesight. Incindentally I once had lunch with this guy a decade ago. Back then he looked older than this mask shows him. I can’t imagine what he actually looks like now.


In Ueno:


In Yoyogi, they were removing posters from the campaign trucks on the eve of the election.