Dirty Big City

There’s a reason Tokyo shops all blend into one another – and the conspiracy goes right to the top!

Real Estate and Construction have got Tokyo sewn up.

Yakuza lean on low-level landowners to up sticks – goodbye, great-grandpa’s sake shop. Then they raze a row of plots for penthouse apartments.

Construction companies are in cahoots with corrupt councils so site safety inspections pass problem-free. They give gifts to greasy governors so building regulations retighten restrictions: gotta raze and rebuild – all public-purse payola.

Commercial complexes are sliced and diced into morsels missing structural separations. Even big businesses sell up salesfloors and service centres to trade as tenants of draughty dives developed by the Real Showrunners of Tokyo.

So here’s a Sega-sized serving of a shopping centre, hoisting temporarily the hedgehog tricolour, but who knows for how long or who’s next.

Buried below the seedy strata of dodgy dealings, we’re at the wash-out watering hole of whatever-ville – could be any consumerist totem in Tokyo.

I guess when you’ve seen one shopping centre… you’ve seen the mall.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people