Live From The Moon | Another Birthday in Tokyo. - November 2018
If you told me I could only visit one place for the rest of my life, I might always pick Tokyo.
Now that I am back stateside, I daydream about getting lost on Chrome street in Shibuya and listening to the first 40 seconds of “White Bronco” by Action Bronson on repeat as I try to capture moments through my 25mm lens.
My trip back to Tokyo was relaxing. I was in my own world. There was no need to compare and contrast my experiences in Seoul to Tokyo. I spoke to people and laughed with peoples. I had strangers telling me “Happy Birthday.” I watched a 3 on 3 basketball game everyday I was there. I saw a wedding procession and saw the kids dresses in their finest kimonos at Meiji Jingu. I had time to browse Kinokuniya for new Japanese publications to keep and eye on. I even had time to grab a frappuccino and watch everyone at Shibuya Crossing. I was happy.
There’s a “slight” appreciation for my skin tone, hair texture and “culture” in Tokyo. Now that Afro-Japanese women like Naomi Osaka and Thelma Aoyama are more visible in Japanese media, being black in Japan just feels like a normal thing to me. This may be “problematic” to say but I was more comfortable being black in Japan than I have been in America. Yes I saw fros, braids and dreads in certain places but I wanted to know more about the person who was able to create these hairstyles. I wasn’t “insulted.” One of these trips I want to get my hair braided in Japan. I want to experience how “their” culture has incorporated “mine.” Where do we differentiate?
While it may be up for debate to some, I would advise other people of color to experience Tokyo for themselves. Don’t let the media or even my voice be your main influence on were to travel. This is my travel experience and I want to be as open and honest with you.
I know no place is perfect, but the energy in Tokyo is magical. It’s hard to put into words what I visually see when I think back on my memories of Japan. Everyone just seems like they are enjoying their life. I need everyone to experience that .