8.12.2009

Ega-chan's Antics



I originally saw this on TV last summer when the theme song from the anime "Ponyo" was a hit. I finally rented and watched the film last weekend, and I thought it was dumb, even for a kid's movie. But this spoof of the theme song, with lyrics about the comedian Egashira 2:50 and featuring him doing all sorts of crazy stuff, is pretty funny.

8.06.2009

Central Post Office



The Central Post Office in Tokyo was a 1930s structure just across the street from Tokyo Station. It was listed by Docomomo as a historically important Modernist building. Japan Post was slated to build a new tower on the site and preserve only 20% of the original building. Then a politician got involved, made a fuss about getting the site registered as a Cultural Asset, and the plans were revised to "retain more of the building" -- or so the Japan Times said back in March. Even in the Asahi Shimbun, an article stated that Japan Post's plans to demolish the building were "abandoned."

For months the building has been entirely covered up, but on my daily train ride to work, I could see at the rear of the building that demolition was taking place. On Tuesday, though, I noticed that some the screens covering the facade had come down, so I took this photo. It looks like more than just the facade is being preserved (there are actually lights on inside the building), but to me it doesn't look like more than 20% of the original building has been saved. Check out this aerial photo and judge for yourself. Basically, the building was fairly large, as it occupied pretty much most of that site. Sometime after this aerial photo was taken, the middle section of the facade was also demolished, as you can see if you look at the left of my photo. For me, that curved part of the building was most architecturally appealing detail of the post office as it mimicked the flow of the street.