The void

(Tokyo, Japan, 2017)

During August and September 2017, two North Korean missiles flew over Japanese territory generating fear all over the world. The political tension between the United States of Trump and Kim Jong-un’s North Korea escalated to a level that brought back memories of the worst ghosts of the Cold War and left Japan caught in the middle of the conflict. Rockets were launched on August 29th and September 15th, in both cases travelling about 3,000 kilometres by air, crossing the skies of the island of Hokkaido, in the north of the Japanese archipelago and eventually crashing in the waters of the North Pacific leaving no damage. Residents of northern Japan were warned that a nuclear missile was flying over their heads, twice in one month.

During the following months, I witnessed the compassion and naturalness of Japanese society living day to day with the threat of a nuclear attack yet acting like it was no big deal. Their cool mindset a result of a long list of cataclysms, natural and warlike, that moulded high doses of resilience, deep down in the skin of Japanese society

The following essay is a month-long collection of divagations in the streets of Tokyo and the surrounding cities as I try to understand that particular mindset of a society that does not stop. It seems that ultra-developed and impersonal Japan continues its unalterable mission of productivity. Nobody looks at the sky thinking about the missiles, they are too busy working and producing. To have free time to worry about things like that is a privilege that cannot be provided.