Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Pink - May 2000"

2000 was Year-Pink or something - with pink featured on fashion magazine covers and enough people going along with the "trend" that pink was seen fairly often around town. I thought at the time that I'd try to record some of that - which is what these (sloppy, since they were taken in a rush while on the move) May 2000 photos are about (with the first picture from April).
"Pink - April 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
"Pink - May 2000"
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

1991 Ikebukuro, Asakusa Hozuki-ichi Festival, Hibarigaoka, Etc.; 2014 Shinjuku と Shibuya, etc.

This batch of videos starts off with an hour-long visit to July 10th, 1991 Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, which was a festival day and very crowded.  Other 1991 views are of Ueno, Ikebukuro, and Hibarigaoka, with an interesting (I think) walk through a popular (and very crowded) stand-as-you-eat place within Ikebukuro Station (but on the outside of the ticket gates, not the inside, as is the current development model).
Coming back to the present year, 2014, are just a few videos - all Tokyo rail system views.  Personally, I think the view (and sounds) of the construction project taking place right next to the Saikyo Line platform is interesting, particularly the combination of sounds from the construction site mixed with typical Tokyo train station sounds.

1991年 浅草寺のほおずき市 Asakusa Hozuki-ichi Matsuri 910710

This is just over an hour long, so I imagine most people won't even get to the interesting parts.  Okay - I better explain something related to that comment.  I personally find it really irritating when books are written with opening lines like "I paused before opening the door - wondering if the assassin would be waiting on the other side..." with the intent of getting you interested, and then jump back to ordinary times - leaving you with the "Yeah?!  Yeah?!  And *then* what happened?!!" feeling which was put there to, a) make you buy the book and, b) keep you reading.  Part of that irritation is that it conditions people to have zero patience.  If they're not excited in ten seconds, off they go in search of cheap thrills elsewhere....

Okay - rant over!  I bring that up, because there are historically interesting elements to this hour-long video.  And - if nothing else - the (fairly lengthy) part within the temple is interesting since they they didn't have at the time, but have now, a strict "no photography" rule.  I and others were taking video in 1991 and there didn't seem to be any problem with that.  In any event, it's something you can't do now, so it might be interesting to see (and hear) for that reason alone.  The sound is very important, and I strongly recommend watching it with a good pair of headphones with the sound at a properly loud level (to simulate the volume of the original sound), so you can get the (in digital stereo by the way) full effect of the money raining into the collection box as an endless river of thousands flowed through the temple, throwing the money over other people's heads.  It was quite an experience, and that is conveyed almost exclusively through the sound.

A technical note - you may be wondering about the sound being digital since the video was analog.  The video was indeed analog, but the sound was digital, called by Sony (at the time) "PCM audio", with the "PCM" standing for "Pulse Code Modulated".  Looking up "PCM audio" on-line, I find this definition (from Wikipedia):

"Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a method used to digitally represent sampled analog signals. It is the standard form of digital audio in computers, Compact Discs, digital telephony and other digital audio applications."

1991 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka - Seibu Line 910710

1991 ひばりが丘工事など Construction Zone in Hibarigaoka Etc 910710

This includes a good look at the empty ground under construction that was to became the Parco (department store) and an apartment building (on the side of the building by the railway).

1991 Walking to Hibarigaoka Station ひばりヶ丘駅までの散歩 910711

1991 五反田駅-池袋駅 山手線 Gotanda to Ikebukuro - Yamanote Line 910708

1991 池袋東口散歩 Ikebukuro East Side Walkabout 910708

1991 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka - Seibu Line 910708

1991 ひばりヶ丘駅辺りの散歩 Hibarigaoka Station Area 910708

1991 ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 西武池袋線 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro - Seibu Line 910710

1991 池袋散策散歩 Ikebukuro Short Walkabout 910710

1991 池袋駅の平日お昼 Lunchtime in Ikebukuro 910710

A fairly detailed look at some side streets in Ikebukuro during the peak of the lunch hour.

1991 池袋駅-上野駅 山手線 Ikebukuro to Ueno - Yamanote Line 910710

1991 上野駅の平日お昼 Lunchtime in Ueno Station 910710

A little off-peak, but still this captures some of the lunchtime atmosphere of Ueno Station.

1991 上野駅-浅草駅 銀座線 Ueno to Asakusa - Ginza Line 910710

1991 浅草駅-池袋駅 銀座線と山手線 Asakusa to Ikebukuro 910710

1991 池袋東口午後散歩 Ikebukuro Evening East Side Short Walkabout 910710n

新宿駅隣工事現場 Construction by Shinjuku Station 140703

Walking around on the Saikyo Line platform while waiting for a train - looking at the ongoing construction next to the station, as well as trains coming and going, and listening to the various sounds of everything.

新宿駅-渋谷駅 埼京線-臨海線直通 Shinjuku to Shibuya - Saikyo-Rinkai Line 140703

Watch this closely as the train comes into Shibuya Station and you can see the last remains of the Tokyu Department Store they have demolished on the east side of the station.  A little past that, you can see the last remnants of the bridge over the roadway that used to support the overhead platforms of Tokyu-Shibuya Station.... which is kind of depressing to see, as I always liked that station.

渋谷駅-大崎駅 埼京線-臨海線直通 Shibuya to Osaki - FC View - Rinkai Line 140703

Untitled-00001 140703

I couldn't decide what to call this one, so I just called it "Untitled".  It shows the situation near one of the ticket gates at Osaki Station when the Yamanote Line was delayed.

大崎駅の夜ホームの様子 Osaki Station - Waiting for a Train 140703

Departing Osaki Station 大崎駅から出発 140703

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Sunday, July 06, 2014

2014 Maebashi Trip, Ginza, Etc.: 1990 Nihonbashi, Marunouchi, Machida, Miyahara, Kudanshita, Iidabashi, Etc.

The most notable views from 2014 in this batch of 1990 and 2014 videos show several scenes I recorded while taking a day trip to Maebashi.  I don't know exactly why, but I've always liked Maebashi - from the sound of the name, to the relaxed feeling of the area.  I haven't been there often, but when I've gone, I've always enjoyed the area.  It was also nice to ride in the old type JR trains on the Ryomo Line (between Takasaki and Maebashi).
Jumping back 24 years to July 1990, there are views of several areas, mainly the ones listed in the title of this post above.  I think the walkabout clips of the Marunouchi District and of Machida may be the most interesting, along with (shorter) walkabout views of Miyahara (in Saitama) and the Kudanshita and Iidabashi areas (the daytime view that is - the nighttime view is a bit dark, as the lighting was barely enough to take pictures in with the camera I was using at the time).
Other that that, the titles are mostly self-explanatory.  This first short one (immediate below this paragraph) taken in a platform stand-as-you-eat restaurant I like.  The soba noodles were quite good, and it was interesting to look out the window and see the Yamanote Line so close!

プラットホームの蕎麦 Platform Soba Noodles 140619

Yamanote Line Train Arriving at Gotanda 五反田駅の山手線がやって来る 140619

Arriving at Koigakubo - Seibu-Kokubunji Line 西武国分寺線 恋ヶ窪駅に到着 140620

御茶ノ水駅-東京駅 中央線 Ochanomizu to Tokyo - Chuo Line 140620

東京駅ホームの様子 Tokyo Station - Waiting for Yamanote Line 140620
高崎駅から出発 両毛線 Departing Takasaki Station - Ryomo Line 140629

This one is overexposed (never mind why, that's a long story), but I left the camera running until the live announcement (from the conductor in the rear of the train) was finished, as I thought it was important to get that recorded.  More and more trains rely on (highly irritating) recordings, so listen and see how much nicer an announcement is from a real live human being.

There is one thing, and one thing only that is good about the recordings - since they are lifeless set things, the volume of the playback is (usually) set at a non-painful level, while with the manual human announcements, sometimes they crank up the volume so loud that it's actually painful, or (the other extreme), it's so quiet that you can't hear what they are saying.

高崎駅-前橋駅 両毛線 Takasaki to Maebashi - Ryomo Line 140629

This is far enough out of Tokyo that the atmosphere is quite different.  In going from Tokyo to an area in the country, probably the most striking thing when exiting a station is a sensation of "Where is everybody?", as there appear to be very few people out and about.  But you get used to that rapidly; it's the new normal in matter of about an hour, and then you just relax.  Upon returning to Tokyo, you change trains in one of the busy hub stations, and then you think "!!!!! Wow!!  There are an *amazing* number of people here!!".  But again, within an hour or so, that becomes normal again and you're back where you started (assuming you're a resident of Tokyo).

東京駅ホーム側の工事現場 End of Platform Construction Zone at Tokyo Station 140620

They've been doing some kind of construction in this area for years now... it appears to be approaching completion now?

有楽町駅-東京駅 山手線 Yurakucho to Tokyo - Yamanote Line 140620

Ochanomizu Reflections - Chuo Line 夜中央線 御茶ノ水反射 140620

Evening Nishi-Shinjuku 夕暮れの西新宿 元淀橋 140624

Nearing Kokubunji - Seibu-Kokubunji Line 国分寺駅に近づく 西武国分寺線 140626

Tokyo Station Zero Marker 140626

It's hard to believe that I really haven't seen this before, but I don't remember it.  I just happened to be standing next to it one day, and so took this video to record the zero marker.  Tokyo is considered the zero point of the country and distances are measured from here... I think.  The real center is the center of Nihonbashi Bridge, but I guess this is the rail version at Tokyo Station.

Maruyama Norio 丸山則夫 Photo Exhibition at Art Space Rondo 140619

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition A アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140626

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition B アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140626

飯田橋駅-神田駅 総武線と中央線 Iidabashi to Kanda - Sobu と Chuo Line 140627

中央線光と影とエスカレーター Chuo Line Light and Shadow 140627

朝東京駅ホームの様子 Looking Around on a Tokyo Station Platform 140627

東京駅-品川駅 山手線 Tokyo to Shinagawa - Yamanote Line 140627

Walking Towards Osaki Station 夕方大崎駅向き 140627

Waiting for Yamanote Line at Osaki 大崎駅山手線ホーム 140627

昭和七年のビルの元談話室辺り 140627

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition C アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140627

Art Space Rondo June 2014 Exhibition D アートスペースロンド六月展示会 140627

昭和七年のビルの階段とビルの夜顔 140627

有楽町晴海通り夕方散歩 Evening Showa-Dori Stroll 140627

Entering Yurakucho Yakitori Area 有楽町焼き鳥通り 140627

居酒屋の音とグラス響く Izakaya Sounds and Glass Echoes 140627g

I rather like this... I was about to leave an old izakaya under the elevated tracks that I had stopped at for a beer and some yakitori, but as I looked in my nearly empty glass, the view and surrounding sounds seemed interesting, so I made this visual and audio recording, capturing a few elements of the izakaya experience.

Yurakucho Nighttime Track-side 有楽町 140627

有楽町駅-東京駅 京浜東北線 Yurakucho to Tokyo - Keihin-Tohoku Line 140627

Omiya - About to Board Takasaki Line Train 大宮駅 高崎線 140629

前橋駅の前 暑い六月の日 Hot June Day at Maebashi Station 140629

前橋駅前 バスが通る Buses in Front of Maebashi Station 140629

前橋のバスを乗る 内部ビュー Maebashi Bus Ride 140629

前橋バス内部と外部ビュー Maebashi Bus Ride 140629

Maebashi Bus Ride in the Rain 雨の前橋バスを乗る 前向き 140629

前橋駅のホーム 両毛線の電車が遣って来る Maebashi Station - Ryomo Line 140629

前橋駅から出発 両毛線電車内 Departing Maebashi Station via Ryomo Line 140629

高崎駅-倉賀野駅 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

新町駅に到着 高崎線 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

高崎線窓風景 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 Takasaki Line 140629

Takasaki Line - June Afternoon Window View 湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 140629

夕方高崎線の窓風景 Evening Takasaki Line Window View 140629

上尾駅-大宮駅 高崎線 夕暮れ風景 Ageo to Omiya - Takasaki Line Evening View 140629

Saikyo Line Arriving at Omiya 大宮駅で埼京線が遣って来る 140629

1990 日本橋室から両国までの散策散歩 Nihonbashi to Ryogoku Night Walkabout 900702

[Above] I don't actually recommend this one.  This first video camera that I was using didn't record night scenes very well, and much of this is so dark it's hard to make sense off.  Still, it captures some elements of the area I walked though and gets more watchable when I get to the river area, which had brighter illumination.

1990 両国駅-新宿駅 総武線と中央線 Ryogoku to Shinjuku Sobu と Chuo Lines 900702

1990 Late Night Train Leaving Station ひばりヶ丘駅の夜下り電車 900702

1990 丸の内昼間彼方此方散策散歩 Daytime Marunouchi District Walkabout 900703

If you're interested in how the Marunouchi District was before the extensive reconstruction it has undergone in the quarter century since this was taken, I definitely recommend this video.

The post-Great Kanto Earthquake concrete buildings of the Marunouchi District (although the Marunouchi Building was actually built before the quake - and survived it well), which were mostly built in the 1930's, were of a solid construction and designed before the advent of air conditioning and florescent lighting, so they had openable windows and were designed to let air circulate though the building.  Modern buildings with their recirculating air systems leave me feeling like a goldfish in a bowl that needs to have the water changed.

Aside from that - there was something very familiar about this area before it was redeveloped.  The redevelopment was done well I think, but I do miss the atmosphere of the old 1930's buildings.

1990 東京駅-新宿駅 中央線 Tokyo to Shinjuku - Chuo Line 900703

1990 新宿東口15秒 Quick 15-Second Shinjuku Spin - East Side 900703

1990 FF-Dinner 急ぎの夕外食 900703

1990 池袋駅 帰る道 Late Evening Ikebukuro Station 900703

1990 新宿駅と町田駅 Shinjuku Station and Machida Station 900704

1990 Machida Walkabout 町田散策散歩 900704

I had intended to spend a couple of hours just walking around in the Machida Station area, but the rain chased me indoors (it was a fine mist that was getting under the umbrella and onto the lens), so the last half of this video is a pretty detailed look inside a couple of the department stores in the area.  This seems historically interesting to me, as there are fewer and fewer of this type of heavily staffed department store.  The new model is cutting costs in any way possible and so typically modern stores only have a skeleton crew - mainly just operating the checkout area.

1990 新型定期券自動販売機 New Commuter Pass Machine 900704

In 2014, this is just an ordinary thing that everyone is used to, but in 1990, this was very new, and the two people I recorded buying commuter passes from the machine were very clearly using this type of machine for the very first time.

This kind of transition recording is important for future reference I think, as relying on actors from the past (via old movies and TV dramas, etc.) to show people in the present/future how it was always generates mistakes.  This is the real thing.

1990 ロマンスカー 町田-新宿 Romance Car Ride - Machida to Shinjuku 900704

Back in 1990, there were several times I recorded taking the Odakyu Romance Car to Machida, but the schedule for the trains was such that I usually took a regular express train back to Shinjuku, so this Romance Car ride going in the other direction - from Machida to Shinjuku - is rare (within my videos).  I also left the camera running more than usual, so it's a good record of the scene out a left-side window.

1990 新宿駅 Shinjuku Station Walkabout 900704

This has some interesting content in it - I only wish I'd spent a little more time and taken a more careful record.  Basically it's Shinjuku Station from the upper exit of the Odakyu Line, into the JR section via the west entrance, and then walking the width of the station and going up to the Saikyo Line platform, with the video ending as I get on a Saikyo Line train.

1990 宮原駅辺りとバスと奈良町など Miyahara Station と Bus と Naracho 900704

This probably should have been two videos, since there's a several hour gap in the middle and the video suddenly goes from the afternoon to twilight, and then it becomes night as I walk around recording video, but I decided to make it one clip as it was mostly taken in the same area.

1990 田町駅辺りなど Tamachi Station Area Etc - Comic Book Afternoon 900705

July 1990... this was the last part of the bubble era, and the beginnings of the end of the bubble era were already starting to happen.  I bring this up, because it was a very slow day in the office this day - thus the woman reading a comic book - and the company went bankrupt within a year of when this was taken.

Thinking back - I remember the uneasy feeling of a too-quiet office... the writing was already on the wall.  The expression I give the camera at the end of this doesn't seem to show any of that, but I was basically just laughing about having recorded over the shoulder of the comic-book-reading woman without her having noticed.

1990 新宿駅-九段下駅 都営新宿線 Shinjuku to Kudanshita - Toei-Shinjuku Line 900705

1990 九段下駅辺りの散策散歩 Kudanshita Station Walkabout 900705

1990 飯田橋駅で有楽町線を乗る Boarding Yurakucho Line at Iidabashi Station 900705

1990 飯田橋駅辺りなどの散策散歩 Iidabashi Station Area Walkabout 900706
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Saturday, June 28, 2014

1990 Shinjuku, Ginza, Cruise Ship, Etc.; 2014 Rainy Oji, Senzokuike, Tokyu Lines, Shibuya, Etc.

In this batch of videos from 1990 and 2014, what stands out for me are the 1990 visit to a big cruise ship at Harumi (that had just been built), a rainy evening in Oji, and views of three different Tokyu Railway lines.
1990 ひばりヶ丘駅-新橋駅 Hibarigaoka to Shinbashi 900626

1990 新橋銀座などの散歩 Shinbashi and Ginza Walkabout 900626

1990年の都営三田線 御成門駅-神保町駅-新宿駅 900626

This one is important as I didn't use the Toei Subway system very often, so these views of Toei trains are fairly rare in my material from that time.

1990 Walk into Nishi-Shinjuku 西新宿に入る 900626

1990 新宿夜散策散歩 Shinjuku Night Walkabout 900626
1990年 - 新宿夜散策散歩
1990年 - 新宿夜散策散歩
1990年の夜新宿駅 Nighttime Shinjuku Station 900626

1990 池袋駅-武蔵浦和 埼京線 Ikebukuro to Musashi-Urawa 900627

1990 武蔵浦和駅 池袋駅など Musashi-Urawa to Ikebukuro Etc 900627
1990年の朝通勤 池袋駅-田町駅など Ikebukuro to Tamachi Etc 900628

1990 田町お昼窓ビュー Lunchtime in Tamachi - Window View 900628

1990 On the Other Hand - Shinjuku カメラを止められなかった 900628

Taking pictures is one of those those things.  If you don't take any, it's easy to just keep going without taking pictures, but once you start taking pictures, oftentimes the mood will strike and you end up wanting to take more and more.  In this video, I'm on camera (in Shinjuku) saying I'm going to put the camera away for the day, and then suddenly I'm taking pictures a little further down the street - saying "On the other hand..."

1990 新宿夜とビヤガーデン Shinjuku Night - Beer Garden Etc 900628n

Izakaya places seem to be as popular as ever, but there seem to be fewer rooftop beer gardens now compared to 1990....

1990 夜の新宿駅 西口と埼京線 Nighttime Shinjuku Station 900628

1990 東京ドーム辺りの散策散歩 Tokyo Dome Area Walkabout 900629

1990 水道橋駅-桜田門駅散策散歩 Central Tokyo Walkabout, 900629

1990 Game Center Walkabout 水道橋辺りのゲームセンター 900629

1990 桜田門駅-銀座一丁目駅 有楽町線 Sakuradamon to Ginza One-Chome 900629

1990 銀座夕方散歩 Ginza Chuo-Dori Walkabout 900629

1990 銀座駅-銀座線を乗る Boarding Ginza Line at Ginza 900629

1990 銀座駅-雪谷大塚駅 迷子になった Ginza to Yukigaya-Otsuka 900629

1990 夜中 雪谷大塚駅-保谷駅 Midnight Trains - Yukigaya-Otsuka to Hoya 900629

1990 大手町散策散歩 Otemachi Walkabout 900630

1990 東京国際郵便局の一見 Tokyo International Post Office Glimpse 900630

I say "glimpse" here for a reason - I didn't record more than a few seconds inside the building, and not much longer outside.  This building is currently sitting empty, looking forlorn.  I don't know what the plans are for it.  I think I only went here this one time.

What happened, is that I needed to send something overseas, and so I went to the "International Post Office", but the clerk was rude to me, the location wasn't very convenient, and it seemed that everything I could do at the "International Post Office", I could also do at the "Central Post Office", which was much more conveniently located (right next to Tokyo Station), so this was (I think) the first and last time I set foot inside the building.

1990 晴海までの特別バス Event Bus Ride to Harumi 900630

I just stumbled upon this free bus service to an event at Harumi, but in waiting for the next bus as I watched one fill up, I was able to sit down in the front seat just behind the driver, and there are some good (if not overly long) views of the original Marunouchi Building (as the bus drove by) and the route to Harumi in 1990.  There have many changes since then!

1990 Harumi Shopping Event 晴海の買い物イベント 900630

This appeared to be an event put on by a collection of high-end department stores, where they got together, rented space at the Harumi convention center, and had a big weekend sale.  1990 was the end of the peak of the bubble years, and deflation hadn't set in, so a sale like this drew out a lot of people.  Coming out of the shopping event, I was wandering around when I saw a huge cruise ship (see next video)....

クリスタルハーモニー 新品 1990年6月30日の内部 Crystal Harmony Cruise Ship Walkabout 900630

It was fascinating to be just wandering around and to look up and see this huge ship!  As I comment on camera, it was amazing to me that such a huge thing floated!  Looking it up after posting this, I see that the length of Crystal Harmony (241m) is fairly close to the length of (former) Titanic (269m).  Some other ship sizes are listed below - the largest being the monster RMS Queen Mary-2 at 345m.

Crystal Harmony (1990–2006)
Asuka II (2006 onwards) - 790 ft (241 m)

Titanic - 882 ft 6 in (269 m)
Queen Mary - Length: 1,019.5 feet (311 m)
RMS Queen Elizabeth - 1,031 ft (314.2 m)
Queen Elizabeth 2 - 963 ft (293.5 m)
MS Queen Elizabeth - 965 ft (294 m)
RMS Queen Mary 2 - 1,132 ft (345 m)

1990 バス - 晴海から豊洲駅まで Bus - Harumi to Toyosu Station 900630

1990 豊洲駅から有楽町線を乗る Toyosu Station - Boarding Yurakucho Line 900630

1990 ひばりが丘横道とか Hibarigaoka Side Street Glimpses 900630

1990 田町昼散策散歩 Tamachi Lunchtime Walkabout 900702

1990 日本橋の夜横道 Nihonbashi Side Streets - Night View 900702
新しい電車 高尾駅-高尾山口駅 京王線 New Keio Line Train 140602

高尾山口駅-高尾駅 京王線 Takaosanguchi to Takao Keio Line 140602

王子夕暮れ雨 川辺り Oji Twilight Rain Near River Area 140606

湘南新宿ライン東海道線直通特別快速 新宿駅から大崎駅まで SSLTCTK 140615

元東急渋谷駅残りは少ない (Twilight) Vanishing Tokyu Shibuya Station 140615

Midnight Frogs and Waterfall 夜中の蛙と滝 140602

神田駅ホームの様子 Kanda Station Platform Wait 140605

Yamanote Line Train Entering Run from Train Yard by Osaki Station 140605

Purple and Green - Flowering Plant 紫と緑 花 140605

Stairs to Yamanote Platform 山手線まで 大崎駅の階段 140606

大崎駅-品川駅 山手線 Osaki to Shinagawa - Yamanote Line 140606

京浜東北線の到着 Arriving Keihin-Tohoku Line Train 140606

王子駅 夕方の雨 Rainy Afternoon at Oji Station 140606

Walking Towards Oji Station in the Rain 雨の王子駅 140606

王子緑 六月の夕方雨 Rainy June Evening in Oji 140606

Buses at Oji Station - Mysterious New Noise - Compressor Maybe 140606

Rainy Side Street Near Oji Station 王子駅辺りの雨道 140606

池袋駅東口 雨の夜 Ikebukuro East Side - Rainy Night 140606

所沢駅ホームの様子 Tokorozawa Station Platform - Rainy Night 140606

Boarding Seibu-Shinjuku Train at Tokorozawa 所沢駅の西武新宿線 140606

Train Going by Park 140609

Chuo Line Arriving at Shinjuku 中央線が新宿駅に到着 140610

Taxi Area by Kokubunji Station 国分寺駅隣のタクシー乗り場 140611

Construction Area and Noisy Students by Kokubunji Station 140611

新宿駅隣の工事現場 Construction Area Next to Shinjuku Station 140615

旗の台駅の木造ベンチ Hatanodai Wooden Benches 140615

洗足池の一見 Evening Senzokuike Lake - Short Look 140615

Mass of Carp in Stream by Senzokuike Lake 140615

洗足池の島の見回り 360 on Senzokuike Island 140615

Pedestrian Rail Underpass and Old Houses 140615

井の頭線渋谷駅ホームの様子 Inokashira Line Shibuya Station Platform Walk 140615

吉祥寺駅で井の頭線から中央線の乗り換え Inokashira to JR Transfer at Kichijoji 140615

洗足池駅に入る 改札口-ホーム Entering Senzokuike Station 140615

洗足池駅-旗の台駅 東急池上線 Senzokuike to Hatanodai - Ikegami Line 140615g

旗の台駅南口-北千束駅 東急大井町線 Hatanodai to Kita-Senzoku - Oimachi Line 140615

緑が丘駅から出発 東急大井町駅 Departing Midorigaoka Station - Oimachi Line 140615

自由が丘駅 東横線のホームの様子 Jiyugaoka Station - Toyoko Line Platform 140615

自由が丘駅-学芸大学 東急東横線 Jiyugaoka to Gakugei-Daigaku Toyoko Line 140615g

学芸大学-中目黒駅 東急東横線 Gakugei-Daigaku to Naka-Meguro Toyoko Line 140615

渋谷東口夕暮れ散策散歩 Shibuya Twilight Walkabout on East Side 140615

Twilight View - Ruins of Former Tokyu-Shibuya Station 夕暮れの元東急渋谷駅 140615

夕暮れ元東京渋谷駅工事現場 Former Tokyu-Shibuya Station Construction Zone 140615
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Documentation Blues...

The whole story would require writing a book, but one element of it I touched on while explaining to a friend why the information is often slightly wrong (or missing) and the English is oftentimes a bit unnatural in hardware manufacturer press releases.  Following is a (slightly) modified version of what I wrote to my friend:

About that new device - I've been looking around on-line, and I've noticed a lot of Internet pages that all seem to be based on one press release from XYZ.  It's a fascinating piece of equipment and should be useful.  Regarding the fuzzy and confusing text on-line about it, I would say (based on the time I spent in the documentation department of a manufacturer), that this company has the same issues I saw at ABC.  To detail the process:

1) New product development is conducted under tight security, with little or no information shared outside of the R&D department.

2) Once each new product gets a green light to proceed, the marketing department gets some vague information regarding features, but little or no technical details.

3) At a certain point, the marketing department has to develop a marketing strategy, so they are provided with a little more information, and they begin to put together/write some presentation type material - based on very sketchy technical details.

4) Meanwhile, in another department, the operating instructions began to be written by people who have never actually touched (or even seen) the product, or sometimes based on a very early prototype model.  Since the writers can't actually use the equipment or can only (if they're lucky) briefly try out an early prototype model (which invariably is quite different from the final production model), they don't understand the machine very well, and it's nearly impossible to avoid some mistakes.

5) The service and technical manuals begin to be written based on specifications from the marketing department(!), operational information from the (error-prone) user manuals, and minimal information from the technical people (who are under strict orders to protect any sensitive technical information to prevent it from getting into the hands of competitors).  As a result, the service manuals have many additional errors (some of which are later fixed post-production thanks to feedback from the field technicians who must service the equipment and need a certain amount of accurate information).

6) And one or two steps behind most of the above steps are translations of the original text into other languages.  So the defects in the original information (brought on due to the company's need to protect itself from industrial espionage) are amplified through translation shifts (which are nearly impossible to avoid) and (typically) lack of technical knowledge by the writers.

Well... there's more, but the point is that there is - from the very first stage - a kind of balancing act between the company needing to protect itself from industrial espionage, but also needing to promote its products and to provide enough (but not more) information to get customers to buy the product.

Lots of background, but I think it's important, as - in reading over the XYZ product text - I can see several issues that appear to be based on the typical scenario I've described above....

LHS - Tokyo

Sunday, June 01, 2014

1990 Ikebukuro, Hamamatsucho, Nihonbashi; 1991 Chichibu, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku; 2014 Yurakucho, Ginza, Ryogoku, Etc.

Views from 1990, 1991, and 2014 in this batch of videos.  Lots that should be said, but not much time to say it in.  I suppose the videos can (mostly) speak for themselves, and hopefully the titles are good guides to what's in each one.  No Hollywood style excitement exactly, but lots to see if you pay attention to details.
1991 秩父散策散歩 Chichibu Walkabout 910505
1991 秩父駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武線 Chichibu to Hibarigaoka - Seibu Line 910505
1991 ひばりヶ丘駅-池袋駅 西武池袋線 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro - Seibu Line 910507
1991 Ikebukuro Walkabout 池袋散策散歩 910507
1991年の池袋ゲームセンター Ikebukuro Game Arcade 910507n
1991年の自動改札口器械の中ビュー Ticket Gate Machine Internal View 910507
The first automatic ticket gates were pre-IC cards and operated by reading magnetic data on the backs of paper tickets.  The machines were very complex and tickets that had been damaged led to malfunctions (rainy days were bad, as some people would put in damp tickets, etc.).  And so it was not an uncommon sight to see them being serviced and/or opened to retrieve someone's stuck ticket, etc.

1991 池袋駅-南千住駅 山手線と常磐線 Ikebukuro to Minamisenju 910507
1991年の日暮里駅の電車 Train Watching at Nippori Station 910507
1991 南千住散策散歩 Minami-Senju Walkabout 910507
This area included a time-slip zone with dirt streets and an atmosphere that seemed to be from decades before....
1991 寄居駅-秩父駅 秩父線 Yorii to Chichibu - Chichibu Line 910505
西武新宿線上り電車の窓風景 Inbound Seibu Line Window View 140511g

新橋駅-浜松町駅 山手線 Shinbashi to Hamamatsucho - Yamanote Line 140515g

北大塚 市電が通る Streetcar Passing in Otsuka 140511

新橋駅-有楽町駅 山手線 Shinbashi to Yurakucho - Yamanote Line 140515

神田駅-品川駅 京浜東北線 Kanda to Shinagawa - Keihin-Tohoku Line 140515

有楽町駅-新橋駅 山手線 Yurakucho to Shinbashi - Yurakucho Line 140515

御茶ノ水駅-品川駅 京浜東北線 Ochanomizu to Shinagawa - Keihin-Tohoku Line 140516

神田駅-品川駅 京浜東北線 Kanda to Shinagawa - Keihin-Tohoku Line 140515

東京駅八重洲口工事現場 目が回る Construction by Tokyo Station 140516

Small Park in Ginza in the Rain 銀座にある小さい公園 雨の日 140516

東京駅-元万世橋 中央線 Tokyo to Manseibashi - Chuo Line 140516

To the *former* Manseibashi Station that is - but one of the station's two platforms is still there and contains a coffee shop (by day) and izakaya (by night).  (The train doesn't stop there, but I stopped the camera where the station is, so...)

西武新宿駅ホームの様子 Platform Scene at Seibu-Shinjuku Station 140516

西武新宿駅-西武高田馬場駅 Shinjuku to Takadanobaba - Seibu Line 140516

1991 新宿散策散歩 Shinjuku Walkabout 910502
1991 新宿駅-池袋駅 埼京線 Shinjuku to Ikebukuro via Saikyo Line 910502

1991 池袋駅 JR線から西武線の乗り換え JR to Seibu Transfer at Ikebukuro 910502

1991 西武池袋線ホームからの見回り Seibu-Ikebukuro Line Platform View 910502

1991 池袋駅-ひばりヶ丘駅 西武池袋線 Ikebukuro to Hibarigaoka via Seibu Line 910502
1991 ひばりが丘-池袋駅 西武池袋線 Hibarigaoka to Ikebukuro via Seibu Line 910503

1991年のとーぶカードを買う Buying a Tobu Ticket Card 910503

This type of card was short-lived.  It could only be used to buy tickets, which you could do from the same machines with cash, so there wasn't much point in buying them really, other than for their value as souvenirs and as a way to (marginally) speed up the process of buying a ticket.  It wasn't long after these came out that they came out with cards that could be used directly in the ticket gates, and then (of course), there was no point in continuing to sell these.
Actually, the best thing about this video is that I was going to press the buzzer button at a window to show how a guy would magically appear and give me change for a Y10,000 bill, but just then an older man pressed the button, and in the style of the (very) old days, asked the guy in the window how much it cost to go somewhere.  The man was basically from another era and probably from another (less automated) area of the country.  It's an excellent demonstration (via the audio track mostly) of how it used to be done.
1991 東武東上線の旅 Tobu-Tojo Line Window Views 910503
1991 Bookstore Walkabout 本屋の様子 910502

高尾駅で114型 雨の日 Series-114 Train on Siding at Takao 140430

高尾駅から114型の出発 Series-114 Train Departing Takao Station 140430

Shinkansen Coming Out of Tunnel by Akihabara Station 秋葉原駅 140502

Artist Drawing at Gallery Rondo 140502

Middle of the Night at Chuo Line Suburban Station 140503

Yurakucho Under Tracks Izakaya Tunnel 140509

金曜日の夜の有楽町SB Friday Evening at Yurakucho-SB 140509

夜遅くの有楽町駅ホーム Late Night Yurakucho Station Platform 140509

Cool Old Building - From Top to Bottom 140509
Not sure when this building was built - but it is thought to have been constructed in either the 1920's or 1930's.  Probably the 1930's, as that was when a lot of steel-reinforced concrete buildings similar in design went up.
Cool Old Building - From Bottom to Top to Bottom 140509
Examining Old Building - With Verbal Comments 140509
東京駅で電車を待っている Waiting for Train at Tokyo Station 140502

Evening Yurakucho 夕方の有楽町 140502

Yurakucho Track-side Walk 有楽町散歩 140502

Old Type Express Train Passing Suburban Chuo Line Station Etc 中央線 140503

中央線 上り電車の窓ビュー Inbound Chuo Line Window View 140505

神田駅-東京駅 中央線 Kanda to Tokyo via Chuo Line 140508

東京駅で京浜東北線を乗る Boarding Keihin-Tohoku Line at Tokyo 140508
有楽町駅-品川駅 京浜東北線 Yurakucho to Shinbashi (Keihin-Tohoku Line) 140508

大井町線の電車 大井町駅から到着と出発 Trains at Oimachi Station 140508

Passing Express Train on the Oimachi Line 東急大井町線の急行が通る 140508

Arriving at Shinagawa Station via Keihin-Tohoku Line Train 京浜東北線 140508

有楽町駅-品川駅 山手線 Yurakucho to Shinagawa via Yamanote Line 140508

Train Window Blur 140508

秋葉原駅に到着と新幹線 In Parallel Beside Shinkansen on Way to Akihabara 140509

Entering Ryogoku Station from North Side 両国駅に入る 140509
両国駅のホームの様子 Waiting for a Train at Ryogoku 140509

両国駅-秋葉原駅 夜の総武線 Ryogoku to Akihabara (Sobu Line) 140509

Sobu Line Platform at Akihabara 秋葉原駅の総武線ホーム 140509

Looking Around by a Busy Road 140509

秋葉原駅-神田駅 山手線 Akihabara to Kanda (Yamanote Line) 140509

大崎駅のホームエスカレーター Escalator to Platform Ride at Osaki Station 140508g

夕暮れの両国 Twilight Stroll in Ryogoku 140509g

小泉恵一と小林清美インスタレーション アートスペースロンド 140515

May 16th 2014 Art Installation at Art Space Rondo 140516

Yamanote Line Departing Osaki Station 山手線大崎駅 140522

Installation at Art Space Rondo in Ginza 140522

Blue Sky and White Clouds in Osaki 大崎空と雲とビル 140522

Old Building Details 古いビルの一部 140523

Keihin-Tohoku Train Passing Yurakucho SB Street Scene 140523
Chuo Line Central Tokyo Moat View 中央線からの堀ビュー 140522

有楽町駅-浜松町駅 山手線 Yurakucho to Hamamatsucho - Yamanote Line 140522

Kanda Station Escalator Recordings 神田駅エスカレーター 140523

山手線 東京駅辺りの窓ビュー Yamanote Window View Near Tokyo Station 140523

有楽町駅向かいの散歩 Walking Towards Yurakucho Station 140523
有楽町 新幹線が通り過ぎ Shinkansen Passing By - Yurakucho Evening 140523

1990年の夜散歩 西新宿 歌舞伎町 大久保 高田馬場 新宿区 900621

1990 高田馬場駅-池袋駅 山手線 Takadanobaba-Ikebukuro 900621

1990 Hibarigaoka Saturday Afternoon ひばりが丘 900623

1990 Ikebukuro East Side Walkabout Etc 池袋東口散策散歩 900623

1990 浜松町朝散策散歩 Hamamatsucho Morning Walkabout 900625

荻野美穂子 クレパス画展示会 Art Space Rondo 奥野ビル501号室 140529

有楽町ストリート居酒屋 Yurakucho Street Izakaya 140530

Late Night Yurakucho 夜遅くの金曜日有楽町 140530

有楽町駅で夜中の金曜日山手線を待ってる Midnight Yurakucho Station 140531

神田駅を通る新幹線 Morning Shinkansen Passing Kanda Station 140529

Entering Takadanobaba Station 高田馬場駅を入る 夜 140529

Seibu-Takadanobaba Platform Walk 西武高田馬場駅ホームの様子 140529

Osaki Platform Escalator 大崎駅ホームまでのエスカレーター 140530

山手線窓の風景 大崎駅と品川駅の間 Osaki to Shinagawa - Yamanote Line 140530
1990 田町駅までの散歩 Evening Walk to Tamachi Station 900625

1990 夕方田町駅と山手線 Evening Tamachi Station と Yamanote Line 900625

1990 夕方東京駅 Evening Tokyo Station Walk-through 900625

1990 夕方の日本橋散策散歩 Evening Nihonbashi Walkabout 900625

1990 三越前駅-渋谷駅 半蔵門線 Mitsukoshi-mae to Shibuya - Hanzomon Line 900625

高尾駅-高尾山口駅 京王線 Takao to Takaosanguchi - Keio Line 140526

清滝駅-高尾山駅 高尾登山電鉄 Takaosan Cable Car Ride to Top 140526

清滝駅-高尾山駅 高尾登山電鉄 Takaosan Cable Car Ride to Top 140526

高尾山と雲空 Watching Clouds from Mt Takao 140526

高尾山のある冷たい五月夕暮れ Twilight Cold Mt Takao Evening 140526

清滝駅近くの滝と蛙のシンフォニー Frogs and Waterfall Near Mt Takao 140526

高尾山口駅-高尾駅 京王線 Takaosanguchi to Takao - Keio Line 140526

京王高尾駅 夜の電車が出発 Keio Takao Station Night Trains 140526

1990 夜のハチ公広場と渋谷 Hachiko Square and Nighttime Shibuya 900625

1990 渋谷駅-池袋駅 山手線 Shibuya to Ikebukuro - Yamanote Line 900625
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon