KJ 55

Sold Out

published Nov. 25, 2003
98 pages


In this special issue of Kyoto Journal we have constructed a visual web of streets for readers to explore, unaided by page numbers or even a table of contents. Turning a page, we hope, will be like turning a corner and discovering something new, unexpected. Perhaps we can’t read the signs or feel sure of where we are going, but getting lost proves fruitful when we stumble across a back street treasure.

With viewpoints ranging from resident to traveller, from urban anthropologist to vagabond artist, more than fifty contributors have been involved in creating Street, one of Kyoto Journal’s most innovative special issues to date. We thank all who donated their time and efforts, including our hard-working interns who chased down images, data, and vital permissions.

We hope that you will savour this issue of KJ, finding within its diversity that which reveals itself at a glance, as well as unhurried pleasures.
Cover Image by Markuz Wenli



Every Real Street
Robert Brady

I Follow the Sound – Malte Jasperson

Kyoto Streets and the Etymology of History – Marc Peter Keane

Streets tell their stories by their names. They may convey the ideals of their builders or the needs of those who use the street, they may speak of the era they were built in or the land they pass through, they could be intentional names or appellations born of common usage but, however they began, they remain for those of us who live along the streets today to read and remember.

The Enigma of the Kyoto Cho – Gunter Nitschke

Not only foreigners in Japan but also Japanese themselves struggle daily to find specific homes, public buildings or businesses, even in their own towns. Few streets are named, and house numbers do not exist in Japan — not even in Tokyo, the world’s largest conurbation. I personally do not know of a single example of a street here with a normal Western-style name and sequential numbers for the plots at each side.

Dhong Koi, Ho Ci Minh City – David M. Lenard, photos by Ken Straiton

Broad thoroughfares, lined with tamarind trees and graced with up-to-the-minute European architecture, sported such incongruous names as Boulevard Bonnard and Rue Rousseau. One of the most important of these streets ran from the Saigon River waterfront past the Palace, Caravelle and Continental hotels and the opera house, before terminating between the city’s main post office and its cathedral.

Oimatsu-dori, Osaka – Paul D. Scott

Chung-Ro, Seoul – Don Kirk, photo Asano Kiichi

They came wearing boots down this street of kings, with their peculiar peaked caps and stern faces, marching down Chung-ro as if they were the successors to the kings and queens, princes and princesses and sycophants that had paraded through Seoul for half a millennium.

Round the Clock – Andrew 01 (photos by author)

View from the Roof – Jennifer Sauer

Where my Eye Rests – Photos of street chairs by Michael Wolf

The shop owner, a young, rather fat man, was sitting on the chair as if it were a throne. And what a wonderful chair it was, propped up on one side by an old spindle and two bricks, and on the other its weak leg was splinted with a piece of wood and some plastic string.

Prahok, Cambodia – Patrick Falby, photos by Stewart Wachs & Markuz Wernli

Shanghai & Nanking – Dominic Al-Badri, photos by Markuz Wernli, Mason Florence

The Herbalist: Nuni from East Jakarta – Richard Lloyd Parry

Discarded Treasures – photos of cigarette packets, by Markuz Wernli

Rickshaw– Photos by Richard L’Anson, interview by Ravi Iyer & Laxmi Natarajan

Print Club’s Street– Andrew 01

Osaka – photo by Patrick Rimond

Pyongyang – photo by Kasahara Katsumi

Steps of Faith – Interview & photos by John Einarsen

Look Up – Philip Brasor

So I looked up and kept seeing them, the billboards in the sky, faces and body parts that were impossibly, embarrassingly huge. In Shibuya there were all those idols with their porcelain skin and disheveled hair and carefully distressed clothing.

On the Street – Lonely Planet Korea Guide

Writing in the middle of the Road – Agnes Lam

Footsteps Rising and Falling– Patricia Donegan, photo by Ken Straiton

in the beginning was the step. it all begins with a first step, the open space, the hesitation, the foot in the air, the moment of possibility, and then the step, contact with the earth, mud-packed earth on the road.

In your Mind – Ralph McCarthy, photo Nick Nostitz

There is no story. There isn’t any story, man, it’s all in your mind. No comedy, no tragedy, no drama. You laugh and you weep, you think you’re born and you think you die, but the stories are lies, all of them. Yours is, theirs is, mine is. Let it go. The rain will still fall and the sun will still shine. We love you, man, but don’t forget you’re just monkeys in clothes. Wake up! Wake up right now! And throw the damn ball.

Hey Mister – Margaret Chula, photo by Domon Ken

Converation between Car & Confucius – Ken Chen, photo, Naito Masatoshi

Car: I once thought I was the same as my wife. Once she said Traffic is really the loneliest experience — everyone wants to be somewhere else. But I am not the same as my wife for two reasons: first, I do not have a wife; second, cars as a rule do not have wives.
Confucius: The Odes can be summed up in one phrase: Swerve not from the right path. (II.2)

The Forgotten Race – John Einarsen

”Shooting Kabul” – Girls of Afghanistan, www.photovoice.org

Living Under the Street, Ulan Bator – Did Amanda Khaomudi

Making Ends Meet in China– John Einarsen

I Spend– Susan Xu & Tony Zeng

May 4, 1989: The Road to Tiananmen – Philip J. Cunningham

Bright banners for Beijing University, Qinghua University, and Zhengfa University are hoisted above the crowd on bamboo poles, flapping in the wind, cracking like whips. As the assembly of students makes a tentative move south towards Tiananmen Square, the police back off and let the human mass shuffle towards city center. It’s hard to tell if the police are in shock and intimidated by the stupendous size of the crowd or silently supportive, won over by the contagious, ebullient spirit of the young protesters.

Riots, 1969– Justin Ellis

White on Red – Stewart Wachs

Reclaiming the Street? – Sally McLaren

What is What & Where?– Photos by Markuz Wernli, John Einarsen, Stewart Wachs

Backstreet Treasures– Furukawa Setsuko

Brigade Road Bangalore– Lehan Ramsey

Bangkok Backstreet– Catherine Pawasarat

A Morning Walk in Kathmandu– Michael Hofman

When the Street Becomes a River– Amanda Sutarii

Singapore’s undeservedly bad rap as a sanitized police state-cum-shopping mall means that finding the real thing is a pleasant surprise. The intact rows of multicoloured, open-sided colonial buildings shelter endless eateries, creating an open street culture framed by big banyan trees, birds, and sudden tropical downpours.

Bali’s Street Giants– Nagao Yayoi

A Street, A Saint, and the Sea– Kimi Sekhon

On and Above the Streets of Rangoon– Or Giladi

Bombay Taxi– Douglas Bullis

It was one of those taxis where the flies are the air-con. A brigade of beggar mafiosi was running, limping, hurling pell-mell to my windows, now trapped five layers deep in a monkeyfist red-light knot between two barrow pushers wearing Hindu right-winger Nehru caps, a four-wheel oxcart stacked with grapes on one side and three competing taxis on the other…

Sirenity– Andrew 01

The Smiling Boy– Owen Smirth

Eat– Eric Gower

Play– Yamagishi Takao

Osaka night– Ken Rodgers

Tokyo Nobody– Photos by Nakano Masataka

Thimi, Nepal– Albie Sharpe

Barber and the Goddess Kali – Pico Iyer; photos by Ken Straiton, estate of Raghubir Singh

In India, more than anywhere, no divisions begin to hold, and the streets are not just the sideshow, and not just a public agora, but everything, all at once. Gods, mortals, great dramas of hardship and hope, so everywhere that I don’t know whether to smile, to weep, or to see the limitations of any response.

My Favorite Item– Photos by Heidi Breeze-Harrris

A Dead-End Street is a Good Place to Turn Around– Sally McLaren


The slaughterhouse: True stories from Bangkok’s Klong Toey Slum, by Father Joe Maier — Jim Cathcart

Streets of Kyoto, by Fusayoshi Kai — Mikami Akina

Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island, by Jason Wordie — Ken Rodgers

Homeless Jinsei Koza, by Kazaki Shigeru — Noguchi Yuki

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