This used to be my favourite advert when I lived in Japan – Timberland advertising their new range of footwear inspired by the dramatic costumes and make-up of Kabuki (traditional Japanese theatre). (Apparently Patrick Ryan of Yab-Yum and notorious Kabuki actor Nakamura Kantaro collaborated on the design of boots and jackets in this line.) I loved the shoes but more than that I loved the catchphrase – heritage meets innovation.
As I passed by this advert every morning at Omotesando train station in central Tokyo, it served to remind me of one of the reasons why I love Japan so much. I love how Japan is such a fascinating place where heritage – tradition and culture sit happily side by side the technology and innovations of modern day life. You walk down the street and pass traditional Japanese shrines located right next to the towering sky scrapers of every day Tokyo.
I was reminded of that fact again when I read about a Japanese kabuki-faced YouTuber, who has travelled the world in a bid to become Pokemon Go Master. Kabukin as the YouTuber is called, has become renowned for posting videos of himself in full kabuki style face make-up and acting out the mannerisms of Kabuki characters while wearing his usual every day attire of baseball cap and jeans. Kabukin finally achieved his goal when he caught his 145th Pokemon – Mr Mime – in London after a hunt that had taken him from Japan, to the United States, Australia and finally to the UK. Such a shame there was no-one on the deserted streets of London at the moment of capture with whom to share his glee!
It is just another sign to me that Japan really is the place where heritage meets innovation like no-where else in the world! Go Japan Go!
#Pokemon Go #YouTuber #Japan #Japanese culture #Japanese tradition #gaming