Tokyo Clash: Japanese pop culture by Ralf Bahren

Tokyo clash was published in 2010 by h.f.ullman and is written by Ralf Bahren. Ralf explores the mass culture in Tokyo and depicts through images and writing how we are “exposed to sensory stimulation beyond anything you have ever experienced”. I ordered this book when i was considering just looking at Japanese pop culture, obviously I have widened my ideas back out to Pop culture in general but that doesn’t mean this book won’t be useful. let’s see what it has to say.

Its multitude of parellel cultures and styles blurs the boundaries between colourful chaos and retained tradition. It is a culture of NOW, an immediate presence that often lasts only the blink of an eye, changing faces as you advance, with yesterday and tomorrow somehow condensed into the moment.
-Page 7

Each exploration of the city comes under a title, I will look at these individually.

Flowers p12

Massive, earthquake-proof buildings cover up almost all the finer, flourishing details that make up its lively spirit.

Cute p16

Cute does not only apply to living beings, but even more inanimate objects.

Print Club p98

Like our photo booths but the booths allow you to add cute decorations and effects to your images.

Cosplay p106

Cos(tume)-play and masquerade are widely accepted as expressions of personal and emotional freedom.

Doll p123

If you can’t get it in real life, just get it in plastic.

Advertising p138

Escape is not an option. Commerce is lurking everywhere and it’s by far the major cause of colors stimulating your retina… It brightens up the daily grind

I found this book a decent brief look at all aspects in Japanese culture, however I was expecting it to be a depper analysis/look into things like otaku, colour, packaging  manga and consumerism. And whilst it did cover these topics it didn’t explain anything about them, just a short paragraph about what they are. There was no context or information, it just showed me about Japaense culture rather than explain it to me.

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