Video of a cool old Tokyo neighborhood slated for redevelopment

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Have the surgical face masks always been a thing in Japan?

For quite some time yeah, i’ve seen them online for a while but i know we have happy mutants in Japan so they might have more insight on that.

I found it on Google maps! You can retrace the journey in daylight for an entirely different mood.

corresponds to 4:34 in the video


Very atmospheric. I tried to see how much of the signage I could read (not much, but more than none) but I was most bemused to read the sign for an establishment labelled, in English, as Sweet Boobs.

The street is wonderfully quiet. Is it way out in the burbs?

I do not see what this has to do with the article, but I looked it up and masks first started to be used in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912). These consisted of wire netting with a fabric cover, the were called ‘factory masks’ and were used mainly to prevent dust inhalation but prone to rust they did not become popular.
During the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1919, they became popular to prevent transmission of the disease, numerous companies sprang to meet demand and quality declined. In 1934 there was another influenza epidemic and they became popular once more, remaining so ever since.

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Wait wait what?!? I watched this video last night but did not catch the accompanying text. This neighborhood is deeply Showa-awesome, old school cool shitamachi, and I can’t believe they’re redeveloping it. I know they tear down everything and rebuild it all every 20 years or so, but is it too much to hope they’ll redevelop in a way that allows the current residents to retain their housing, businesses, and overall pace and texture of living, or will they put in an expensive-looking (but still actually kind of crap) identikit Hipster Neighborhood?

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Not at all! It’s a 15-minute subway ride from downtown (Asakusa). You can read more about Keisei Tateishi here:

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I like that website you linked to. Thanks!

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