Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Neighbourhood Hirakata

My neighbourhood in Hirakata could be defined by the personal experiences I have had in it. Thus, my way home by bicycle could be a representation of this boundary as well as the area I visit to make my daily purchases in the supermarket and in others shops. This neighbourhood is mostly inhabited by families. I can often see women walking hand in hand with their children during the day or elderly women with their daughters. Early in the morning, a lot of men wearing white shirts and black pants go down the hill on their way to work holding their briefcases in one hand.

This is the view from my balcony. I can see from there a bigger part of the neighbourhood of Hirakata-shi including the ever-present mountains. In the center there is a traditional Japanese graveyard. Instead of a plaque sitting on the bottom of a tree, this gravestone represents the usual ritual for the dead. Apparently, the latter is gradually left aside because of a preference for Japanese people for alternated methods which are less expensive, such as these high-tech graveyards where an electronic system brings the urn to the family.



This photo represents one of the first things I have noticed when I arrived in Hirakata-shi: men’s hair salons. On a walk around the neighbourhood, I have encountered more than fifteen of them. Then, I noticed the men’s hairstyles which are highly detailed. From my cultural background, this is not something usual; women more than men take care of their hair. If not, the men could be seen as feminine. How is it perceived by Japanese people? We can however say that these hairstyles show a lot of creativity.

                                                                                                                                        More hairstyles.

1 comment:

  1. I think you need to be careful with defining your new neighborhood in terms of you and your own experiences. Remember how Bestor defined Miyamoto-cho - as a series of institutions and relationships. You can certainly explore these things through your experiences and observations (biking is a great way to see one's neighborhood) but defining a space in terms of one's self is problematic.

    I do like your photos and the way you begin the post. Nice observations. But you seem to lose focus and start bringing up more complex issues such as religious rituals and Japanese masculinity. Focus on the neighborhood as you don't have enough space within this single post to ponder and support your claims about these other complicated themes.

    As for your layout, I think the font color on top of your background is a little difficult to read. You might also want to reduce the font size a bit. I like how you moved the geisha image to the side rather than having it take so much space at the top of the layout.