Mrs. Tambourine Woman in Shibuya
Sunday March 15th,
A burlesque fanfare captivated my attention while walking through the animated streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. A clarinetist performs his jazz on his corner while two lively women dressed in Kimonos keep the beat on their drums to attract customers into the Slot Machine Parlor just behind them. The sign of her board says something like “It’s a 5 Yen Slot, Anyway, Play”.
Pedestrians pass by, more amused than interested. It is just funny to see a traditional outfit with such a vaudeville like performance. The “manga” cartoon behind them has something to do with being in the middle of a big tilt.
I stayed a while to see how successful they would be to bring in customers in the Pachinko building. But they don’t seem to have such luck. Meanwhile, there is a foreigner distributing some pamphlets behind me. He delivers them, one at the time, parsimoniously, choosing his target. He offers me one. There is a shop with good sales, nearby, apparently. But this is not the reason he came to me. I did not shave this morning, because my pearl comes back from overseas tonight; she likes this kind of rough look of an unshaven man. Is it why this fellow asks me if I want to get some “Guja” or “Gaja”?
I said “What?” A bit surprised. I do have an idea of what he is referring to, but I never knew the term, here in Japan. So, he repeated something like “Want some Gaja”?. I ask him to say it again, because I couldn’t understand clearly with his so “cool” accent. He lowers his voice like Austin Power would do with something else in mind, though, and mentions that he has some marijuana to sell! Well, well. I could only decline. If you read this blog and you know the right term, please bring me out of ignorance and give a comment on this short article.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, The Tambourine Women advertize another delicacy in the Tsukuji area, around the fish market. Life must go on.