Monday, December 6, 2010

Tokyo Sound Catalog 1

Sounds You Will Not Hear in Tokyo:

  • Arguments in the Street
  • Catcalls
  • Honking (Exception: Very occasionally, a taxi)
  • Conversations between strangers (especially aboard trains.  The more crowded they are, the quieter).
  • Apologies between people who have bumped into one another or otherwise violated personal space (Replaced by nods, bows, glances).
  • Conversation on a crowded train
  • Individuals’ music (e.g. boomboxes, loud headphones)

Sounds You Will Hear in Tokyo:

  • Formalized routine sales pitches, recorded music via loudspeaker (in commercial districts)
  • Loudspeakers blaring from moving trucks (in residential areas – electronics resale shops; in busy centers – right-wing hate speech)
  • The rattle of passing trains
  • The klaxons of train crossings
  • Beeps (crosswalks, backing trucks)
  • Happy chatter (only late at night, after patrons begin leaving bars and cafes)

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