Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo is a beautiful example of modular architecture by a well-known architect Kisho Kurokawa. Simple, compact cuboids clustered around two concrete needles must have looked straight out of a science fiction story when they were built. Completed in 1972, the structure is rather old for a building and its age (and poor to none maintenance) has been becoming obvious in the past years. Not to mention worries have been expressed as to potentially harmful levels of asbestos, well-known for its numerous positive properties in the building industry and later discovered to cause serious damage to humans’ internal organs, especially lungs, upon inhalation.
Among Christmas presents I received this year was NonNonBa from my father. I had never heard of it before, but my dad has good taste.
NonNonBa is a manga about a little boy growing up in 1920’s Japan, going to school, playing war with the neighborhood boys and sneaking around poking his nose into adults’ matters and what-not. Nevertheless his day-to-day adventures are there only to complete the picture, at the center of which are his imaginative depictions of and stories about all sorts of Japanese yōkai. An old woman (called Nonnonba) in the village inspires him with tales of these traditional monsters, just like an elderly neighbor used to entertain the author, when he was a little child with an overabundance of ideas.