Tokyo Small Garden Series
Tokyo Small Garden Series

I shot this series over the 4 years I lived and worked in Tokyo during the early 90s. The tourist might expect to see Ikebana, the high art of floral arrangement; as a resident, I discovered these gardens.

Tokyo is a sprawling crowded city of concrete, glass and steel. The traditional wooden homes have mostly been replaced and living spaces are small and measured in Tatami mats. Yet all over the city, people made the time and found a spot to grow plants and flowers. Nurtured in the smallest and what seemed like random available spaces; these gardens appeared to contrast the glossy, high tech, well ordered, and light years ahead in fashion and design that the contemporary Japanese culture championed.

As a New Yorker, I wasn’t unfamiliar with big city life, but Tokyo’s pace was unlike anything that I’d experienced. It was daunting and confusing at times. The gardens softened the city. They reminded me that this city of millions was made of small neighborhoods, where every day people cared about growing little flowers.

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japan
japan
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Tokyo Small Garden Series
tokyo6.jpg
tokyo9.jpg
tokyo10.jpg
tokyo11.jpg
tokyo12.jpg
tokyo13.jpg
tokyo14.jpg
tokyo15.jpg
tokyo16.jpg
tokyo17.jpg
tokyo18.jpg
tokyo19.jpg
tokyo20.jpg
japan
tokyo21.jpg
tokyo22.jpg
tokyo23.jpg
tokyo24.jpg
tokyo5.jpg
Tokyo Small Garden Series

I shot this series over the 4 years I lived and worked in Tokyo during the early 90s. The tourist might expect to see Ikebana, the high art of floral arrangement; as a resident, I discovered these gardens.

Tokyo is a sprawling crowded city of concrete, glass and steel. The traditional wooden homes have mostly been replaced and living spaces are small and measured in Tatami mats. Yet all over the city, people made the time and found a spot to grow plants and flowers. Nurtured in the smallest and what seemed like random available spaces; these gardens appeared to contrast the glossy, high tech, well ordered, and light years ahead in fashion and design that the contemporary Japanese culture championed.

As a New Yorker, I wasn’t unfamiliar with big city life, but Tokyo’s pace was unlike anything that I’d experienced. It was daunting and confusing at times. The gardens softened the city. They reminded me that this city of millions was made of small neighborhoods, where every day people cared about growing little flowers.

japan
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