pacific rim pretentiousness 

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I suspect there may be

I suspect there may be some secret sport in Japan, perhaps a relic from the old samurai days, involving extensive throwing of very sharp things. Rather like the traditional Northern English pastime of catch the bottle. I say this on account of the extremely high number of people (maybe one in a thousand?) whom I've seen wandering around Tokyo wearing a gauze eyepatch, secured with medical tape.

Last week, Chris made me watch Fight Club (recommended), so perhaps this is influencing my perceptions somehow.

Yet this phenomenon is as nothing compared to the indigenous practice of wearing a cotton face mask in public when suffering from orally transmissable infections - a cold, cough, tuberculosis, pneumonic cholera etc. Very laudable from a public health point of view, but it is rather unnerving to sit between two of these masked murderers, sorry passengers, on a train, and to have them both turn to you making laboured breathing noises.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that both these cultural tendencies - eye patches and face masks - were fashion trends sparked deliberately and specifically to counteract the growing recession in the pivotal Japanese cotton gauze industry, and its affiliated corporate partners.

Posted by dan at December 3, 2001 01:30 PM | Permalink


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