I know for my online Japan Journal, I should probably first show you the pretty photos of snow-covered ancient pine trees in Nikko, but I have to start with the funky stuff first – because it’s my nature, and also I have a project deadline approaching, lol.

Always ready to have a project in pocket, I was happy to have something for my brain to gnaw on during this recent trip to Japan and decided to revisit my Wish You Were Hair series. What could it be I wondered? What hairstyle would express how I felt about visiting Japan this time?

At first blush, this is the scenic view of a drive-by in Japan. Some traditional house, farm fields, etc.

But on closer look, I started to notice antennas on the top of each and every house. As I took more photos of electrical poles, wire and cell towers, I reminded myself how our personal visual editing system is constantly removing things right in front of our eyes, but the camera can show us of what is really there.

There is this:

this…

and this…

Thinking about all these antennae and electrical lines, it makes me think how dependent we are today on the internet, phones, and at the most basic level, on electricity. But having survived a week-long city-wide ice storm and electrical outage a few years ago, I’m always reminding myself how fragile this lifestyle can also be.

Closer to Tokyo, I started to get more photos of all kinds of unique cell and radio towers, and wired buildings crammed together.

These were all shot out of a moving van on a rainy day, so excuse the blurriness. But maybe it sets a mood also?

Tokyo Disneyland and neighboring cell tower:

Tokyo Tower:

How do you get from Point A to Point B on an art project? I’m not sure of the best answer, but in this case, I took an overwhelming 242 photos (and Russ even more!) of electrical lines and cell towers in Japan , then didn’t look at a single one while I was drawing sketches like this on the plane home.

Now to just fit in some more stuff I feel sentimental about — like those 540 stone statues of Buddhist monks I drew near a temple in Kewagoe!

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