Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Outer Grounds, Imperial Palace

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That this huge area, certainly the most expensive real estate in the world if it were ever considered in such crass commercial terms, remains sacrosanct reveals much about how the idea of the Emperor is viewed in Japan. None of the talk of anachronism and abolishing the monarchy, so common in Britain, is heard here. People see it, rather, as not only a valuable connection with the past but part of their collective identity.
That a line can at least be drawn here, though elsewhere in the city kitsch has triumphed and everything seems for sale, is in a way admirable. The matsu, pine trees, around the palace grounds surely present one of the most beautiful sights in Tokyo.


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