As we have now started the three-week run of ‘Route 99’, I was fully expecting to have to sit through a 3 1/2 hour performance every single night. Thankfully the good people at Saitama Theatre had other ideas, and so my ‘work’ this weekend consisted of watching a performance of Bach’s six Cello suites, as performed by the noted Japanese cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. For reasons which are beyond my limited knowledge of classical music, today saw Tsuyoshi performing the First, Fifth and Third Suites of the series (BWV 1007, BWV1011, and BWV1009 respectively), in that order; and as I sat back in the concert hall and let the melodies drift past, I conceded that there were certainly far worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.
It has taken me over 14 months to be sure, but I can now say with utmost certainty that Japanese people lack the basic ability of being able to walk whilst maintaining spatial awareness. No other nation of people is so mindlessly inept at being able to both stroll AND look where they are going, and for a country that communicates using one of the most complex languages on Earth, this is frankly disappointing. Nowhere is this lack of three-dimensional cognizance more apparent than at Shinjuku station, where because of my work I now find myself daily subjected to an ungainliness so inherent that it must have acted as some sort of primitive defense mechanism against deadly prehistoric mammals, thereby surviving as a consequence of natural selection. There really can be no other reason behind such a fundamental, and utterly abhorrent, lack of coordination.