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Photographer's Note

People who have never been to Japan often talk about how postcard beautiful it is. To be fair, there are many beautiful spots in Japan, but they often require an admission fee to be seen or a long and expensive drive to be found! Most Japanese will agree, Japanese cities are concrete monsters. They've got s#!t growing out of them at every angle! Beauty is subjective, I know. The reality of urban life in Japan is not cherry blossoms and kimonos, but concrete, wire and noise and it is within these elements that (other) beauty is often found. This picture is a perfect example of urban Japan. Overhead is the inner city ring road that funnels all the traffic in and out of Osaka. The concrete pylons go on for as long as the eye can see. The tiny bridge which I took the photo from is home to one of Osaka's (officially unrecognised) homeless people. He is the one who planted the flowers in an old rusty bicycle basket. It's ironic that someone who is not officially recognized by the government is the one rectifying another social/environmental problem - lack of nature in urban centres.
This part of the river is only about 500m up from the most photographed landmark of Osaka - the wall of neon signs (including the running man) - next to Namba bridge.
*A little known fact - In 1994 Japan's concrete production totaled 91.6 million tons compared to 77.9 million tons in the USA, even though the US is over 45 times larger than Japan. taken from Alex Kerr's "Dogs And Demons", Penguin Books, 2001, pg.47.
I hope you find something of beauty in this shot.

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