Many scholars conducting doing important research regarding the diversification of Japanese society which has intensified in recent years for a variety of economic, social and cultural reasons. While these contemporary developments are important, we must also remember that ethnic diversity in Japan does have a significant history, and Chinatowns like...>>
Shinjuku Station is connected to Shinjuku 3-chome Subway Station and Tochomae Subway Station via a number of subterranean paths (chikadō). These paths crisscross the Shinjuku Ward area, connecting the stations to not only each other, but also various department stores and office building complexes which extend beneath the ground to connect this subterranean world of pathways. During peak periods, the number of people pushing through these subterranean paths is immense, crowds of people jostling to connect to various lines of Tokyo's mass transit system.
In the recording, Thomas Baudinette walks through one of these subterranean passageways connecting Shinjuku 2-chome (and the Shinjuku 3-chome Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Line Station) to Shinjuku 3-chome (and the Shinjuku 3-chome Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Station). Upon reaching his destination, Thomas Baudinette encounters the entrance to one large department store (Bikkuro, an amalgamation of two popular retailers; UNIQLO and Bigg's Camera). From the entrance, recordings and music blast into the space. Interestingly (as Thomas clarifies in the recording), the announcements are in Korean and Chinese, injecting the sounds of a foreing language into the space.
Recording by Thomas Baudinette