tick tick tick-tick


Two nights ago, the neighborhood fire patrols started their year-end rounds. These are our neighbors out there carrying lanterns and wooden sticks. They walk around the neighborhood in pairs or small groups checking for fires. Back in the days when Tokyo was all wooden, I guess this had some meaning. Now it's just a tradition for the new year holidays. A festive addition to the season.

I love the sound and rhythm of the sticks they beat together to signal all is well. Wood makes a hollow, ringing tick sound that echos against the concrete buildings. It's an unmistakable sound and always brings a smile to my face.

Some of the patrols keep a faster rhythm than others. Some are very lax with their timing, others are precise, but they all follow the same basic pattern. TICK (...2...3..) TICK (...2...3..1...) TICK-TICK (...1...2...3...)

Someday I'm going to figure out how to join our neighborhood association so that I can go out on fire patrol, too.


Tod and Kuri - Thank you so much for the subscription to wired! I just now got the card telling me about it. Much love and best wishes for the new year. peace


I think the traditionalism of Japan is the most appealing aspect. Our here in California there are things like the boat parade or *my personal kitchy favorite* Santa visiting each neighborhood on the back of a fire truck surrounded by police cars. But these are newish. I can't think of anything that goes back hundreds of years. I remember visiting Old Town Albequerque and being blown away that I could touch a building built in the 18th century. To the rest of the world- that's new.

p.s. I think Johnny Depp - definitely.

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