I was down in Hiroshima today, and when I saw this guy my spirits were really lifted. His sign says "nekkozureokami" which means "Lone wolf and cat", and is a take-off of a very famous character / manga / movie series / TV series called "kozureokami" which is translated into english as Lone Wolf & Cub, stories of a wandering samurai who wanders Japan dispatching bad guys with his sword while accompanied by his young son. There was a movie made in English called Shogun Assassin which apparently is a cult classic.
And here is the cat he travels with, all decked out punk style.
The gentleman himself had more safety pins than the cat, and an amazing collection of broken watches on his arm.
I was most impressed with his sheer eccentricity, not a common trait in Japan, and his creativity.
I had just seen an art exhibition of graduating art students, and while a few works were technicaly proficient, there was not one little spark of real creativity in any of the work. And here was this guy, bold as brass, exhibiting a creative life.
I have myself been homeless more than once, and can see the possibility of being so again, and I'm sure that those of you who have known me for years know that I could end up just like this guy.
I was tired and running late, and now regret that I didn't try and make contact with him. Next time I go down to Hiroshima I will keep my eyes open for him.......