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Saturday, June 23, 2007

China in Shinjuku


Perhaps the second most common language heard on the streets of Tokyo after Japanese is Chinese. Chinese tourists seem to far outnumber English speaking tourists, revealing Tokyo's magnetism as a tourist attraction for Japan's gigantic neighbor.

China is apparently doing its best to keep things mutual, and this week featured a China tourism promotion at the event plaza near Shinjuku Station's east exit, directly across the road from the Alta Studio.

The plaza is always crowded even when nothing organized is going on, and is perhaps Tokyo's prime people-watching locale: a human pot pourri of everything that makes the Japanese capital tick. The blaring music, sizzling colors and mindblowing feats of the China tourism promotion vamped up the atmosphere even further and captured, even if only for a minute or two, the eyes and ears of everyone passing through.

The promotion consisted mainly of song and dance - song and dance only as the Chinese can do it, that is, making the next to impossible look effortless. And not only effortless but unforgettable in its grace and near-perfection.

Watch a clip here of a troupe of Chinese dancers as they redefine the words "sinuous" and "lissome" - followed by an excerpt from a comic, but equally prodigious, monkey dance.

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