St. Patrick's Day
Irish Ambassador to Japan Anne Barrignton leads the 25th Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Omotesando on Sunday. I was there, on the other side of the street. This picture appeared on the front page of the Monday, March 20, 2017 print edition of the English-language Japan Times newspaper, but it was not uploaded to the newspaper's website until Tuesday, March 21st. The photo's caption incorrectly identified the parade taking place in Yoyogi Park. No way. It was on Omotesando boulevard, hundreds of meters from the park. There's no paved surface in the park suitable for a parade of any kind. The park is designed for strolling and bicycling, not for parading.
The parade started on the north side of the boulevard at the Ralph Lauren flagship store. Then it moved uphill (east) towards Aoyama dori. It did a U-turn and proceeded west on Omotesando on the south side of the boulevard towards Meiji dori, a famous intersection featuring a Condomania outlet, and the Tokyu Plaza and Laforet shopping plazas. It did another U-turn and ended back at the Ralph Laruen building. There's a narrow side street there and all the participants emerged from and eventually returned to some hidden staging area down the alley. I enjoy alleys. Japan is full of them and you are apt to find interesting things and people down an alley.
I don't especially care about St. Patrick’s Day and its associated hype. Because I grew up in the 1970s, to this day when I think of Ireland and the Irish I do not think of culture and civilization, nor any joy or pleasure or pride. Instead I always think of misery and disgrace, and folly compounded by incompetence, unemployment, drunkenness and terrorism. Insert any negative adjective here. That's the Ireland that I learned. Furthermore, I don’t drink, so I have no interest in celebratory drinking parties. I don’t want to hear about them. Lastly, green is a stupid color. I’m not wearing green. Oh, well.