Tuesday, 5 June 2007



the blazing sun begins to settle down behind the tokyo skyscrapers. it burns the water and leaves hot slivers of red and orange dancing on the surface of the bay. boats begin to return home. the ones that have already dock relax as their bodies ache and creak as their tethers rub from the waters rhythm.

the guard ships come in. an old man and young man work together to tie the guard ship down. they walk from one side of the boat to the other, off the boat and on to the dock, then back on to the boat. the old man gets in and drives the boat gently closer to the dock for it's final place in the bay.

there is activity going strong on a barge sitting next to the land. some men hustle around on the tubes that cover the top of the ship. i notice a large pipe connected to the top of these tubes. my eyes follow the pipe from the barge and run ten feet in and all the way across the street to the monolithic factory and silo that stands permanently casting its gaze upon the dock. the tube is the docks only attempt to reach up to the automotive loop around the sky of the bay. the men on the barge grapple with the pipe as it shakes to transport it's contents from the silo to the barge. when the process is complete, a lever is pulled and the men scramble to unhook the barge. they seal the top of the boat and drive it to the other side of the dock. where the ship will rest quietly for the evening.
the men are fine with allowing photography as they work. there is an attempt to communicate with each other despite the language barrier. but it is a large barrier. one man stops to talk as he is leaving on his bicycle. he speaks a little english and i take out my guidebook to ask a question in japanese. he said that he once lived in america. he informed me that the barge was just filled with 40 tons of concrete to be shipped by sea. he will sleep in his ship for the night before leaving to deliver the load.

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