Shots #106 DOOK!

I took this in 2013 in a more working class suburb of Yokohama. In Japan, many of these old school, single owner bottle stores have these bizarre yet awesome and well detailed mascots. They also often have great selections of Japanese booze.

This shop doesn't exist anymore. I spoke to the owner who was in the process of packing up and selling off the last of his wares, he told me that the shopping centre that opened at the station a few hundred metres away broke him. The generic chain stores within buy in massive bulk and can undercut the local sellers. While they generally don't stock some of the finer and more unique varieties of alcohol from smaller sake and shochu producers in favour of the cheap mass-market pigswill from bloated businesses like Kirin and Suntory, they do let the customer get drunk for cheaper. As a result the friendly old man at the corner liquor store was forced to close down and that cute duck perched atop it's barrel has probably been melted down or is rusting in a scrap heap.

This is a double blow because without outlets to sell their sake, smaller producers get hit too, and while they have some government assistance, that very government is trying to put them out of business with the TPP.

Tokyo masses are to busy slaving away in their offices and watching the happy lies on NHK, too insulated by the city's wealth to the realities outside,  all the Otaku fap away to their pre-pubescent idols, all the overseas dreamers look at pictures of geisha, sakura, and mt. Fuji and think everything is idyllic and wonderful. But the true heart of Japan is being hollowed by greed to turn a quick profit.

This is the side of Japan that nobody sees. This story is being replayed at every single family owned retail business in every single small town and suburb in the country. Sadly, these bizarre yet awesome mascots,  like so many amazing and unique things in Japan, will likely disappear as a result.

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