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Category Archives: Tokyo

Roland Barthes’ Tokyo: “Empire of Signs” Fifty Years Later

Roland Barthes first visited Japan in 1966, not long after the defeated and reconstructed country announced its return to the international community with the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Japan would have hosted its first Olympic Games there in 1940, had World War II not caused the duty to pass to Helsinki. Now, half a century […]

Guardian Cities: To Know a City, Simply Know its Transport

My recent, first trip to London presented me with two surprises: the reach, convenience, and frequency of the tube, and the volume of Londoners’ complaints about the reach, convenience, and frequency of the tube. English friends had explained to me, not without pride, the importance of grumbling to the national character, but I still want […]