Tokyo Dreams

There was a Japanese man who had two sons. The eldest son grew up and decided to become an artist. However, he ultimately decided against this pursuit because his father was so vehemently against it. He instead became an industrial designer and created a pillow that was also a chair that folded into itself for efficient packing.

The youngest son did train to become an artist. He honed his skill in drawing and began to create wall hangings that consisted mostly of cartoon-like sketches of old men (often based on likenesses of his father) who were severely haunted by ghosts or otherwise facing tremendous misfortune.

In one drawing, a wooden bucket was falling on the old man’s head. In many others, the old man was fleeing from a ghost who was pursuing him with arms wide open. The youngest son moved to China to pursue his craft.

War broke out between China and Japan. The eldest son enlisted and soon became an officer. He marched a hundred men down a dirt road that led from Hong Kong to Shang Hai. On the trek, he stopped long enough to try and sell one of his folding chairs to a German tourist. The tourist declined because they were made in China.

The eldest son then received a call suggesting that his command was going to be ambushed and shot. He abandoned his men, who were subsequently captured. The eldest son and just one or two other soldiers escaped into the Sea of Japan and began swimming the backstroke as a few members of China’s female Olympic swimmers gave chase.

The eldest son made it back to Japan and when he did ran madly through the streets of Tokyo sopping wet and gleeful. He was happy until he finally was arrested for desertion. Unfortunately, his expatriate brother was never heard from again.

Photo by Alex Knight