the journey begins / by Jim Hathaway

 Travels in Low City

My part of town, the Japanese  name for this part of Tokyo is Shitamachi, directly translated it means, “"Downtown.” But there is a problem with translating it directly because, downtown, already has a meaning in English, and the Japanese mean something different. Edward Sidensticker translated it Low City because that is the way Edo was divided. The high City for the high born, warlords, and their samurai.

The low born, merchants, craftsmen, entertainers and the like were squeezed together into what had been and partly remained wetland. It was crisscrosses by canals, tidal pools, and it was bursting with life.  Still is.  I would be proud to show some of my favorite parts.