Muzak in Japan

Muzak on a forlorn high street in Kyoto.

On a muggy Sunday afternoon, there isn't much going on on the shopping street in Taishogun, Kyoto. Since the opening some twenty years ago of a mega supermarket nearby, this "shoten gai" shopping block hasn't seen much action at all.

There is of course, however, muzak. Japan is the king of muzak. It blares from speakers attached to telephone poles on every corner in Japan. Even religious temples have speakers and announcements.

Cynics claim that subliminal messages--"Buy! Shop! Spend your money!" or "Don't cause any trouble! Obey the police!"-- are being projected to keep citizens docile and properly anesthetized.

An elderly man stares; a lone cyclist passes at the end of the recording.

June 11, 2006.

Shopping street muzak in Kyoto.

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