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Koto-ku gentrifying

A fish-shop keeper in the Koto-ku neighborhood told me he was the sixth generation of his family to run a fish shop there. It was hard work, getting up in the middle of the night to go to the big Tsukiji fish market. His wife worked in the shop with him; the shop was maybe two meters by three. His sons, he said, weren't interested in the fish business; like everyone, they were going off to be salarymen for some big corporation.

We were the first of our Pennsylvania family to move to New York. There weren't any deep roots -- I had lived in eight houses in four states by the time I was six years old and settled down for a while on Long Island. Still, there was a particular waterfall meant a lot to me, and so did that little shrine in in Tokyo. But I'm more like the fish merchant's sons, and what will the shrine mean to them or their children? What will any fixed place mean to us in a few generations? Maybe we will be so on the move that any place will be only a tourist spot, and any shrine only a spectacle. Or maybe we will live with less physical mobility, our movement all telecommuting and virtual presence, with attachment to a bio-region and a piece of land with its own kami. I'd like that; it would be different from the old rural life but more attached than today's mobility. Or, and I think this most likely, we will move about, and dwell in places newly defined, and learn to find the kami even if they, and we, visit the place only briefly.