Thursday, January 26, 2012
Check it out here: Yamashita Tomohisa (Afton Station is at the 8:35 mark)
I have a few observations on what I gleaned from the visit, and how I compared it to the video which I've just recently viewed. First, the video makes it appear that Mr. Tomohisa is traveling Route 66 alone in his beat-up pickup truck. Very clever, considering the large crew that was continually hovering around him. Secondly, unless you speak Japanese, you won't understand a word of the video. I lived in Japan for two years and taught a class full of Japanese men, and yet I may have recognized three words during the whole thing. This was definitely made for a Japanese audience. You will, however, see nice scenes of the road and get a bit of insight into what a foreign person finds interesting and important. Interspersed amid the scenes of his actual Route 66 adventure, Tomohisa is seen discussing the trip with another gentleman as they sit in a cafe, bar, or some such. I sure wish I knew what they were saying! (I want glasses like the ones from which they're drinking! If anyone knows where to get them, let me know. They are desperately cool!)
The scene where Tomohisa comes through the door of the Station and is greeted by Tattoo Man and me was a set-up. We had to do it about 5 times to get it just the way they wanted it, even though it simply consisted of a quick hello and welcome. The crew was very particular about how things looked. I am convinced of their thoroughness and professional capability. They were very nice, too. Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones gave a good interview. I suggest you view all the videos in their entirety.
I'm disappointed that they skipped the city of Tulsa altogether. After Afton, they moved on to Oklahoma City, where Tomohisa ate at Tapwerks, which is in Bricktown, not on Route 66. Although his trip was far from the perfect Mother Road adventure, it won't surprise me if it increase Route 66 tourism among the people of Japan. I certainly hope so!