Sanya Stream of Pseudo-Consciousness

After reading Ōyama Shirō’s memoir, A Man With No Talents (San’ya gakeppuchi nikki), I became interested in this Tokyo district for day laborers, now popular among foreign visitors for its budget accommodations. In Blair McBride’s Digital Journal piece “Mysterious Past Meets Uncertain Future in Tokyo’s Sanya District” I discovered the area’s dark history as a ghetto for the “Burakumin” underclass, as well as an Edo Period execution grounds. Considering that the Japanese government virtually erased all references to Sanya on area maps during the 1960’s, I decided to look up the area on a 10,000:1 scale map of Tokyo, using the Google Translate application on my phone to superimpose translations on the camera’s live image. The application produced strange results, trying to decipher not only the kanji characters and their context to one another, but individual radicals, or kanji elements within a greater kanji. In the above video, words pop on and off of the screen at a dizzying pace, resulting in a stream of “pseudo-consciousness.” Glimpses of hidden truth, or just surreal fun?

in movie

Fukushima, has North melting



the Sanya land

South of thousands of living

their Graves

the village

Okada the sin gust

Tech times of blood

Sanya alternating ago


Park in squamous

the distribution consistent

Tokyo sum gust

Tech ratio roller

You turn so clearly

By timbridwell

Author of the novel SOPHRONIA L. (2014, Folded Word Press), Tim Bridwell is a graduate of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and the BFA Practicum program in film at Emerson College.

He wrote and directed the feature film Rendezvous in Samarkand and short HAZE, both shot in Morocco. The screenplay of Sophronia L. won the “Award for Excellence in Screenwriting” from Cinema City and the “Golden Lion Award” at the George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival.

A trumpeter, Tim was a founding member of US ska legends The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. He is a full member of the International House of Japan, in Tokyo. Born in New York City and raised on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, he has lived in Paris for the last two decades.