What is “Showa Retro”?

June 6th, 2009 by
Category: Culture Art, Onsens (Hot Springs), Sightseeing

When a local TV stationfeatured Togura Kamiyamada Onsen last month on their Saturday morning variety show, they had talked about our town’s “Showa Retro” feel.

What exactly is “Showa Retro”? Is it a classic style that brings back warm memories of the 60’s and 70’s — all the garish neon of the bar district and the familiar appearance of the inns built in the era?
Or does it refer to a dismal impression that no improvements have been made since the 60’s and 70’s — stemming from all the dilapidated buildings from the period?

As part of the the TV show, local celebrity Sanshiro-san came and took pictures of our onsen town’s “Showa Retro” scenes. Their pictures are on display at a temporary gallery set up in an empty store front across the street from Arita-ya Ryokan on Kamiyamada Onsen’s main street. The gallery will be open from 9am to 5pm through the month of June.
Seeing our onsen town through Sanshiro’s eyes makes one realize that “Showa Retro” is a mix of memories and dilapidation. For people who didn’t grow up during that era, you look at some of the architecture and ponder what were they thinking when they built that? But there are many people who saw those buildings during the Showa heydays, and for whom those styles have great appeal.
Come and check out Sanshiro’s pictures in the gallery, then go for walk around Togura Kamiyamada and see the Showa Retro scenes yourself!

2 Responses to “What is “Showa Retro”?

  1. I wonder what it is like in your town to be ” Showa Retro.”
    Seeing from the Kanji characters used on the board, the “Sowa Retro ” might be referring to the good old days back before the ww2,like in the 20s or 30s,because in the post war days those forms of Kanji are not used any more.
    But then again, nowadays people over their 40s look retrospective to their childhood days as “Showa Retro”, like in the film,” Always Yuhigaoka 3 chome.”The period was an economically rapid growing period with the typical sceneries include construction sites with lots of junky materials.They are not at all beautiful, but somehow bring us the nostalgic feeling of the hope toward richness back then with human relationships still thick with neighbors. Soryy, it’s too complicated.

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