I’m still trying to figure out the pop fascination with Catholic symbols here in Japan. Totally divorced from religious tradition (Christianity never got much of a toehold here, thanks to serious banning of outsiders before 1868), for some reason stylish tough guys wear Our Lady Of Rude Kustoms on the back of their motorcycle jackets and sport crucifixes dangling from earlobes and silver chains around their necks. The Catholic-themed Christon Café serves Black Rage Of Satan pizza and Chef’s Selection Of Cheese With The Bible Toast, and is jammed with girls dressed like Little Bo Peep Meets Lestat.
I spotted these fabulous glow-in-the-dark Virgin Marys for sale at Village Vanguard, a store that’s basically Head Shop X Sky Mall. I’m especially fond of the little ones on the right, which definitely look like they have more than a little Godzilla in their family tree.
Saw these at the Village Vanguard store in Shimo-kitazawa. If you’d like to be amazed by the weird goods there the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map to all Village Vanguard locations in Tokyo is on my other website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
“Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!