Below station

Somewhere in Japan, there is a railway station. There are many of those. Sprawling around it, a maze of alleys and tunnels running in the building, under the tracks. There are many of those. As one goes deeper in the corridors, there are less shops, more toilets, drink vending machines and old machines that hum, their purpose half forgotten.

Some arcades are closed, the posters on the windows faded by the old neon light. There are many of these. One arcade is still open, maybe a shop, maybe a small shrine, it is not clear. There is a man in a suit, he does not look young, he is not. He does not look that old, more like someone who saw his best days in the 70s, maybe before. There are many of them.

Some say he is chinese, they would be technically correct, but nobody verifies those things, it does not make sense. Nobody ever checked the fat guy in the dark corner, the one that holds a big fish. No, that would be inappropriate, everybody knows Yebisu was the only japanese on the ship. The man here has been there as far as anybody remembers, maybe as long as Yebisu, so nobody asks. Those who look carefully see that he is not happy: he looks sad, or angry, it is difficult to say. Even landlords and yakuza will not bother an angry god, it is bad for business, so he stays here.

He is sad because people have forgotten him, they do not trace his sign on paper, on the bright displays of shops or on the bejewelled displays of mobile phones: he was replaced by simple hiragana, phonetic signs who have lost their soul. He is a forgotten kanji. There are many of those.

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