Green spaces: a photo essay on the parks of Tokyo

A photo essay on the parks of Tokyo

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For the first FT Innovative Lawyers report of 2016, we decided to take a new approach to illustrating the stories. As creative as the lawyers featured in this report are, it can be hard to find an evocative picture of a delisting followed by a relisting aided by the application of an artificial intelligence system and some client-facing web portals, for example.

That is why we have decided instead to focus on the world in which the lawyers, their clients and their clients’ customers live. We therefore commissioned a photo essay from Toshiki Senoue, a Tokyo-based photographer who studied at the Missouri School of Journalism, in which he examines the large parks of Tokyo from day to night. They offer, the photographer notes, a hint of wilderness to contrast with the order for which lawyers strive.

As Mr Senoue says, “Unlike haphazardly erected skyscrapers and the chaotically spreading city, parks in Tokyo are surprisingly orderly, quiet and spotlessly clean.

“Parks, of course, are man-made. Pathways are made, trees are trimmed, flowers are planted, and creeks and ponds are made to make the park more aesthetically pleasing. However, in this kind of controlled environment, many parks still have a hint of what they used to be, the atmosphere of old days when humans did not yet inhabit them.

“Instead of trying to get everything under control, Japanese people let nature be and twist it the minimal amount necessary. It probably comes from people’s idea of coexisting with nature, and appreciation of and respect for it.”

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