Matsumotos Corner Vol.21

Tokyo Tower

- A Landmark of the Times -

Completed in 1958, this 333m high radio tower was the tallest in the world and a landmark that could be seen from anywhere in Tokyo, where there were no skyscrapers. Also, since the Tower was built when Japan was going into a period of high economic growth, I think not a few Japanese might have the impression of it being a symbol of a time when people were poor but striving, believing in a bright future.

In the film “Always: Sunset on Third Street”, released in 2005, the Tower under construction was reproduced using computer graphics. In this heart-warming story, Tokyo Tower, rising higher and higher day by day, overlaps with poor but always cheerful characters who live their lives with hope. I know there are darkness and despair at any time, but I am sure this film portrays an ideal image held by those who know that era.

When I first started driving in KL 25 years ago, I often got lost and used to take KL Tower as my landmark. I remember feeling reassured that I was safe as long as I could see that Tower, even though my car was driving further and further away against my will. The nostalgia I have for Tokyo Tower as a landmark of the times may not be valid for the world to come, but I will cherish it as a memory of a lovely, ever hopeful era.