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Photo: Have Bonsai Will Travel


This photo shows a mobile bonsai merchant, spotted in the swanky shopping district of Ginza. Everything is packed in the back of motor scooter, and quickly set up for display. Then the wait begins for the first customer. 

Japan has always been extremely tolerant of street traders compared to other countries. A student of mine once mentioned that she had used the services of a street masseuse also in Ginza. In the 1980s and 90s there was also a considerable number of Israeli street traders but this has now declined, possibly through differential action by the Japanese police as often the Israeli street traders were paying part of their proceeds to the Yakuza.
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