Sad owners of one of the Aozora (blue sky) outdoor karaoke shops in Tennoji park, just before being closed down by the police for disturbing the peace.
It was in a poor area of central Osaka where a lot of blue collar workers live, and the park attracted older, down on their luck people, who gathered every day to relive the past by singing Enka (old fashioned Japanese crooning) at various outdoor karaoke shops. There was something oddly fascinating about people who don’t realise that time has passed them by, and continued singing the old songs as though they are still at the top of the charts, still dressing the same way that they did 40 years ago. There were some real characters in Tennoji Koen, people who loved being in front of a crowd, and had some real singing ability but you have to bite your lip when you watch them.
Editor’s note: this post was originally published in February 2008 and has been updated.