He is a frequent late night sight, moving at his measured pace up Kokusai Dori. Shohachi Ishikawa always seems the same, always cheerful against his sober kimono and dark hat. Often he is accompanied by two other men, younger, also elderly. They defer to him. Perhaps they all come from one of the theatres.
He seems so familiar. On this night you happen to cross the road together. Fall in step. Hello. Nice kimono. Where have you been?
Oh I’ve been managing my snack.
You own a snack?
No, but customers expect me to be there. I get out, it’s good. I’m getting into my 80s now, but I like to walk and meet people. Life is full of interesting things isn’t it?
Your job is always at the snack?
Haha. My profession is…well, if you look me up on the internet, it will say I am an actor. I acted for the director Kinya Aikawa, who died last year. I acted in the TV movie series Minato Koshiro Keishi. I acted in seven movies. And on stage.
Hosting the snack bar is also a kind of performance. The show is over now. The next intersection seems a good spot to let him go. But he wants to know about you too. Where are you from, and what brings you here. A generous sort of curiosity before he turns for home.
[The internet lists Shohachi Ishikawa as an actor. It also shows he is modest about his age for a night-owl, as he was born February 24, 1928]