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Michael Pronko

Michael Pronko is the author of award-winning books about Tokyo: Motions and Moments (Raked Gravel Press, 2015), Beauty and Chaos (Raked Gravel Press, 2014), and Tokyo’s Mystery Deepens (Raked Gravel Press, 2014), as well as several essay collections in Japanese. He has been a regular columnist at Newsweek Japan, The JapanTimes, and Artscape Japan. He runs the Jazz in Japan website and teaches American Literature and Culture at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo.


Tokyo Parrots by Yoshinori Mizutani

Tokyo Parrots

Summer 2016 | Photography

Tokyo is a photographer’s dream, a city overflowing with potent imagery. But this sensory input can also be overpowering, making it tough to find a single focus. Photographer Yoshinori Mizutani, though, knew he found a great new subject when he noticed bright, greenish-yellow birds zipping past his house, perching in a large zelkova tree just a stone’s throw away. Not long after that, he spotted a large roost of them on the campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology—hundreds and hundreds of them banding together. The birds turned out to be rose-ringed parakeets, a nonnative type of parrot that had been imported to Japan over the years as pets, many of which had either escaped or been released and were now thriving in the dense urban environment of the city.

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