One more reason why I love Japan

Because the same culture that gave us this…

The red bridge spanning the Hirosaki Castle moat

And this

The awesome five-story-tall light-up Gundam robot

And this

The pagoda at Sensō-ji temple and Skytree, lit up at night…

Also came up with this

This building

If this isn’t the most butt-ugly building you’ve ever seen, wrap me in seaweed and roll me in fish eggs.

Seriously, who could possibly have imagined this would be attractive? Who signed off on it? Who wasted months of their lives that they’ll never get back building it?

But the lovable thing about this dog’s breakfast of a highrise is, somebody tried something that wasn’t typical stucco goosebumps. They failed (hell yeah) but they tried. And don’t you think it’s true that nobody does anything great unless they try things that are could go just as spectacularly wrong as they might go spectacularly right?

In Japan, buildings (especially residential buildings) aren’t really built to last more than 30 years, which is why people are willing to experiment a little and aren’t thinking in terms of My Legacy For The Ages. Someday, this monstrosity will be swept away for something nicer. Or not. I sort of hope something equally hideous replaces it, to give me reason to stop and think about how important it is to try and fail. And that without ugliness, there would be no beauty.

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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