Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Toronto to Tokyo?

 Tuesday April 10, 10:06 p.m.

I had a couple of days substitute teaching downtown. When I turned the corner onto Elizabeth Street in the oldest Chinatown in Toronto in the downtown district, I had a literal  deja vu of sorts...saw a whole ton of kanji, hiragana and katakana all over the place. And the focus seems to be on this rather oddly-named faux-elementary school known as Banjogawa.
 Obviously, they were filming some sort of movie here...Toronto isn't called Hollywood North for nothing. Elizabeth Street was made up to look like a big Japanese city...presumably Tokyo. It was just the crew during the daytime. The stars truly did come out only at night!
That sign on the right there says "Usagi Owashi"....say what? Usagi means "rabbits"in Japanese, but I have no idea what the Owashi is referring to. It's the linguistic version of putting fat guys into puffy loincloths on American music videos and calling them sumo wrestlers.

Cars were props, too. The front end had the usual Ontario license plates but it was obvious that the back end was going to be filmed. That is a Tama plate. There is some sort of cellphone bar code beside the numbers. Even the real Tokyo hasn't gotten quite that progressive.

But you can see all that ash on the car and on the street. Methinks that this is gonna be some sort of disaster movie involving volcanoes. Overall, I find it intriguing that they would film Toronto as Tokyo. Usually, the farthest they've gone is New York City.