The bustling main street of Shinjuku, Tokyo, c. 1930
“‘Shinjuku Sketch’ (Shinjuku sukechi) was published in the April 1929 Kaizo … and begins with a depiction of the exterior of the station, and much of this short work is devoted to the appearance of this terminal and its crowds. The station is seen as if standing in front and from below, but at a slight distance, and the perspective is that of a movie camera than that that of a member of a tour.
“The reader is first shown the dial of the clock on the ‘forehead’ of the concrete station building, on which two hands revolve twice a day like ‘creeping black beetles,’ regulating the actions that occur in the surrounding area. The simultaneity may be read as a cinematic device. Crowds continually stream out of both sides of the front plaza and through the streets on either side. Showing Ryutanji’s fondness for water metaphors, the narrator comments that this human flow is a ‘bewildering modern development’ that can be seen at any suburban station, but the surge of the crowd ‘excreted’ from Shinjuku Station is more extreme, like the ‘inundation of the high tide on the night of a full moon.'”
– Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, by Alisa Freedman, 2011