The humans of Tokyo make this metropolis pulse with energy. TW checks in with four of the many Tokyo voices that make the cacophony a symphony.

stephanie crohin

Photo by @jordymeow

Stephanie Crohin, Sento Ambassador & Interior Designer

An official sento ambassador, Stephanie Crohin has authored three books on the matter with her own photos. Soon, she will have another feather in her hat – professional interior designer.

What’s your newest obsession?

Sento doesn’t count, right? I’ve been obsessed with plants, DIY and interior design for a while. And in the pandemic, I’ve doubled down on that.

If you had your own sento what would it look like?

A fusion of Japanese and Western aesthetics, and a mix of retro Showa and modern style. A rotenburo bath and a Mount Fuji mural are a must.

How does one experience sento without going to a sento?

Honestly, just follow me on Instagram. I have ASMR sento videos there that you can play while relaxing in your own bathtub.

What’s a perfect Tokyo day for you?

Going to a sento, of course. Then a walk and going to a classic jun-kissa cafe. After that, a visit to furniture stores and plant stores.

Follow Stephanie Crohin on Instagram both for sento and for interior design.

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Stasia Matsumoto, Kimono Stylist & Photographer

Stasia Matsumoto is the owner of InKimono. She does kimono styling and professional photography, combining both in kimono experience photoshoots for customers.

What’s your newest obsession?

I’m working on two yukata projects. For my Tenugui Yukata I’ve been collecting hand-dyed vintage tenugui towels. The next phase is sewing them together to make a yukata. The other project is making yukata out of Polish fabric with traditional patterns.

Can you eat ramen without ruining your kimono?

Of course! Ramen shops greet you with an apron at the door to protect any clothes you’re wearing. And kimono sleeves are designed to slide back towards the elbow, so they won’t dip into your food.

What else can you do in a kimono that people tend to think it’s impossible?

Almost anything. I have cycled while wearing a kimono, cooked a whole meal, and taken a very nice nap in it. It’s basically hugging you while you sleep. You cannot do sports in a kimono, but why would you?

Follow InKimono on Instagram.

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Craig Rozynski, Designer & Artist

Known for designing Comic Neue, the “font that saved Comic Sans,” Craig is now Tokyo-based, building an art brand called Ghoul.

What’s your newest obsession?

Recently I’ve been obsessed with drawing the same thing every day, almost a Zen-like practice. I have also been obsessed with Paul McNeil’s book A Visual History of Type.

What’s your favorite Japanese yokai monster?

My favorite Japanese yokai is the Rokurokubi. It’s the woman whose head begins to float around, neck stretching to macabre lengths. It’s such an arresting image because they’re always depicted as a pretty Japanese woman in a kimono.

If Tokyo itself was a monster, what would its defining features be?

If Tokyo was a monster it would be curt and polite but leave you with an unshakeable feeling you caused it a great inconvenience.

What is your favorite spot in Tokyo?

Watching Tokyo Tower at dusk from the grass oval behind Prince Park Tower in Shiba Park. There’s something very romantic about that tower and its particular shade of orange red.

Follow Craig Rozynski on Instagram.

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Willam Greenawalt, Cinematographer & Director

William boasts over a decade of production experience for feature films, short films, and commercial videos. The newest award-winning project is a documentary about Japan’s motorcycle scene called The Roost.

What’s your newest obsession?

I started making a documentary about my dad’s rock band from the ‘70s and ‘80s called Randy and the Plutonians. The pandemic put everything on hold, so I’m going through the footage I have and planning how to get more.

If street car racers are “fast and furious,” what two adjectives would you use to describe the motorcycle scene?

They would love “superior and stylish.” But also, coming from someone who was accepted in the community, I would also describe them as “warm and welcoming.” Even if that doesn’t sound as cool.

What’s your favorite foreign movie set in Japan?

Check out an old offbeat Marlon Brando film that takes place in pre-bubble post-war Japan called Sayonara. It is a great gem that I didn’t know about until recently.

Follow William Greenwalt on Instagram.

Voice of Tokyo was published in the Sep-Oct 2021 issue of Tokyo Weekender. To flip through the issue, click the image below.