“ I personally feel that a box, far from being a dead end, is an entrance to another world. I don’t know to where, but an entrance to somewhere, some other world.”

— Kobo Abe — The Box Man / Hako Otoko

These few lines from “The Box Man”, a prominent novel by Abe Kobo, are the starting point of an extensive journey into a secret city.

The first place I visit is Ueno Park in Tokyo. Here many homeless are still “invisible” residents since several decades: unfolding their card-board houses to rest at night and re-folding them every morning in a silent compromise with the authorities, to preserve the harmony of the park.

From Ueno I move a bit further East towards the old city of Asakusa, and then following upstream the Sumida, Arakawa and Edo river, where a vast sea of semipermanent cardboard accommodations form a hidden city within the city.

While discovering so many flimsy accommodations along the river of such a megalopolis, I feel that all these sheltered boxes away from exposure and hiding into the wilderness, mimic the establishment of a primordial society and altogether confirm the human kind `s struggle to endure within our contemporary world.

From this perspective I feel that “the box man” is an ordinary man or lady, a no one like each of us…

Leo Pellegatta.


Perimetro @perimetro__ in occasion of #mfw Milan Fashion Week, present “Tokyo and its Contemporary Storytellers” a special project to celebrate beloved Tokyo featuring an exhibition, a dedicated magazine and a number of experiences relating to contemporary Japan

Open to public
24th – 26th September 2021
12pm to 7pm
Via Tajani, 1A Milan