Trade and culture are so intertwined that the centres of commerce have always brought people together, promoting dialogue that has bloomed into fascinating local customs and characteristics. However, commercial and public spaces have gone through major transformations in the modern age all around the world.

In Japan the storefront -lined streets of the shōtengai model evolved directly from medieval marketplaces and have since served as both shopping districts and community centres but business in most of these areas has been on a steep decline ever since the latter part of the 1980s. Now, with the recent rampant rise of e-commerce more of these beautifully eccentric districts are under threat than ever before.

'Arcade skylights' is an on-going book project cataloguing the expressive covers of various shōtengai around Japan.


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