Tokyo is a constantly evolving city, changing shape and form faster than any other city I know. An adorable café could be a barber shop next month. That affordable beef bowl restaurant? Now a bike shop. Wait, I blinked. Now it’s a drug store. I look back at at my old stomping grounds and kick myself for not have taken pictures of what is now hardly recognizable.
Kokomaenadakke? (what was here before?) is a new website that is attempting to crowd-source records and plot them on a map of Tokyo. The site lets users login via facebook or twitter and post memories of what was once there. The only rules (which largely go unmonitored) are that the information is 1st or 2nd hand, and that you write random memories about the location as well because it provides richer substance. The site is very new (launched Jan 15, 2013) so we’ll see how it evolves.
It’s the brainchild of Yuji Hayashi, webmaster for DailyPortalZ and father of several web projects like Tokyo Toilet Map (which George Costanza would have appreciated) and shinukatomotta (I thought I was going to die) – personal accounts of often humorous near-death experiences.