Yumi Machida, designer
Where are you heading to today?
YM: I’ve come for a event called Asagaya Curry Keikaku, which is being held at Asagaya/Loft A. The event starts from midday so I have just wandered here looking for somewhere to eat.
Do you live around here?
YM: Yeah, I live in Asagaya. My place is directly opposite the plaza on the north side of the station.
Why did you decide to live on the north side instead of the south?
YM: Because the rent was cheaper – about ¥10,000 cheaper. On the south side there is Minami-Asagaya Station on the Marunouchi Line, which makes it a little more expensive. The rest was intuition; as soon as I found a place where I thought ‘this is it’ I decided straight away.
Do you also work in Asagaya?
YM: No, no. [Laughs] I work in Aoyama-itchome. I used to ride the Chuo Line from Asagaya and change at Yoyogi to the Oedo Line, but recently I have been going to Shinanomachi and walking to work from there. I don’t have many chances to exercise, and while it isn’t much, it’s better than nothing.
What do you do?
YM: I’m a designer.
What kind of design do you do?
YM: I mostly work with paper. I work for an advertising agency. I like how paper feels to touch and that kind of thing. In my work I value the kind of sensations that you can’t get from the web.
Do you go out anywhere near where you work?
YM: I don’t do anything in Aoyama-itchome. When I got out with my acquaintances I end up wanting to drink, and because it doesn’t take much to get me drunk I get scared [Laughs] and I can’t enjoy drinking far from home. I don’t know what’s around there. If I am not socialising with my co-workers then I come straight back to Asagaya.
By the way, how much does it take to get you drunk?
YM: I don’t know. [Laughs] I get so drunk I don’t know how much I’ve had. I start off with beer, then I usually have a mix drink like tomato chuhai. Oh, I’ve said something I shouldn’t. I would have been better off saying that I drink the kind of things they have on Sex and the City.
No worries [Laughs]. Have you made any mistakes when you were drunk?
YM: Yeah, a lot. [Laughs] I’ve lost friends, lost my parents trust…I apparently do a lot of strange things. Also when I’m drunk I tell lies that don’t make any sense [Laughs]. It’s not like I like alcohol so much so that I drink by myself. But when I am with other people and we are having a good time, I find it hard not to drink.
So you mean your name and profession is a lie?
YM: No, it’s not but I don’t blame you for thinking so. [Laughs] I am only on my second drink today. I probably won’t start making any sense when I get up to my fifth drink.
Are there any places you usually hang out at near your house??
YM: I go to drinking places as you might expect. [Laughs] Mad Hog Kitchen and Ma-Blue-Dome. I go bar-hopping around this area.
Do you go to any other areas?
YM: Yeah, Koenji, because I used to live there. Today I’ve come with one of my drinking buddies from Koenji. I used to live in Ogikubo, too.
They’re all on the Chuo line. [Laughs]
More from Yumi Machida
‘In the future I want be able to live not worrying about money...I would like to have a comfortable existence…in Asagaya.’ [Laughs]
‘I hope to be able to get a message across through design and advertising.’
‘I want to be able to keep drinking, except for when I have kids. As long as it doesn’t have an impact on my children.’
Text and photos by Takeshi Tojo
Translated by E. Kavanagh