8/10/2002--Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan..high Line Records, one of many independent music labels in Shimo that also sells clothing and other cool accessories..Executives from the big music companies are frequently spotted cruising the local clubs and music stores for fresh talent. High Line, which stocks what may be the largest selection of Japanese indie music in the country, gets into the act, too. Two years ago, the shop launched a record company to give aspiring bands a boost. One of High Line's discoveries, folk-rock band Bump of Chicken, recently signed a contract with mainstream label Toy's Factory...Wedged between Tokyo's Shinjuku and Shibuya wards, Shimokitazawa's maze of narrow streets form the ramparts of all that is non-conformist in get-along, go-along Japan. In "Shimokita," old village shops trade happily beside newer, eccentric clothing stores, funky restaurants, matchbox playhouses and live-music clubs. The unpretentious ambience is a magnet for students and other young visitors for whom Tokyo's usual street fashion scene has become more fascist than fun and mainstream entertainment is, well, too mainstream. Musicians, designers, aspiring actors and other would-be iconoclasts have settled the area, as have young professionals opting for a less-structured lifestyle. ...All photographs ©2003 Stuart Isett.All rights reserved.This image may not be reproduced without expressed written permission from Stuart Isett.