Shave and a haircut...two bits.

April 25th, 2014, 4pm

It was 21°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

My abiding memory of true barber shops come from Looney Toons and old movies the ones produced back in the 40s and 50s. They were places marked by the red-white-blue lamp, spiraling perpetually to indicate the establishment was open for business. Inside, old men gathered, engrossed in newspapers or conversing like regulars at a bar. The barber, in dress pants and white smock instinctively moved hand, scissors, and comb without nary a word, the snipping of hair sounding like duelists crossing swords. Kamiya House Classic in Kichijoji was a find. Marked by that same colorful spiral from the cartoons, it is a small, wood floored shop that would appear to be stuck in time if it weren’t for the flat-screen television, and computer cash register. But at Kamiya House, the barbers dress in black slacks and vest over a white shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbows like maître d’s after hours. They do not converse much, but busy themselves with fulfilling their customer’s request. Here, they still shave with a straight razor; still enshroud your face with a hot towel; still shampoo your hair and offer tonic afterward; then finish with a brief massage. Jazz will sometimes be filling the store through unseen speakers and as you lay back eyes closed, the barber deftly whisking that straight razor across your skin, one begins to feel how a character in a Raymond Chandler noir must have lived. Go there often enough and you’ll be asked when you sit in the leather padded chair: “The usual, sir?” When that day arrived for me I smiled. Kamiya House Classic. Such a fitting name. Such classic service.

Christine, Paul, David Wade, Lester and 2 others said thanks.

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Ben Dimagmaliw

Always up to no good, but for the right reasons. I call this "Phil-anarchy."

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