Public eye #2

Niken Dayu Prasasti and Mahesa Almeida at Otori Jinja

Public eye #2

Niken Dayu Prasasti and Mahesa Almeida, students

Do you come here often?
MA: Occasionally. We live close by and come here to see things like festivals.

You two look rather alike. Are you brother and sister?
MA: We’re lovers. [Laughs] Although not yet married.
ND: Whilst I was studying at university in Indonesia, various friends asked me if I had an older brother at the same university. When I told them I didn’t, they would tell me there was a guy there that looked just like me. When we were finally introduced, it turned out to be Mahesa. [Laughs]

Where did you get those glasses?
MA: At Bic Camera.
ND: In the basement of Shibuya Parco, although I don’t think that particular shop is still there anymore…

Still, you two really do look like pretty similar. How long have you been in Japan?
MA: About 4 years.

What are you currently up to here in Japan?
MA: Studying. I’m at grad school studying graphic design— researching illustration.
ND: I’m studying fashion.

Why did you decided to study in Japan?
MA: We’ve both had a keen interest in Japanese manga and anime, etc., ever since childhood. We studied graphic design together in Indonesia and are particularly fond of Japanese design and technology. Before we’d even started dating we’d both already decided to study here— a dream we’ve both now realized together.

Which Japanese anime do you like the most?
MA: ‘Mazinger Z’! I’m really into the robots and the opening theme song is awesome!
ND: Probably ‘Glass Mask’. Although over the last 5 years there’s only been about one new issue released— which is really too long to have to wait. Other than that, maybe ‘Candy Candy’.

Anime and manga aside, what else do you like about Tokyo?
ND: I like that it's a particularly safe city.
MA: Hmm, the crowded trains! [Laughs]

Finally, have you got any recommendations for great Indonesian cuisine in Tokyo?
MA: Sure, right over there in fact, there’s a great place called Cabe.
ND: Yeah, that place is good. If you go there, make sure you try the Sambal goreng daging (santan)— amazing!

More from Niken and Mahesa:

‘Arguments? We have a bunch of those. But at the end of the day, the two of us we are always together.’

‘Ueno is great. Ameyoko is really great. It's the kind of place where you’ll find clothing shops right next to somewhere selling fish. You’d think the clothes might take on the odour… kind of like an Indonesian Jakarta Kota market. Ameyoko really is a pretty odd place.’

‘I think Tokyo is a bit like the movie “Blade Runner”. Along side ancient buildings and places of historical interest, there are things like vending machines. It's totally sci-fi.’

Photograph by Mai Michitsuji
Interview by Akiko Toya
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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