Tokyo’s oldest and weariest shop owner?

The sight of people way past retirement age still working isn’t an uncommon one in Japan. In fact it isn’t even unusual on the pages of Tokyo Times. There’s a shoemaker still plying his trade in a wonderfully archaic workshop. A long since ex-French chef still cooking up a storm. Plus another septuagenarian bar owner in no way ready to put her feet up just yet. But as old as those people are, they act nothing like their years, energetically going about their business in the manner of someone much, much younger.

This woman, however, is a different story altogether. Admittedly she may not be the oldest. Your guess is as good as mine on that one. But it would be difficult to find a shop owner looking any more world-weary.

Tokyo’s oldest shop owner

An old Tokyo bar and its no-nonsense Mama-san

Her native Okinawa that she left over 40 years ago must have changed enormously, but the bar this strong-willed Mama-san runs in Tokyo most certainly hasn’t. Or at least not since the 1970s.

old and small Tokyo bar Mama-san

A space that in many ways is more like an extended living room than a bar, allowing customers, with the accompaniment of a couple of beers, to feel completely at home.

old and small Tokyo bar Mama-san