Reeling from accusations that it is nothing more than a repository for rust, cement and the geriatric, Kagami-machi is fighting back, taking critics head-on in an effort to burnish what’s left of an otherwise tarnished image. According to Rusty Tanaka, head of Kagami’s ailing tourist bureau, “Critics—particularly those churlish English teachers from America—fail to see the awe-inspiring way in which nature, rust and cement harmoniously coexist throughout Kagami-machi. One need only take a moment to stop and walk around a bit to appreciate the uniquely Japanese bounty Kagami provides for the nature lover.”

Rusty points to the emergence of freshly-blossoming sakura (pictured below) as evidence that tales of Kagami’s hideousness have been grossly exaggerated. Mr. Tanaka also had some choice words for his most vocal critic, Ellison-sensei: “I find it ironic that someone from Los Angeles, a city not exactly known for its natural beauty, has the audacity to criticize Kagami-machi, a town just this year recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. What does Los Angeles have to offer? A crumbling HOLLYWOOD sign? Please, that’s smacks of 20th century gaudiness. Kagami is the future.”

Stay tuned for more on this story, including reaction from this so-called Ellison-sensei.