Vol. 4: Neon Signs in Las Vegas (1)

The main features of neon signs in Las Vegas are their overwhelming, breathtaking scale and the exquisite matching of the sign bulbs and tubes. The neon signs of Japanese pachinko parlors are no more than a pale imitation on a smaller scale of these neon signs.

There are many neon signs in Las Vegas known to people everywhere: gFlamingo Hilton,h gStardust,h and gCircus Circush will surely be familiar to most people. One particularly noticeable aspect of these neon signs is their longevity. The well-known Pioneer Club neon showing a standing cowboy was created in 1951, and it seems likely that many other signs also date back to around the same period. Many of the signs are thus more than forty years old. The Morinaga globe in Tokyofs Ginza area ended its life after thirty years, and it seems a pity that there have been no outstanding neon signs in this area ever since then. The long-lived neon signs of Las Vegas, by virtue of their very longevity, seem to convey the wonder of originality. In Japan, neon signs tend to be replaced before they have been in place for ten years, as part of the constant quest for novelty. One senses a basic cultural difference at work here.

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