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Spend enough time on the streets of Shinjuku, and you’ll eventually spot a flamboyantly dressed figure in a tiger mask carrying fake flowers, stuffed animals and a boombox. This is Shinjuku Tiger, the subject of a documentary of the same name out this week.

Tiger-san, as friends call him, has been a Shinjuku fixture since the early 1970s, donning his outfit whenever he leaves the house, even while at work as a newspaper deliveryman. It’s almost unbelievable his employer allows him to wear his getup while on the job, but this is Shinjuku, after all, which underneath its shiny 21st century exterior, remains a refuge for artists, thespians and other misfits.

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