Too Many Strokes, Too Many Folk
Just think about it. English has 26 letters in its alphabet. Each letter is made up of 1 to 4 strokes. Japanese has 4 different writing systems (one of which is the Roman alphabet -- the ABCs of English,) 50 "letters" each in 2 of those systems and 50,000 to 80,000 kanji. Why no definite number? There's always dispute over whether a particular kanji is an independent kanji or just a variation of another. Many kanji are made up of only a few strokes, but here's one with 33 strokes.
It's actually made up of 3 kanji that mean "deer." It means "coming together all at once."
But that's not the "densest" kanji. Here's one that's 64 strokes.
It's made up of 4 kanji that mean "dragon." This one means "being verbose." How apropos!
Is this the "densest" kanji? Once again, there is dispute. One writer claims that this is it:
However, it is not of Chinese origin, being a domestic creation, so some linguists claim that you can't really call it "kanji." After all, kanji means "Chinese character." And no one could tell me how one would read it, much less what it means. But, at 84, it's tops in number of strokes.
What it all boils down to is, no matter what the media, if there is text, it is bound to be stroke-heavy and visually dense. You have to be oblivious to clutter in this kind of world and Tokyoites certainly are. The city is crammed with mismatched architecture. Shops are literally stuffed to the gills with merchandise. My Very Japanese Sister-in-law is only being her Very Japanese self when she buys more than the house can possibly contain, but I've gotten too used to open space, empty houses, minimal possessions. The clutter, the density, all the strokes and all the folk are slowly wearing me down. Or out.