Sunday, July 8, 2018

Minimal Geometric Abstract 3

Another photographic interlude of some of my favorite photos. Diagonal, shadow, and rust.... can't go wrong with that combination.

Architecture is an obvious choice of subject for the kind of imagery I am attracted to. Japanese tile roofs are a goldmine of pattern.....

Yin and Yang, positive and negative,..... not sure why but I seem to have a knack for seeing such things ....

curves and shadows......light and pattern....... of course sunsets, flowers, landscapes and such are beautiful, but we are surrounded by beauty in the man-made and natural world.....

Reflection, another subject that can't fail to produce....... my photography (and hence my "eye",... even my self) is very very simple.....

BTW I now have a large format photo printer so if anyone is interested in purchasing prints please let me know.... :)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Midsummer Kagura

Back in June we took some friends to a nightime outdoor kagura festival, the first time in a long time that I had watched some kagura.

I was delighted to see a dance , Iwagami, that I don't remember having seen before. It was performed by a group from Misumi, and so was Masuda-style with a couple of masks that I had also not seen before.

Some of the special effects were also new to me and so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The demons also had a mask change which also pleased me.

There were about 6 dances in total and they were all enjoyable. The event was free, which also pleases me. I recently saw some adverts for some Iwami Kagura performances in Tokyo, and the tickets started at 5,000 yen. Suckers!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Onigawara of Shikoku part 2

Onigawara, "DemonTiles", are the , usually ceramic, tiles decorated with the face of a demon usually found on the roofs of temples, and sometimes shrines and private dwellings.

Meant to protect the building by warding off evil, my own fascination with them is in their diversity, so I seek them out whenon my travels and am always looking for unique ones.

All of these I encountered while walking the Shikoku Pilgrimage known as Ohenro. The first photo is from Fujiidera, the 11th temple on the pilgrimage.

The second photo is from Jurakuji, temple 14, and the third is from a small Chinese style chapel nearby.

The 4th is from Kokubunji, temple, number 15, and the final photo is from Kongochoji, temple 26.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Saiki Reflections

In the early evening I was heading to my minshuku and crossed the river. The strong light and fairly calm surface produced some quite nice reflections.

That's all. No more words, just pics. The final photo is cherry blossoms.....

Monday, April 30, 2018

Kanmon Bridge

The Kanmom Straits, one of the entrances into the Seto Inland Sea, separate Honshu and Kyushu, and at its narrowest is only about 800 meters wide.

The Kanmon Bridge was one of the biggest suspension bridges in the world when it opened in 1973 to carry road traffic across the straits from Shimonoseki to Kitakyushu.

The central span is just over 1,000 meters. Prior to its construction there was a road tunnel beneath the water, as well as a tunnel for trains and even a pedestrian tunnel.

Ferries still connect the two sides as they have for centuries.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Saiki Castle

Saiki, on the coast of southern Oita Prefecture was a castle town in the Edo Period. Built in 1606 by Mori Takamasa, Tsuruya Castle, now known as Saiki Castle, was built on top of  Mount Hachiman.

Most of the castle burnt down in a fire just 11 years later, and was not rebuilt as Mori relocated his headquarters to the base of the mountain, where the main gate of the castle, built in 1637, is the only structure still standing.

After quite a climb up the mountain you can still see a lot of the original stonework . It was not a big castle but had a three storey keep.

It is worth the climb for the expansive views down on the town, across to Shikoku, and across the banjo River.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sasaguri Pilgrimage Honmyoin

Though it is numbered 33 in the 88 temples of the pilgrimage, Honmyoin is often the first temple visited as it is located close to Sasaguri Station.

The honzon is Yakushi Nyorai, the "Medicine Buddha", and there is some connection with temple 33 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage which also venerates Yakushi, though it is a Zen temple and this one is Tendai.

There was lots of statuary considering how small the temple is. Not sure who this is but I like its lack of sophistication.

There were several Fudo Myo's, an indication of how popular statues of him are on the pilgrimage. There is often a priest on duty and it is possible to buy stamp books and other supplies here.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Married Rocks of Kamiura

Meoto Iwa, literally "married rocks" are found at numerous points around the Japanese coastline. A larger rock is connected to a smaller rock by a shimenawa.

The most famous Meoto Iwa, and probably the original one, is on the coast near Ise Shrine up in Mie. This one is at Kamiura, a little fishing village, now part of Saiki City in Oita.

Like most of Japan, once you get away from the heavily industrialized and urbanized areas it really is quite pretty.

The "husband" rock is 17 meters tall, and the "wife" rock 7 meters. The shimenawa connecting them is 65 meters long and weighs 2 tons. It is replaced once a year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The first seven temples of the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage are located on the Kunisaki Peninsula. Rather than visit them in numerical order I decided instead to walk most of the Kunisaki Minemichi Long Trail, a 137 kilometer route that to a large extent follows the ancient yamabuchi pilgrimage route that winds around the peninsula.

The route starts at Taizoji, actually it starts up above the temple at the largest cliff carvings in Japan. The temple is now uninhabited. There is a lot of statuary,..... the 7 lucky gods,..... the Chinese zodiac animals..... several Fudo Myo's....... quite an emphasis on genze riyaku, praying for "practical benefits".

Behind the main buildings was a new, small building devoted to prayers for luck with the lottery...

It was up the mountainside behind the temple that the real delights await.....

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tsukumi to Saiki, Day 16 on my walk around the Kyushu Pilgrimage

21st of March, 2013, the 16th day of my walk around Kyushu was a glorious day. Most of the day was along the coast with no big towns.

During the day I past dozens of small shrines to Ebisu,... not surprising with his association with fishing. Not sure what this shrine was on one of the small offshore islets.

Cherry blossom season was in full swing and there were many trees along the road, but I am more impressed with the mountainsides of Yamazakura.......

At Kamiura I stopped to photograph the meoto iwa..... the "married rocks". The most famous ones are up near Ise in Mie I believe but I've come across lots of others like here....

From the Saiki castle ruins there was a great view across the channel to Shikoku.....

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