Archive for 31 July, 2012

POTW: 23 July 2012, Summer Festivals

Photo of the Week, Japanese Festival (‘matsuri’)

It’s that time of year when many cities, towns, villages, communities have their festivals, usually before the official Summer Holidays (in Japanese, ‘Obon’), before everyone returns to their grandparent’s homes to visit the family clan, or are held during this time. The festivals typically feature portable shrines, floats, traditional dances, and has the gangster and gangster wannabes manning the food stalls on the side. Often the festivals are held at night when it is cooler, but still due to the residual heat and humidity some still dehydrate and suffer heatstroke. Add to that, the beer consumption is often high, but not binged. It’s also a time when young boys and girls are out scouting for ‘summer love’. Many people, of all ages, wear the summer version of the kimono called the yukata, or festival participant equivalent, the happi. For me, hearing the festival cymbals and drum practice in the weeks leading up to the town festivals is a sign that summer has come. See festival related photos on my PhotoShelter portfolio, Asia Photo Connection, by Henry Westheim agent’s website, and my YouTube videos:

A young woman beating the drum on her town’s portable shrine.

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3000 followers on Google+

As a thanks to all the 3,000 people and organisationos that are following me on Google+, here is a very, very special and rare discount coupon to celebrate all 3,000 of you. You get 15% off any purchase on my PhotoShelter portfolio, minimum purchase of USD$20. Campaign ends 31st July, 2012. Use this code G+3000 to claim your discount at my PhotoShelter portfolio. Shop today before you forget…

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POTW, 16 July 2012: Maritime Day

This Photo of the Week (POTW) is for Maritime Day. Originally on the 20th of July, but now on the third Monday of the month of July, annually. On this day, ocean going vessels did not leave the port. There usually is a fireworks show at Nagoya Port, and since it is summer, my guess is that other ports will also have a fireworks show, too. Since Japanese people love fireworks in summer, the two go hand in hand. More maritime and water related photos can be found at my Asia Photo Connection / Henry Westheim portfolio, and my PhotoShelter portfolio.

A small fishing vessel at sea in Ise Bay, with Nagoya Port in the background, early in the morning.

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Sumo Day 8

Another summary of the top bouts of the Nagoya summer tournament.

Kitataiki* attempts to throw 194 centimetre Makikai out of the ring, but Makikai switches precarious situation into an arm bar throwing ‘Taiki out of the ring.

Toshinowaka is pushed from the rear (again) out of the ring by Wakayama

Masanoyama belly-wobbles Takanofuji out of the ring.

Tamawashi flails against Miyabiyama, who slappled Tamawashi about, until Tamawashi is slapped out of the ring.

Yoshikaze dodges Sarumafuji on lift off, and the bout was over within 0.9secconds of start. The crowd was not moved.

Chiyotai is given a wedgie and lifted out of the ring by Kaisei (despite his sore back).

Toyobiki* is near defeat as Homasho struggles to wrestle him near the edge of the ring, but Toyobiki leans a little and twists Homasho out.

Tokitenku and Aran take the opportunity to hug in the middle for some time in the ring (42 secs), but Tokitenku lifts and nudges Aran out.

Huge heavy weight Georgian Gagamaru drives his head into fellow Georgian Tochinoshin’s chest and drives him backwards into the crowd.

Takekaze does the dishonerable by dodging and slapping down his opponent at the start of the bout. Another case where the crowd is not pleased.

Winless Takayasu is driven to the edge and out by Shohozan.

Takitenho flails hard but falls on his face in front of his opponent.

After some mind games ahead of the bout, stare-downs, and false start, Kisenosato and Wakakoryu struggle against each other, but Kisenosato cooly pushes out Wakakoryu.

Ozeki and Bulgarian Koto-oshu with broken foot loses to much lower ranked wrestler who scored his first win this tournament.

Harumafuji is airborne as Toyonoshima is pushed out of the ring. The ring is a little slippery with salt and drying clay.

Baruto, who was doing well, is pushed out by an eager lower-ranked opponent Ryogyuryu*

Tochiozan comes so close to winning against top-ranked Hakuho, as both wrestlers pull the same move almost simultaneously, and fall at nearly the same time.

Hakuho, Harumafuji remain undefeated, with four wrestlers with one loss.

*Spelling uncertain

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Heavy rain alert

There is a heavy rain alert issued by the Japanese Bureau of Meteorology. Already, urban area flooding has occurred, landslides in Gifu and in the south west of Japan. So far, two people are missing in landslide areas in the south. There is a risk of flood barriers collapsing, and threats of inundation. Many residents in low lying areas have been told to be prepared to evacuate at short notice. Some community shelters have already taken in elderly residents, and others who have difficulties moving. My area does have the threat of the local canals (pictured below) over flowing, and fire engines can sometimes be heard with sirens on going around my neighbourhood. Currently, the issued warnings say thunderstorms and dense fog. The full collection of photos in the Disaster gallery.

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Mt Fuji problems

NHK news acknowledged that there is geological activity around Mt Fuji. NHK reported that Mt Fuji formed 100,000 years ago, and 100,000 years after a shorter volcano at the same site had. Mt Fuji was formed from an eruption, and had almost swallowed up and covered over most of the older volcanic mountain. Since the March 11 earthquake the old mountain has become unstable, and could slide away (landslide). The old mountain is integral to the stability of Mt Fuji. If the old mountain slips away, then Mt Fuji could collapse. The other issue is that there is some studies under way to determine if there is any magma activity under Mt Fuji. The NHK report claims that there is probably no magma activity, though reports here on G+ suggest that there may be magma activity.

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Sumo day 1

Summary of the main bouts of Day 1 of the Nagoya Summer Sumo Tournament, in chronological order with the final and top ranked wrestler last.

Harumafuji weak start, but convincing, if not, gentle win.

Tokutenho is forced out by Baruto after a brief hugging match. Baruto uses his right knee to keep Tokutenho from escaping, forcing him to go wheels up in the crowd.

Kotoshogiku pushes out Tochiozan in a slap, run, get behind and push. Kotoshogiku uses good hip movement to keep balance and be well placed.

Kisenosato (aka Blinky, for his blinking habit ahead of a bout) had to chase his opponent (Myogiryu?)  around the ring before he was able to belly-out (frontal-force out) his opponent.

Toyonoshima and Hakuho both fall out of the ring and Hakuho touches the ground milliseconds before Toyonoshima. Judges declare a rematch. Hakuho struggles to get a two-hand grip, but almost immediately doing so pushes out Toyonoshima. Great sumo.

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