About this time next month there will be the Naked Man Festival, aka Hadaka Matsuri, apparently on the 12th February (Kikuko’s Website). The festival doesn’t have men who are actually stark-naked, nor are they all men, there are boys there, too. Also, you might be thinking, “Next month? But it’s winter, isn’t it?”. Yes, it’s winter, and it’s cold, and it may snow. There is a historical reason for the festival, which involved famines, plagues, and such problems over a thousand years ago, and so the religious elite decided to have a festival where people endure the pain of the cold in order to life the blight afflicting them (JapanesePhotos.Asia/blog, Japan Visitor, Kikuko’s Website).
For this photo, and others like it, see my Naked Man Festival gallery on my PhotoShelter portfolio, and my agent’s website. Also, you can see the 2012 Naked Man Festival video, to enjoy entirely free.
There was an explosion at Mitsubishi Materials chemical plant in Yokkaichi (ABC, BBC, Japan Times). It has been reported that there are 5 dead. This part of Japan has suffered numerous industrial problems including Yokkaichi Asthma, and drinking water issues. It has been known to be the most polluted city in Japan.
I believe I have taken a photo of the affected plant. According to Google Maps, the Mitsubishi Materials plant and this photo (Sony a77 GPS data) are of the same place.
Probably the Mitsubishi Materials plant where the 9th January 2014 explosion occurred.
The photo below was taken from the Yokkaichi Port Building, and looks over the Mitsubishi Materials affected plant. For this photo, and others like it, see my agent’s website, “Yokkaichi”.
A view of the Yokkaichi industrial area
That’s right, the Tokyo Winter Tournament starts it’s fifteen day run from Sunday. Tickets are available from web vendors like this one (no affiliation), and you can view it online on your very own computer from morning to 6pm Tokyo time, Watch Sumo Online. The cheapest tickets are about ¥1,000 (USD$10; far back, up in the rafters), and the most expensive are the tiny box seats from about about ¥40,000 (USD$400). This year, it may be the year Hakuho loses his dominance, and a whole new generation may displace my long-time favourites. It should be an exciting year. See my sports gallery for sumo photos, and my agent’s website. Also, I do have a sumo photo video.
Here is the video of the Top 85 Japanese Photos of 2013. Also, enjoy the music, it’s fun.
What better way to start the New Year than with a coupon for 10% off any photo purchase, but only for images on my PhotoShelter portfolio. No restrictions on the number of times you can use it, and you can pass the coupon on to anyone. Minimum purchase is USD$20, until 31st January (New York time zone).
This can be used for personal and professional uses including personal and professional blogs, licensing, gallery quality prints, t-shirts, mugs, and lots more.
Coupon code: NEWYEAR2014 (write it down, it’s hard to remember
This is the first Photo of the Week for 2014, so it’s only fitting to look at what’s up in Japan now… snow! Shirakawa town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is in the Gifu mountains, and is pretty guarranteed to get lots of snow. The town is in fact a collection of rural houses moved to this location to help centralise and maintain a traditional architectural style, and also to maintain the culture required to re-thatch the roofs every 20 years. This photo was taken on film, and the others in the Shirakawa Gallery of my PhotoShelter portfolio were taken on a mix of film and digital.
Welcome to the New Year. Hope all your dreams, plans, and endeavours come true, better than you expect. The photo below is a typical Japanese concept; showing the first sunrise of the New Year is an iconic image. Here, it shows popular amusement park, Nagashima Spa Land. Also, here’s a video and wonderful music of a New Year sunrise.
Sunrises are often used on New Year cards in Japan
New Year’s Eve is a special time in Japan. Since the 1980′s and Wham’s song “Last Christmas”, Christmas in Japan has become known as a time for romance and young couples (Japan Today). However, New Year in Japan is a family time. It’s also a time when mainly men, after the family has gone to bed, go to the local temples and shrines to hear the sutra’s and prayers read to ring in the New Year, and to hang out and drink sake with their local buddies in the freezing cold. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve and night.
In Kougakuri Temple, where Ieyasu Tokugawa’s remains are kept
This Photo of the Week (POTW) is from a shoot I did in the early autumn in Osaka. As you can see, it’s a great way to send a message. For this photo, and others like it, see Ana’s Gallery on my PhotoShelter portfolio. Also, there’s a discount coupon available, with a very, very limited time it’s still available for. Finally, have a happy and prosperous 2014.
A young lady holding a message.
Wishing you the best for the New Year for you, your friends and family, and all your endeavours.
A Shinto priest in front of a shrine on New Years eve.