Archive for December 31, 2013

New Year’s Eve

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.

A monk chanting sutras to welcome in the New Year

In Kougakuri Temple, where Ieyasu Tokugawa’s remains are kept

#POTW New Year message and photo

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.

A young lady holding a message.

Death of a young war photographer

A few weeks ago, Molhem Barakat, died in the Syrian civil war. Not as a fighter, but as a war photographer for Reuters News Agency. It has since been revealed that he earned only $100 per batch of 10 photos he uploaded daily (PetaPixel). He should have been paid more than that, and on a per photo basis. The other point of concern is that Reuters never provided him with training, and it would seem that they have no or little intention to provide support to his family, and have little remorse for his loss. There is also some disagreement about his age at the time of hiring and his death. If you’re interested in showing your support for Molhem, and to prevent Reuters from exploiting other such people, Change.Org has a petition you can sign.

#POTW Christmas in Japan

This Photo of the Week is of course about Christmas. Christmas in Japan is not a family event like it is in Europe, North America, and other such countries. Instead it’s a regular work day, and all good little Japanese boys and girls wake up excitedly and early, and go off to school… as per usual. Otherwise, it’s a day for young couples. Apparently, ever since the 1980’s group Wham released the song Last Christmas, 25th December has been associated with young romance (Japan Today). Additionally, since Christmas lights are so pretty, why take them down after Christmas? Why not rename them as “Winter Illuminations”, and now you’ve got a long-lasting winter delight. These lights below are from the Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park) in Nagashima, which is pretty renowned in central Japan.

This photo, and others like it is available at my agent’s website. Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful New Year and 2014.

A couple admiring the field of decorative lights at Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park) during the annual winter illumination, Nagashima, Mie, Japan

A couple admiring the field of decorative lights at Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park) during the annual winter illumination, Nagashima, Mie, Japan

New banner & photo for winter

With the recent disruptions, I took the opportunity to try a new blog theme. Unfortunately, the header pictures I’ve had were not large enough for the job. So, again I took the opportunity (read, “wasted more time”) to (re)make my winter theme banner. To make it, I’ve added a bit of grunge to the corners, and an icy shade of white, added some opacity, and a couple of flakes. Hopefully you won’t feel too chilled looking at it… unless your in the southern hemisphere… This image, and others like it are available in the Shirakawa Gallery at my PhotoShelter portfolio, and at my agent.


Eh! Hours of work to restore this blog. I think I now side with those who feel hackers who wish to make a mess of other people’s websites ought to be neutered. Not being a master programmer, it took hours of work, but I think it’s all back to normal… I just need to choose a new theme.

#TGIF Nagoya Motor Show

The recent Tokyo Motor Show has ended, they’ve upped stakes and have now come to the home and heart land of the Toyota Motor Company. The biennial Nagoya Motor Show is on from Thursday the 12th to Sunday the 15th at Port Messe, Nagoya Port (via the Aonami Line from Nagoya Station) (JETRO). According to JETRO, it received 203,900 visitors to see a total of 93 exhibitors, including local and foreign car makers. The most interesting exhibitors in 2011 were Nissan and Suzuki. The most boring, other than Toyota, were the Japanese highway companies showing off their sexy highway inspection cars and cleaners.

See here for previous Nagoya Motor Show blog posts, photos from the 2011 show at my agent, and my PhotoShelter portfolio.

Nagoya Motor Show – Images by Andrew Blyth

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