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Not a great view of Japan’s icon

My first time at Mt Fuji, and it seems we’re a week too early for the cherry blossoms, also it’s a cloudy hazy day, so people waited at the pagoda observation platform waiting for a better view to emerge. BUT! The clouds cleared just as we got into the hotel at the end of the day. So, I got a beautiful view that includes a power pole 🤦‍♂️

The KickStarter campaign has ended

So, we didn’t get any backers this time around for the Cost-share Product Shoot on KickStarter, and that’s ok. This was always a learning experience in online marketing, and a test of a new concept. I’m still going to do what I specialise in, travel photography, and continue branching into product photography. We have got new leads, which we didn’t have before. We have new marketing tools at our disposal, which we didn’t have before. We also have new contacts, which we didn’t have before. Consequently, despite the zero number posted, there are still big wins for us. In the coming weeks, we will be pursing the new leads we got out of promoting this project.

Lifestyle of a Japanese girl at home during the hottest days of summer.

Lifestyle of a Japanese girl at home during the hottest days of summer.

Final comments

Thanks so much to my models, Eri, Chiaki, and Miyu for keeping the shoot day available, and for their interest to help. Thanks so much to Ksara, my favourite makeup artist, for also keeping the date available, and for her interest in the project. Also thanks to the two house owners (in Yokohama & Nagoya) for agreeing to allow us to shoot in their properties should we make a booking. Also, thanks to my sisters for sharing promotional posts on social media, and their words of encouragement. Also, thanks to my old and new social media followers for your kind words of support, encouragement, and likes & shares.

We are still available for product photography, and to help with product placement imagery. Also, we may give this project a second attempt in the Spring of 2018. We are always available for product photography, just drop us a line.


Stuck In Customs for real at Nagoya Airport?

Cathay Pacific in Nagoya made no announcements in English or Chinese, only in Japanese. Due to the strong winds, they could not open the cargo bay doors, and so the Japanese only language announcement said that they can deliver your suitcases tomorrow. Go to a counter at the end of the carousels to fill in a Customs Declaration and delivery form. Also, due to the strong winds, the airport train is not operating, instead, get your ticket and ask for the bus to Tokoname station (just across from the airport island), and change to the train to Nagoya there. The last train for the evening is at 11.30pm (in 20mins time). Hurry, or you’ll be stuck.   

Media censorship in Japan

The Japanese LDP led Diet has passed a bill that allows both media censorship and criminal charges and imprisonment for journalists. This is despite strong opposition including 77% of the public disapproving (Japan Times). Fortunately, it still has to be approved by the upper house.
It’s one of those sad days when a democratically elected government tries to hide their goings on from their people. They’ll be able to hide their mistakes, exploit the voters ignorance, and act with near impunity. No government should ever be allowed to criminalise at whim reporting to the public by a “free press”. Please show your opposition to this horrendous bill: For this photo, and other Japanese media related photos, see the Media in Japan gallery.

Anti nuclear protests in Japan

I don’t want to get political, but nearly EVERYbody is against nuclear power in Japan, yet politicians and big businesses are ignoring democratic demands. A member on Google+ posted this picture and message:

Tens of thousands protesting in front of the Prime Minister of Japan’s office – protesting NO NUKES!!! Yet there isnt any disclosure of this in any of the media and press throughout all of Japan.  Please share..
首相官邸前に多くの人が集まり、原発反対と訴えています。これが​報道されていないとは。メディア・コントロールって言うの (G+)

My reply was, “when popular media fails, we have Google+“. At the same time, there are extremely dangerous levels of radioactive water in the basement of reactor four at Fukushima, which is located by the sea (Japan Today). Furthermore, Fukushima seafood is back on the menu (BBC). Also see the New York Times article on that 10,000’s protested (some claims of up to 150,000), claiming it’s the largest protests in Japan since the 1960’s (NYTimes).

POTW: 5Mar 2012 Sakura

This Photo of the Week is for Spring. In southern parts of Japan cherry blossoms, known in Japanese as ‘sakura’, will soon start blooming, and as the warmer temperature clime moves north blomming will reach central Japan early April, and be in Hokkaido at about the end of April early May. Of the many species of cherry blossoms in Japan, the particular ones Japanese most enjoy bloom for just one week. However, some springs are a bit windy which blows the petals away within a few days, and some springs are warm and so the blooming time can be almost two weeks. Whilst the flowers are in bloom, many community groups, groups of friends & families, and companies get together for picnic, barbeques, and to consume lots of Asahi beer. This kind of party is known in Japanese as ‘hanami’, translated as ‘flower viewing’.

The reason why cherry blossoms became so popular for parties is that they are a metaphor for a warrior’s life. It is short lived, beautiful, and ends suddenly. The tradition continues in modern times presumably because it is a convenient narrow-point in the calendar to identify the time for such parties. In spring there are other species of cherry blossoms that bloom for almost a whole month, and the much prettier plum flowers bloom for a month or so as well.

Lunar Eclipse, 10 December 2011

Last night, here in Japan most of us got to see the total lunar eclipse… or parts of it. There was cloud cover on the Korean Sea side of Japan, and patchy cloud sliding across the sky where I am. And it was quite late, so most people had brief looks at it. The last total lunar eclipse that was seen in Japan was eleven years ago, and only seen from Okinawa. I think the next total lunar eclipse will be 8th October, 2014 at or just after moon rise.

JASDF Grounds its F15 jets

It was announced tonight that the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) has grounded its fleet of 202 F-15 Eagle fighter jets. This follows an incident today where the external tank under the port wing of one appeared to have disintegrated or exploded and fell near Nomi City as the jet was approaching the Komatsu City air base for landing. The NHK report also says that even though the jets are grounded, they will still be on stand by ready to respond to any airspace incursions. This comes at a time when the Chinese military is attempting to extend its reach into Asia and make maritime claims including Okinawa’s Sengoku Islands, and the Spratley Islands of Vietnman, Malaysia, Philippines, and Taiwan. The incident with the F15 today, follows several other incidents where parts have fallen from the planes mid-flight.


A Buddhist Temple: Jodo Shinshu sect

A special thanks to the wife of the current monk of the Jokoji Temple for letting me in to spend an hour photographing there. It turned out not to be long enough, but there’ll be more opportunities in the future.

The Jokoji Temple is a part of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism. The name is in Japanese, and the translation is “True Pure Land School”. The school was formed after the founder, Shinran, was concerned about the direction his Buddhism was going, and wanted to maintain Buddhism in Japan, as it was meant to be.

My collection of images from the temple interior are very rare, and this was a very unique opportunity, so please be very respectful with the use of these images. The collection includes an image of Shinran, statue of Buddha, religious objects, and sutra books. The red sutra books (pictured below) are special. In the early days of Jodo Shinshu, there was a temple fire and the sutra books are very precious items. So a monk ran back into the fire to retrieve some, unfortunately he could not get out. The monk cut open his belly and put the books inside himself so that they could be protected from the fire. In memory of the monk the books are now coloured red, and cannot be placed directly onto the floor.

The images should soon be available on my Asian Photo Connection portfolio.

The statue of Buddha in Jokoji Temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism.

A statue of Buddha leaning forward ready to help someone in need, inside the Jokoji Temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism.

Religious objects in Jokoji Temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism.

Sutra books, prayer beads, sashes, and bell infront of the statue of Buddha inside the Jokoji Temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Japanese Buddhism.

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