Tag Archive for sunrise

A poem of the first hope for 2011

My New Year’s routine is to go to a local Buddhist Temple to see in the New Year and take my turn to toll the bell, and then to a Shrine to eat warm oudon and drink my first (and usually only) sake for the year, and in the morning to see the first sunrise. I went out really early in the morning on the 1st January 2011 to get sunrise pictures. It’s not my preferred subject, but it’s special to Japanese people, to send New Years cards that feature a sunrise, especially the first one of the year. We send Christmas cards, they send New Year cards to their friends. That day I took a friend out with me to take him to see one of my favourite sunrise pictures ever, which I happen to have taken. Unfortunately, we were about 500m too far to the left, and so we missed getting the sun rising through a local amusement park (see link for that picture). As a consequence and with some irony, I just photographed on anyway, shooting the rising sun with a smoke stack / cooling tower in view.

Every time I’m out there alone I wonder what the year will bring, what will happen in the coming year. Will it be exciting or uneventful? On the 1st January 2011, the first day of the new year there was hope, optimism, potential for everyone in Japan. Below is a video of the photographs I took to commemorate the day of a new and potentially exciting year, a year that many would rather forget, but will always be remembered. There was too much irony for me to ignore these photographs.

My best new year photos are on my agent’s website, Asian Photo Connection by Henry Westheim, and here is a search for “Japanese New Year“, and many of those photos (including the boats, dog, etc) were taken on 1st January, 2011.

Sunrise over the popular Nagashima Spa Land, 2009

Sunrises are often used on New Year cards in Japan

New Year

Happy New Year, and best of wishes for 2010.  Below are some Japanese New Year related images.

Among other themes, sunrises are used to symbolise the New Year and a new start. So, many Japanese use the sunrise theme as well as Chinese Zodiac animals for New Year’s cards that they send to friends and family. Increasingly, young families are sending cards that include pictures of themselves on it. This sunrise image unfortunately also includes industrial emissions from factories in Nagoya Port. The foreground is of the roller-coaster and ferris wheel of Nagashima Spa Land.

Sunrises are often used on New Year cards in Japan

Sunrises are often used on New Year cards in Japan

Link to another sunrise image with Nagashima Spa Land, Japanese fishing boats with Shinto New Year mementos for the luck and safety of fisherman for the coming year.

The second image is a door decoration that is usually hung over the front door of a residence. Both of these images will soon be available at my agent’s website, Asian Photo Connection.

A Japanese New Year decoration

A Japanese New Year decoration