It’s International Women’s Day (Wikipedia). Japan isn’t exactly the symbol or beacon of gender equality, but there are some highlights. Over fifty years ago, women in Japanese universities were extremely rare or not even allowed in, however, they are now making up over 50% of university entrants. I have read somewhere that Japan probably has the world’s best educated housewives. Women are taking up an increasing number of office jobs, though some struggles remain. Sayaka Osakabe recently won an American award for promoting women’s rights in the workplace (on 7th March 2015, Japan Today). The number of women in Japan’s parliament has doubled in the last twenty years, and Japan has moved up 14 places in world rankings; albeit from 127th to 113th (6th March, 2015 Japan Times). There will surely be more achievements in the future, however, what is needed? What is the highest priority now?
JapanesePhotos.Asia wishes for a great day to all women everywhere, and a hope for fortune and happiness to all people.
New TGIF photos of my favourite models have finally been completed (it’s been a painfully busy time for me). The first batch are already on my PhotoShelter portfolio (Chihiro & Brooke), and more will be soon added to my agent’s website.
A Caucasian and Japanese woman in a bar with wine.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon will be on this Sunday, 9th March. At time of writing I don’t have any specific news about it, but I suspect that it will have all of Japan’s top women competing, and tens of thousands of women, and hundreds (or thousands) of men, too. In previous years it has been an Olympic qualifying event attracting various internarion runners (previous blog posts, 2012 and 2013, blog tag ‘marathon‘). For these photos see my PhotoShelter portfolio and my agent’s website. I will probably attend the event, so new photos may be added.
Good luck to the competitors, and best wishes to all the runners entering. For everyone else, on Sunday I’ll be on Twitter/JapanesePhotos.
Every new year needs a review of the old. Ok, yes, this is coming a little late, but timed for when most people are back at work and can benefit from this. The top 5 photos are available at both my PhotoShelter portfolio and my agent’s website.
Actually, in my list of 100 top photos of all time, nothing from 2013 appears, yet. However, on a photographer’s social networking site, 500px, this was one of the top photos, and was listed at “Popular” for a couple of days: an achievement. Both models were a delight to work with, and it was a fun morning. Thanks Ana and Brooke 🙂 This photo is available on my PhotoShelter portfolio and can be seen at 500px.
Young twenty-something friends on a day out in Osaka.
What could be more popular than the above ‘City Angel’? Naked men giving each other wedgies, of course! The Naked Man Festival is a winter event, and will be on again soon, and yes, this really is one of the top 100 photos of all time. From a quick check of my previous blog posts, I’ve written quite a bit on the annual Naked Man Festival, held in Komaki, just outside of Nagoya.
I don’t know why, but Korean royalty is one of the most popular photos on JapanesePhotos.Asia. Obviously they are actors performing for tourists at Gyeongbok Palace. Incidentally, it was Japanese assassins who killed of most of the Korean royal family, paving way for a Japanese annexing of the peninsula starting from 1910 to 1945. This was a time when the Korean people were brutally treated (Wikipedia), and is still an open wound that current Japanese politicians do not or won’t understand (Japan Today).
I did this collection of photos with Ai in 2012, and this one was the top favourite in 2013. You can see my previous blog post of this photo in a tearsheet, and other previous Jazz Dance posts, too. It’s always a pleasure to work with jazz dancers, they know how to pose, they enjoy performing, and they have infinitely more energy than I. A new jazz dance project is in the planning stages for winter 2014, so keep an eye out for that, and please show support with microdonations on Flattr, every little bit helps.
I had the privilege to work with two of the best jazz dancers in Japan for this little project. These girls are professional dancers, choreographers, and instructors, so they know what they’re doing, perhaps better than I. Jazz dancers often also train in contemporary ballet, so presented here is a mix of jazz dance, ballet, yoga, portraits, ‘city ballet’, and a whole lot of fun. Some of these images are available via my agent at Asia Photo Connection (Henry Westheim), whilst others are available at my own portfolio.
This photo of the week is from the 42 kilometer Nagoya Women’s Marathon held just yesterday (Official site). The winner was Russia’s Albina Mayorova with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 52 seconds; second was Japan’s Yoshimi Ozaki who finished with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 14 seconds; and media favourite Mizuki Noguchi finished 6th in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 33 seconds, all boosting their chances to qualify for the London Olympics (source). Japan’s national broadcaster NHK did not report that Mayoroya won the race, but instead reported on only the Japanese competitors.
Despite the temperature reaching only 12 degrees Celsius, it was pleasantly warm in the sun in places where there was no cool breeze. The competition fielded 15,000 entrants, mainly locals, and included some men, starting at Nagoya (sports) Dome running through the centre of Nagoya, passing by the department store shopping district, Nagoya Castle, Nagoya City and Aichi Prefectural government offices, before returning to Nagoya Dome. Also, flags flying at Nagoya City government offices were flying at half mast in commemoration of the victims who died and suffered from the 11th March earthquake this time last year.