Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Shadows

 

at-heian-shrine_15927496810_o.jpgEach week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos highlighting shine. What delightful, shiny photos will you share?
If you want to see more fun fotos of shadows, click here.

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Which Way Challenge

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Pingyao, restaurant entrance

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets, exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

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Direction in Zhujiayu, China

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Path to a Restaurant in Kyoto, Japan

See more Which Way photos by clicking here.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Patterns

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos highlighting texture. What textures will you share?
If you want to see more fun, smooth fotos, click here.

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Sofubi

Until I saw this article in the Japan Times, I didn’t know anything about Japanese soft vinyl toys called sofubi. They’re sought after collectibles and when I went to eBay.com, the good ones cost $80 to $100 or more. according to the Japan Times, some cost up to $1000.

I can see that they’re an art form, but the price is hard to accept.

This I Couldn’t Believe


I saw on Inside Lens, a Japanese TV documentary that in Japan people rent “friends” if their real friends aren’t attractive enough for Instagram and social media photos or they rent families if they’re lonely. (That video’s not on YouTube.) Here Conan O’Brien used such a service.


Renting friends or family has such a melancholy feeling, but this other Japanese trend bothers me more. You can pay someone to apologize for you.

Huh?

While the service is costly at $400-500 USD, I still think these customers are getting off easy.

Morning for the Osone Family

MORNING FOR THE OSONE FAMILY

Keisuke Kinoshita’s Morning for the Osone Family (1946) probably couldn’t get made today. It’s an anti-WWII film that exposes how the military and government squelched free speech and exploited citizens even when Japan was at a point when it was clear they were bound to lose.

Curiously, the film begins with the Osone family celebrating Christmas and singing “Silent Night.” After some chit chat, the eldest son is summoned by law enforcement and is soon imprisoned for writing an article that subtly questioned Japan’s militarism.

It’s a big hit for a family whose father died a while back. The mother has tried to live up to the father’s pacifist philosophy. She continues to support her second son, who’s a struggling artist, and her daughter who wants to marry for love, but now that her fiancé has been drafted, is getting pressured by her uncle to marry a scion he’s lined up.

The family unity continues to dissolve. The painter gets drafted and the daughter goes to work in an army support job. The uncle, who’s an officer and very pro-war moves into the family home with his haughty wife. Their presence, and particularly their lavish lifestyle enjoying black market goods, while most citizens starve, sickens the mother and daughter. The final straw is when the uncle urges the youngest son, who’s still in high school, to enlist in the army.

Morning for the Osone Family offers a beautiful, moving view of history. My hunch is few Japanese have seen this film, but they should. We should too. I’m glad I did.

Sepia Saturday

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Dance is this week’s Sepia Saturday theme and I have found all kinds of different dances and dancers. Enjoy!

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Dancing in an Egyptian Tomb, National Archives of Estonia, 1910

I’m not convinced that’s a real tomb.

Ruth St. Denis (above) was an early pioneer of modern dance. She taught Martha Graham.

You can see more dancing posts by clicking here.

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Japanese high school girls learning to dance – 1926

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Midsummer Dance, Swedish Heritage Board, 1931

Portrait

VFW Hall Dance, US National Archives, 1946