Saturday, May 31, 2008

day 154 - Urban Birds of Japan (1)

"Bird That Eats Berries in the Snow."

Friday, May 30, 2008

day 153 - bird week

It may have escaped your notice, but it was National Bird Week two weeks ago, and I didn't think I should let this significant occasion pass without reference to the avian life of Himeji. So from tomorrow there will be a special feature on Urban Birds of Himeji.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

day 152 - a cow contemplates its future.

Outside restaurant off Miyukidori, Himeji.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

day 151 - logo theft

Actually, it's a candy, not a drink, from ORION:
"...we will be producing most joyful, fresh and characteristic sweets, especially for children all over the world.
Yes we are dream maker.
We bring a big dream packed in a tiny candy box.
We want to work for the society as a dream maker for all children all over the world."
Sounds like a religion... and they stole the logo! Even the ribbon-device. Is nothing sacred?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

day 148 - don't accept icecream from strangers...

Good Icecream Sellers.
(near Himeji Castle)

Evil Icecream Seller.
(Kibitsu-jinja, near Okayama)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

day 147 - the prick room

Such a hard choice... Shall we go to the Posh Club or the Prick Room?...
(off Miyukidori, Himeji.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

day 146 - little boxes

Couldn't resist this one. We were in Shikama and I looked back to see a yard full of fruit crates or something backgrounded by apartments. It brought to mind a folk song I used to sing back in the 60s/70s about conformity -  Little boxes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

day 145 - kegs & legs

Corner bar, Umeda station, Osaka. I'm not sure whether the purple curtain's there for ambience or privacy...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

day 144 - recycle

Petrified coconut palm stump used as a shrine-bowl, Kenrokuen Botanical Gardens, Kanazawa.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

day 143 - look a round

The elevator from Hollander Slopes to Glover Gardens, Nagasaki is the only one we've ever been on that travels at 45 degrees...

Monday, May 19, 2008

day 142 - dohyo ring

The sumo ring (dohyo, literally 'clay and bales'), which really is circular, unlike the western boxing 'ring', is 4.6m in diameter and a little over 60cm (2ft) high. It is made entirely of rice bales and clay, with a topping of raked sand. The sumo bout takes place within an inner circle, representing infinity. Beyond the ring at the four compass points are the taokudawara or 'privilege bales', the only places where a sumotori may step outside the circle and not be disqualified. Above the ring hangs the yakata, a roof resembling a shinto shrine. Red, green, white and black tassels representing the seasons hang from the yakata's four corners. See day 72 for more.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

day 141 - round trip

Pentagram in a circle. Detail of the roof of the beautiful Kanazawa Railway Station.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

day 140 - rounding on the wine

Wine is gaining popularity in Japan. We've tried reds and whites from France, Italy, South Africa, Chile & of course Australia, but there's also a fledgling local industry. We visited the Shimane Winery out of Taisha. It wasn't so good. Maybe we've been spoilt back in South Australia living so close to McLaren Vale.

Friday, May 16, 2008

day 139 - round pound

"Usu and kine." Shinzaike, Himeji.
The Japanese mortar and pestle traditionally used for making mochi, the very smooth and sticky rice paste used in many Japanese sweets. (See day 28.) When we watched, two men, each with a kine (mallet) alternated and chanted to keep time while a woman put her hands in the usu from time to time to turn the ball of rice. They must have had a bit of practice - we didn't witness any injuries!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

day 138 - rice ball

"Sugi for sake."
The sugidama is made from needles of the Japanese Cedar (sugi), woven into a spherical bamboo lattice. Since pre-literate times this furry ball has hung outside of sake breweries to advertise the new vintage. By the time it's brown, the sake is supposedly ready to drink. But who waits that long?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

day 137 - not a mere sphere

Lyn ponders a spherical shrine at Daioh Wasabi Farm, near Nagano.
I've noticed people often pile stones on torii and shrines. Can anyone tell me why? Wakarimasen...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

day 136 - re: coil

 "Coiled Cushion for Fibonacci's Arse."

Seat cushion, old Samurai Quarters, Matsue.

Monday, May 12, 2008

day 135 - playing a round

Originally just kids' bouncing balls, the Matsumoto temari are now an intricately woven and embroidered art-form.
(Matsumoto City Museum)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

day 134 - inversion: reflections in a circle

Traditional parasol and sakura reflected in this shrine bowl in the old samurai district of Matsue. *

Momiji (Japanese Maple) leaves in a shrine bowl, near Magome.

Reflected winter branches, old Samurai district, Hagi.

* I've entered some of my images in a photo competition. If you'd like to have a look or vote for me, they're  HERE and HERE. Thanks, Rob.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

day 133 - sphere of humanity

"Constellation Earth" by Paul T Granlund, Peace Park, Nagasaki.

Friday, May 9, 2008

day 132 - cyclic

"The bicycle that died of hypothermia."

near Shirasagi, Himeji.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

day 131 - cold and tired

Wheels within wheels outside this bike ship on Otemaedori, Himeji

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

day 130 - concentric concrete

"Pipe Dreams."
Shirahama Elementary School.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

day 129 - concentric construction

kids' play apparatus, Shirahama Elementary.

Monday, May 5, 2008

day 128 - recirculation

A giant plug-hole drains the water from Himeji castle moat back into the Senba River.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

day 126 - circlets

A tiny universe within a whisked cup of mattcha (powdered green tea), Shamisen no Fukushima, Arakawa

Friday, May 2, 2008

day 125 - slow-growth rings

Pinus concretus
log seat, Tegarayama Park.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

day 124 - gun circle

When Himeji castle was built in 1608 it had all the latest technology. As well as vertical arrow-slits for defence, it had triangular and circular holes for the new-generation muskets.