Archive for the ‘photography’ Category


It seems a great many people who arrive in Japan wind up trying to reinvent themselves, even if that wasn’t their intention at all when they set out.  I can’t say for sure why this is.  Perhaps the relative scarcity of opportunities allows some of us to look into possibilities we wouldn’t have taken as seriously back home.

I certainly won’t try to guess at what motivates the author of Frangipani, a wonderful little blog from an Australian in Tokyo.  But it’s been fun reading her site and following her work as she’s honed her camera skills and begun to think about launching her own photography business.  She wrote recently about the “Thousand True Fans” theory, a somewhat optimistic idea making its rounds on the internet, claiming that all an artist needs to make a living is 1,000 devoted fans.  I can’t vouch for the theory’s soundness, but if her work continues in the direction it’s going, she can sign me up.  

Be sure to click around a bit; her photographs are kept in several different places.  Here or from the sidebar.


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In addition to the many wonderful photoblogs maintained by Japanese bloggers, there are a growing number of excellent offerings from foreign residents in Japan.  One of the best of these is Sushicam, an eight-year old blog started by Jeff Laitila.  Jeff is an American living in Yokosuka, and the blog consists of both his writing and photography.  There are also occasional posts from guest bloggers, and hundreds of photos to look at in the archives. 

Here, or from the sidebar.

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Here’s a blog that leaves Japan’s city streets behind in favor of a walk in the hills. “Laughing Knees” is a Japanese term for the shaky feeling in your legs after a long, steep descent. The blog’s writer calls himself Butuki, and describes himself like this:

A German/ Filipino/ African-American who grew up in Japan, it’s not really my genes that matter to me, but the timbre of place and kinship. If there is anything I would rather be doing, that would be a long walk in the hills, be it alone with my camera and sketchbook, or with a good, like-minded friend.

This is a great blog for anyone interested in outdoor Japan, and an excellent reminder of the country’s astonishing natural beauty. You can visit here or from the sidebar.

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Tsure Zure Gusa is the title of an old Japanese novel, translated into English as Essays in Idleness.   The only idle thing about this blog is the rate of postings.  Written by Tokyo’s Quinlan Faris, the blog combines interesting (if infrequent) entries about daily life in Tokyo, local politics, learning Japanese and other subjects with a gallery page that offers some really superb photography.  Organized into three broad topics (Tokyo, sumo and festivals), there are about twenty photo albums online here, all well worth a look.  

Sidebar or here

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Alive in Kyoto is the blog of Nils Ferry, an American father living and writing in Kyoto.  On the blog, he documents daily life in Kyoto both through writing and his excellent photographs.  Recent posts include video from the Kurama Fire Festival in October and the January Ebisu Festival, both quite good.  And with posts going back more than five years, there’s plenty to see and read here.

Check it out from the sidebar, or click here.

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