Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy New Year at Naminoue Shrine

 The back side of Nainoue Shrine in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.

During the New Year celebration, temples like this one are a buzz of activity. In addition to the business the temples do selling talismans of good luck, smaller merchants and vendors set up temporary booths to sell their wares, food, gifts or games of chance. It's a carnival like atmosphere.
 Many people will dress up in their finest, particularly the older and the youngest generations. It's wonderful to see people dressed in traditional Japanese kimonos, particularly the little ones like this little gal below.

 Talismans of good luck are sold as well as figurines for display in the home. Themes are often associated with the Shichi-fuku-jin (the seven happy Gods) or the symbol of the Chinese zodiac symbol of the new year.
This is the main entrance to the Naminoue Temple Shrine in Naha, Okinawa Japan. Traditionally, folks make their way up to the temple by going in through the torii gate and up the left side of the walkway, then the leave out by going down on their left side (our right in this photo) of the gate. That may also explain, to some degree, why the Japanese drive on the left.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Balancing Act

This photo is one of my favorites.

We, my wife and I, stumbled upon this just as it was happening. Here a ceremony is being performed by a local shaman priestess. Not to worry, we had permission to shoot photos of it. Several of the pictures were put into a story and posted on the Everywhere Magazine website. One of the pictures was even published in the last issue before the magazine folded. Things are tough all over!

Thinking the show was over, I had already put my big camera away and we were leaving. I squeezed it off using a little pocket sized point and shoot as we left. What happened was we thought it was all over. But in reality it was just beginning. Not wanting to disturb them in their work or provoke their anger I snapped this and got the heck out of their way.

We got off the causeway and onto the sea wall where we could see more and I got out my big camera, zoomed in as best I could and snapped off a few more which are viewable in the links provided below.

Check out the links here:
or click on this link, open the PDF and check out page five