We rode our bicycles to the park yesterday to catch a local festival here in Takao (Ichomatsuri). The kids promptly bought chocolate covered bananas, and I got okonomiyaki (because I’d skipped lunch). Then we walked over to eat and watch local dancing troupes. I enjoyed taking snapshots of the cute kids in between bites, including these girls who danced skillfully in front of us.
Then I started to leave (the kids were desperate to go find the cotton candy), but an old lady said we should see the next group. She insisted, so we stayed.
The next group didn’t disappoint. Their music and dance was a blend of traditional and modern melodies and rhythms so typical of Japan today. They rocked and inspired, and they had a lot of fun.
They changed costumes three times during the performance, and they had a menagerie of shiny and colorful accouterments tucked in their belts: clackers, fans, samurai swords, and mutli-colored streamers. The dust rose, the light streamed through, and the flags waved behind as the dancers rushed about in frenetic displays occassionally stopping for a group pose with a flash of color.
Golden fans … what next?
They just kept …
…I also met Kurara Chibana (1st Runner-Up in 2006) and Hiroko Mima (Miss Universe Japan in 2008).
I walked into the Ginza Gucci Store, went upstairs to the cafe, and there they were standing in the middle of the room looking regal. Someone said, Why don’t you take their picture. So I did.
Riyo Mori, Kurara Chibana, and Hiroko Mima (Oct 25, 2008)
Then I walked around taking photos of everyone, sometimes pausing to grab some roast beef on a cracker or whatever else was coming around.
I was the photographer, and the event was a fundraiser for Room to Read. Room to Read raises money and uses it to build schools and libraries for children in impoverished communities worldwide. Previously, I wrote about my site visit to see Room to Read’s work in Cambodia here.
Later in the evening Erin Ganju, co-founder of Room to Read and future CEO, gave a presentation.
Room to Read got started because John Wood and Erin Ganju (and others) went traveling to see the world. Like countless others they were touched by what they saw. UNLIKE innumerable others, they did something in response. Now Room to Read is having a …
Yesterday the preschool kids had their annual bicycle race. The race is a one hour marathon. The one who goes the farthest wins. Reia won two years ago by going 14 laps. Last year a boy pedalled for 17 laps. This year Mari and Maika are the oldest, so they both hoped to win. It turned out to be Mari’s day. She went out hard and led the whole the way (15 laps).
Most of the kids in the preschool this year are very young.…
Here are nine of my favorite photos from Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. I’m not going to hash out the details (or even attempt to remember the names of all the temples); I’ll just let you enjoy the images (with brief captions). The history of the temples and the civilization that built them is too much for a simple blog post, but you can get a taste here.
I spent about 8 hours visiting 6 or 8 temples with a driver and a guide. It rained for about 6 hours. That meant carrying an umbrella with my heavy camera bad on my shoulder (and camera in hand). Oh, and struggling into a yellow…