Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Taiwan: The Heart of Asia -- So I Took Their Tests

Taiwan Agent Specialist Certificate

Close to Home This Time



Taiwan Tourism contacted me today and, encouraged me to finish this course.

Somewhere along the line, I had enrolled but, never took the tests.

Awhile back, I was planning a trip to Ishigaki and Iriomote Islands in the south of Okinawa.

Right before, I was ready to pack up and leave, I got hacked.

Credit card and an email account, somehow got compromised. Groan.

Two banks, notified me of suspicious activity. I chopped up the card and ordered a new one.

Well, I was busy and forgot all about Taiwan and the travel professional's school.

All is well now, with the banks and email so, off to the online course, I went.



Taiwan Would Be a Fun Place to Visit




It's just a little over an hour flight time from Naha, Okinawa. I could handle that.

It's been awhile since, the last time, I visited Taiwan and, that was just the big city, Taipei.

Now, that I've learned some culture, history and geography, I want to see all of the island.

They have stuff like, bears, deer, monkeys and wild boar plus, lots of migratory birds.

Mountains over 12,000 feet, big raging rivers, lots of jungles and, a mild climate.

Heck. It would take me hours, to get to Africa, Hawaii, Mexico or Switzerland !

Should I disappear suddenly, for a week or three, you can probably guess, where I'll be.



Travel Agent Academy




This course was an external one, not at the Travel Agent Academy.

But, taking their courses was probably, how I got referred to Taiwan Travel Bureau.

Around the globe, I have been taking travel agent courses, not because I'm a travel agent.

A travel professional, isn't necessarily a travel agent. It's someone involved in the industry.

Writers and photographers, can be travel professionals, too.

Most to my photography and writing, has been about Okinawa. That's my specialty.

But, I like to peek at other countries and, see what they're promoting for the tourism industry.

It gives me ideas, when I see them, promoting whatever is unique, about their location.

Things like, the fastest train, slowest train, tallest mountain and widest river.

Okinawa has the best beer !

Monday, September 25, 2017

Two Animations from Kin Town Sports Day

Elementary School Undokai



An Undokai is a school sporting event, held this time of year, throughout Japan.

They have relays, gymnastics and a tug o war but, my favorite part is the Eisa.


Eisa drummers dancing


Only a small portion of the orchestra is visible in this GIF.

That's because, I'm up on a hillside, trying to get a good composition.

It was a blazing hot, sunny day which, reminded everyone of mid August.

The kids, down there are from Kin Elementary School. It was October 24, 1017.




Chondara dancing barefoot, photographer


The photographer, in this animation probably, got some great close-ups.

But, I was happy, being off the athletic field, taking my shots from a distance.

Actually, I was outside the school grounds and, I had a plan.

As soon as the Eisa was over, I'd be heading for some shade and, wouldn't run into a crowd.

It seemed like, two or three thousand people, were in attendance. The place was packed.

Twenty minutes of walking, had me back in an air-conditioned office, downloading cameras.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Winner Is Photo #1

Yotsudake dancer performing on stage


Getting Business Cards Printed



A decision had to be made about, which image to display on my meishi (business cards).

Last night, I posted three photos on Facebook and, asked folks to help me decide.

There's a lot of Okinawa experts on Facebook and, I value their opinions.

But, to get more rounded advice, I went the extra mile and, did some bar hopping.

Using an unscientific method, I asked only Ryukyu people, which photo they'd choose.




Mejiro in cherry blossoms, birds, flowers, sakura, Japanese White Eye


When you look at the photos, which one most represents Ryukyu Life ?

Knowing, there are bird lovers, around the globe, I knew they would vote for the Mejiro.

Some, even suggested gold or silver text, would make this image pop.

But, other folks said the Mejiro, doesn't necessarily represent Okinawa.

These little birds live in mainland Japan and, Hawaii, too.


Girl performing sign language with a band, Okinawa

This image of an 8 year old girl performing sign language with a band, is a favorite of mine.

It was selected by men and women, on Facebook and, out in town.

It was especially a favorite, of those who heard the story, behind the image.

It's another photo that would go great with white, gold or, silver print.



First Photo Got the Most Responses



There was no need, to tally the numbers and, scratch them down on paper.

Verbally and, on Facebook, the top picture, represented Ryukyu, to the most people.

If you found 3 women in a bar, 2 out of 3, would select that image.

So, I had plenty of fun, doing my research last night. Business is business. I work hard.

One guy, came up with something, I hadn't thought of, though.

"Mike, there's no Eisa picture in there. Eisa is Ryukyu," he said.

But, out of the three, he liked photo #1 the most.

A bit more editing on the Yotsudake dancer above and, she's going to the print shop !

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Unnamed Caterpillar Got Identified Today

Hiji Waterfall in northern Okinawa



No Sense Rushing Things



The first and only time, I ever ran across a white caterpillar, like this was April of 2015.

Doc Graff and I were on a mission, to find and photograph the endangered Ryukyu Robin.

April is the best month to find them, close to the ground, feeding their youngsters.

We, didn't run up the trail because, we're a bit too mature, to act like teenagers.

We huff and puff and meander up the mountain and, enjoy the fresh air.

Taking your time, gives a better view of nature. We're very observant.



Chrysaeglia magnifica taiwana, moth, caterpillar


Doc, had gone ahead, to get closer to the waterfall when, I spotted this.

Climbing the trail, there's spots where, cellular service no longer exists.

It's like being in the wilderness which, I kind of enjoy. I was catching my breath.

Standing on this wooden platform, smoking a cigarette is what, I was really doing.

Whoa.  It's like some little bottle brush, started coming towards me.

Forget smoking. Put the butts in yer pocket and, get down to shooting !


caterpillar, white, red legs, Chrysaeglia magnifica
 

It's a good idea, to get photos from as many angles as possible.

You'd never know, this guy has red feet if, you didn't get down real close to him.

All along, I'm wondering, what kind of butterfly this creature would turn out to be.



white caterpillar with red legs


In my pending photo files, there are hundreds of items, waiting for identification.

Yesterday, I sent these photos, to a couple of sites for help.

The Moth and Butterfly Identification Forum, on Facebook, came through today.

Chrysaeglia magnifica, was suggested by a gal named Lisa.

After checking several websites (with images) I think, I've narrowed it down.

This one, will be named Chrysaeglia magnifica taiwana, for the time being.

In no particular order except, the way the research got done, here's links:








Scientific Name: Chrysaeglia magnifica taiwana

English Name: It doesn't have one, yet

Japanese Name:  (Rurimon hosoka) ルリモンホソバ 



Mission Completed



A hike all the way to to top of the trail, wouldn't have been complete, without photos.

We went, hunting for the Ryukyu Robin but, didn't see any along the way.

The falls and some white caterpillar, would be the only memories from that trip.


Ryukyu Robin, Larvivora komadori, bird, nature, wildlife, Okinawa


Coming back down the trail, I spotted someone, down by the river.

A nature guide and a woman, with a camera and a humongous lens, were in there.

She was shooting the birds, we had come all this way to capture.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Clouds and Cardio -- Think It Was an Easy Day ?

Blue skies with white clouds

Beautiful Skies Over the Island



Typhoon Talim, is way north of Okinawa probably, in Hokkaido by now.

This island got some wind and rain but, was spared the full strength of the storm.

Sore from lifting weights on the rainy days, I decided to just do cardio stuff today.



Getting Rid of Fat Ain't Easy



Over the past several months, plenty of inches disappeared, off of my belly.

People noticed and, have been asking me, how I got it done.

Changing my diet was half of the solution and exercises, did the rest.

Some folks want to learn the techniques, I've been using. I'll show some of my favorites, here.


Popsugar doing abs exercises with medicine ball


Popsugar Says "Skip the Crunches"



She'll show you 7 abs exercises, you can do standing at Popsugar Fitness.

A medicine ball or dumbbells, aren't really necessary, just get creative, use anything.

Cement blocks, 2 liter PET bottles and, gallon jugs full of water, are in my mini-gymnasium.

Do everything, she does, with whatever weight suits you and, feel the burn.

In the photo above, she's writing the alphabet, using a medicine ball.

It's been so long, since I've handwritten a letter, I forgot how to write cursive !

Maybe, I should get a wall chart. Dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" and "j." 

Someday, I'll have to look that up. Do "j's" get a dot over them? I do it, anyway.

Anyhow, I get a good burn, from this workout. It melts fat and, builds abs, too.





Sky and clouds over Okinawa


People Get Too Hooked on Technology



They have gadgets, to measure heart rate and all kinds of fitness whatnot's.

Smart phone heart monitors and junk on Smartwatches, you don't really need.

A big pile of sweat on the floor and, you're breathing hard, while your hair sweats.

That means, it's time to take a little break. Slow down and cool-off for five minutes.

What I do, is go outside and, when the breathing gets easier, climb some stairs.

The clouds, had moved around a little bit. I grabbed a smoke and the camera.





Abs and core exercises, screenshot, Yamon Figurs F16, Facebook video



No Girly Exercises Here



Killer exercises for the abs and core by Yamon Figurs F16 on Facebook.

Hopefully, he won't get pissed because, I screenshot some of his video.

The first time, I tried this, I did everything he does, only slower.

No dumbbells are required.  I use a couple of 2 liter PET bottles, filled with water.

After doing, everything on the chart he provides, with the video, I couldn't stand up !

If, you're out of shape or, way older than him, take it easy. It's killer exercise.

The video is popular, over 7, 647, 929 views, RIGHT HERE.

I bet, a few million of those views, were people just watching, to breakout in a sweat.

Starting out, I recommend, doing only 10 repetitions of each exercise. You'll see.

The Side Oblique, you can do, with anything heavy. A backpack or, gallon jug of cider.





Blue sky and white clouds over Kin Town, Okinawa


Last Peek at the Beautiful Sky



To keep doing these sort of fitness, crazy things, you have to make sure it's fun.

Out side for a breather and a smoke, is fun, to me. I take a camera and climb the stairs, again.

The way the weather looked, I was tempted, to quit and go for a long hike.  But, no.

There was something, I'd bookmarked and, had to try today.



Girl doing the Low Plank, fitness, exercise, abs



Best Exercises to Ditch the Beer Belly



Right off the bat, they'll tell you, "Quit drinking beer!"

Supposing, it's against your religion?  What are you gonna do?  Switch back to whiskey?

Seven of the best fitness trainers, were asked, which exercises they'd recommend.

Some of them, I already do. Others, you wouldn't catch me doing. I'm stubborn.

Anyhow, here's one, that caught my attention and, it seems simple enough.

Get down, in a position like that gal, elbows shoulder width apart and, up on your toes.

Keep the back rigid and as straight as it will go. Look straight forward.

Hold yourself like that and, try to pull your elbows, towards your feet, for 20 seconds.

If, you can't hang-in for twenty seconds, not a problem. Relax and, do one more, later.

Well, I did it once for twenty seconds. Then, did one more. Done for the day.

It's called the Low Plank. Soon, I'll be doing 20-30 of them. I just had enough fun, for today.

More of these weight loss exercises are at Eat This, Not That.


Remember: Exercise Should Be Fun !

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Favorite Singer So I GIF-T Her

Aki Yokoyama at a Live House

Live House Dream



The place was shaking with loud rock and folks clapped their hands, while stomping their feet.

Because of the recent rains and passing typhoon, it wasn't as crowded as usual.

That made it a little easier, to get around with the camera so, I was everywhere.

Wanting to travel light, I only brought the Pentax K1 and a 50 MM prime lens.

The nine images used to make this animation were shot at f/2 1/800  ISO 6400.

Normally, I don't use ISO's in that high of a range, to avoid getting grainy photos.

But, it was necessary to get quick shutter speed under those lighting conditions.



Smoke on the Water



They were on the third set, shortly after 11 PM, when they did this number.

Deep Purple's, Smoke on the Water is probably, played by every rock band in Japan.

Aki sings blues too, in English or, Japanese. Take your pick.

Another favorite singer of mine, would be Willie Nelson but, I wouldn't hug the guy.

Aki's, a different story. I don't mind getting hugs from her.

She always, turns her face sideways when she grabs me and, I think I know why.

There's a diamond in her nose and, she may be afraid, I'll snatch it off of her.

Imagine, how many beers you could buy if, you hocked a genuine diamond.

Over 500 times, the shutter clicked on my camera last night.

An album on Facebook, will have some more of the evening's photos.

Each performer, I tried to get good quality images of, to post over there.

Even Aki's mom, was up there, singing on the stage. That was a surprise.

Before midnight, I had to leave, to meet some friends at a another location.

There's no telling, what time the Dream Live House finished up and closed.

About 2 AM, a flock of girls, with Aki, showed up at another bar.

It was a long, busy day, for me and, I knew I'd have to download the camera, early today.

So, I bid everyone farewell and staggered on home. Maybe, it was around 2:30 in the morning.

It seems, I forgot to ask if, the band would be playing live, again tonight.

While, the camera battery is being re-charged maybe, I'll stop downtown and see.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Typhoon Left But Aki's Back in Town

Aki performing on stage

Few Weeks Ago


Walking the dog along a beach, I decided to take the flip-flops off an get a little wet.

The mutt, didn't want to join me so, I waded along the shoreline, up to my knees.

A the little runt, stayed ashore, tugging on the leash so, it was good exercise, I guess.

As I neared the end of the beach, to turn around, Boss, hollered at me.

"Mike, Can you bring your camera on August 15th?" So, I went and asked, "What's up?"



Boss the lead guitar man


Boss is an alright guy, who picks a mean guitar, when he's playing in a band.

Now, I like Aki and Boss and my cameras.  But, I don't like working for free.

When I was about to tell him, what sort of commission I'd be expecting, he made an offer.

First, I should explain. I won't leave my office, for less than a hundred and fifty bucks.

Shooting a little 2 or 3 hour live band gig sounds like easy work.  It ain't.

It might take another whole day of work, to process the images.

Boss made me an offer I, couldn't resist plus, free drinks all night long.



Along Came Typhoon Talim



The past 24 hours, it was raining and wind blew because of Typhoon Talim.

We, didn't get hit bad but, the southernmost islands got a good whipping.

And, the storm's headed towards mainland Japan right now.

Knowing Aki, plays in a band up in Tokyo, I thought, she may be stranded up there.

Through a Facebook message, I contacted her and, here's her reply:

"Mikesan !!  Live Start 9:45 PM"

That tells me, Aki's back in town and, I'd better hurry, get the camera ready and, drink beers !


Previous Posts Concerning Aki:






Monday, September 11, 2017

In the Spotlight: Thomas Corrao

An Ambassador for Okinawa


It's been awhile since anyone has appeared "In the Spotlight" on this blog.

If some singer, artist or rock climber, makes an impression on me,  they become the subject.

Because, I work like a fool and drink like a fish weekends, Monday is my day of rest.

Work, 7 days a week but, take my time getting to the office on Mondays.

Sleep in, until well past sunrise. Don't rush like a madman, to get to work. I'm my own boss.

Iced coffee and plenty of nothingness is my Monday morning routine. I love Mondays.



Okinawaologist Message 9:30 AM


Thomas Corrao: Are you up and about yet ?

Me: Yeah. What's up ?

Tom: You busy today ?  I've been cut loose. I have a car and GPS. I need a Tel #

Me: I'm goofing off. Wanna do lunch at King Tacos or grab a meal where we can eat buta.

There's a place that sells Okinawa pig meat, known as Agu, in Kin Town.

Tom: I'm in to the Agu suggestion.

Me: Google Maps has my office listed as Ryukyu Life

I never answer phones cuz I can't hear them. Text me. OK ?

Tom: On my way !


Thomas Corrao and Ryukyu Mike at a restaurant


Make a Short Story Longer



Tom Corrao is like some sort of  Okinawa Ambassador, living in the USA.

We've been online friends for probably, a decade.

About 6 years ago, I shot some photos of him, marching with a delegation of Okinawans.

They were a group visiting Okinawa for the Uchinanchu Festival in Naha, Okinawa.

But, I never met Tom in person. Today would be the day.

I told the wife, I had to hurry, shower and get to the office, right away. Important stuff.

By 10:30 I was in my office. The place is really a wreck.

Should I clean it because, some official visitor is coming ?

It looks like some sort of a landfill/construction site/cameraman's hangout/campground.

And, there's Japanese books, maps, computers, yoga mats and, weightlifting materials.

Cement blocks, a basketball filled with water and, other items are sprinkled in the mix.

Heck. If, Tom likes Okinawa, he'd probably love this place. Plus, I have cold air !


Around 11 AM



Tom showed up and finally, we got to shake hands.

He reached into the back of a rental car and, pulled out a small ice cooler gadget.

He gave me two frozen fishes, that he caught out in the sea, Saturday.

That, gave me an excuse, to invite him into my house of horrors.

There's a fridge, with a top-of-the-shelf-place, to stick frozen stuff.

Then, I explained, how the place got turned into a Romper Room for old folks.

I'm still, not sure, what kind of an impression it made on him.


Off, to eat some Agu pork, we went. I Googled, to make sure, they're open on Monday.

Yes. They were open and, it looked like they were ready for some business.

Some group of 35 customers had the place reserved. We weren't invited. Groan.

The woman, at the counter, was apologetic, almost crying because, she had to turn us away.

She knows me and, I'm always bringing business her way. She's really a sweetheart.

Once, I was the only customer there and, I forgot about my beard.

After consuming a humongous meal of pork steaks, salads, rice and a bowl of soba, I stood up.

See, I forgot to tuck my beard in, under my t-shirt  before, eating the Okinawa noodles.

The gal came running at me, eyes wide open and, a frown was on her face.

It got me wondering, "What did I do wrong?"

As she got closer she said, "Hige, hige." That means "beard" in Japanese.

She grabbed some tissues, to wipe the soup, dripping off my hige. What a doll !

Anyway, we had to think of somewhere else, to get a fantastic meal at, non-touristy prices.



Stay Flexible



Tom, had a couple of hours to kill. We'd drive around and find another excellent restaurant.

He had an air-conditioned set of wheels and, we had plenty of talking, to do.

Chicken Paradise, near my office, serves great meals and, I figured Tom would enjoy the place.

He ordered the Spicy Chicken meal and, I got the Goya Champuru set.

We would spend about an hour, eating and talking in that cozy, little place.

A kindly Okinawan gentleman, took our photo with my iPhone.

Look at the trays of food. Way more than, any human can eat, in one sitting.

We both, had leftovers, to take home for our better halves.

Total cost, for both meals, was under 15 bucks !

In our conversations, I learned plenty about Thomas Corrao.  Things, I never knew before.

All the years, I've known him, I thought he came from Chicago, Illinois.

He is the Public Relations Officer for the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai.

That's an association of Ryukyu people, who live in Chicago.

Come to find out, Tom is a law enforcement officer from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

And, he grows Goya, way up there near the Great Lakes of the USA !


Some elderly, toothless woman was eating one of those huge servings of chicken.

She began cackling, when she overheard two foreigners speaking her language.

We had a blast, talking, stuffing our tummies and, left with enough food for supper.



Two Bit Tour of Kin



Tom, needed to go back to Itoman and visit relatives by 5 PM.

We cruised around and, I showed him some places he may never have seen before.


screenshot Google Maps timeline, Kin Town, Okinawa


First stop was at the Kin Temple and the attached cave, with the golden Buddha.

We got to talk about our travels and experiences on the island of Okinawa.

Down in the cave, I told him, how during the Vietnam era, those caves came in handy.

When, they thought we were securely locked-up on the base, we could escape.

The caves, connect to the base and, we could crawl through them, to get out in town.

Little women, could crawl through, to get on base, too.

But, I figured, he didn't need all that information so, I didn't tell him.

It's best to be careful around law enforcement folks, carrying video cameras. My religion.


Next, we drove under the Kin Bridge, along the east bank of the Okukubi River.

He got to shoot (camera) the legend of the monk and serpent, along the way.

Both of us, regret not mastering the reading of Kanji Japanese characters.


Down to the sea, we traveled, stopping to see the water buffaloes, along the way. 

At the seashore, I pointed to some rocks. Another folk story, begging translation.

Returning from the ocean, we followed the west bank of the river, towards Kin Dam.

Along the way, we spotted critters, crabs, birds and fish among the mangroves.

As hot as it gets, a breeze from a body of water and, a bit of shade comfortably cool a person.

Up to the top of the dam, we went with the intention of circling the place, to exit on HWY 104.

Construction along the highway, had us backtracking, to exit the dam.

Fresh air, leisurely conversation, sunshine and, nature therapy made it a relaxing day. 

We talked about the travel and tourism industry, cost of living and whatnot.

The relationship between Okinawans, Japan and the US Military, pros and cons.

The job market, health insurance, business prospects and legal matters, were discussed.

Tom and his family may move back to live in Okinawa, again someday.

He asked if, I ever planned on going back to the USA, to live.

Nope. Right here is where I plan on staying unless, the angels assign me to go somewhere else.


It seems to me if, Tom ever decides to leave the Sheriff's Department, he'd be welcome here.

He'd make a fine Ambassador in Okinawa, for the State of Wisconsin.


Learn More About Thomas Corrao and Okinawa

Sunday, September 10, 2017

3 GIF's from Sports Day at a Middle School

Fun in the Sun




It's that time of year, again. Undokia or, Sports Day in Japan.

Today's event was at Kin Chugakko, the junior high school, where some grandchildren go.

So, I was out there, with a camera, shooting everybody, just to be safe.

When all the kids, wear the same uniforms and, have black hair, it can be confusing.


Junior high children at a sports day event

As many times as I've gone to these sports days, I've never seen anything like this.

For a second, it looked like they were scooting across the dirt field on a surfboard.

But, upon closer inspection, I realized, they had their feet tied to two plastic pipes.

So, I guess it was some sort of pipe walking race. Coordination helps.



Passing the baton in a relay race


One daughter, gave me a perfect description of a grandson's sportswear.

She told me the color of his shorts, headband and, the number 4, would be on his green t-shirt.
Well, he's some sort of champion runner, faster than a greyhound.

I got a few shots of him but, not enough to make a GIF. So, I shot these kids.

There are still a few thousand photos I haven't looked at, yet.

As they get processed, I'll post some in a Facebook album at Ryukyu Life.

Notice the relay team. They have boys and girls, running each relay.

When the numbers, don't come out right, a gal or guy teacher fills out the team.

They didn't do things that way, back when I was in school. Pretty cool, huh ?

Well, I'm glad I ain't a teacher, anyway.



Okinawa Eisa dancers with a Chondara


Eisa is always on of the highlights and, usually, close to the end of an Undokai.

In case, you haven't seen one of those clowns before, he's a chondara.

They play an important role, keeping everyone's spirits up.

The adult ones, even pass out, refreshments, sometimes alcoholic spirits but, not here.

It's too bad, all my grandchildren, couldn't be chondara. It would make life easy.

Somewhere in the crowds of purple Eisa uniforms, I shot today, are my kinfolks.

To be sure, I got my grandchildren, I photographed all the Kin Eisa dancers.

That way maybe, their mothers or fathers, can pick them out.

It was blazing hot out there today and, I must thank the family for all they did.

Tents were pitched, for shade. Food and refreshments were provided.

The best part of all, was they gave me iced coffee and, an air-conditioned ride home ! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 2017 Full Moon Over Okinawa

full moon,Kin Town, Okinawa

7:11 PM


This looks better than, last night's image so, I'll call it the full moon.

The Pentax K1 and a converter on a Pentax 300 Gave me 420 MM of lens.



September 2017 full moon


7:31 PM


The landlord caught me climbing off the roof so, I explained what I was doing up there.

The first photo, I showed him and, told him the full moon was out tonight.

He couldn't see it from ground level so, I had him follow me halfway towards the roof.

Then, told him if, I went back up with a bigger lens maybe, I could get a better shot.




Round Two



Using the same camera with a Sigma 50-500 and the converter 700 MM of lens was available.

The difference in the color of the moon, is something a scientist could tell you.

It always seems more orange, when the moon first comes up.

The later you wait, the brighter and smaller, it appears in the sky.

After two hours, climbing and moon watching, I think, I deserve the rest of the day off.

There's a cold beer waiting for me and, I promised to show a photo of the moon to someone.

Later.....

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eisa in Front of an Irish Pub Named Bingo's

Animated GIF, Obon Eisa, Okinawa, Irish pub

Eisa Dance in Kin Town Okinawa



This will be another quick blog post, as it's full moon night and, I have work to do.

Thunderstorms passed through the island, earlier today and, it's still cloudy.

Hopefully, the clouds will break and the Obon full moon may appear.

Going out with a heavy lens for awhile, I'll see if, I can catch it.

Then, it's  back out in the streets with a wide angle lens for the final night of Eisa.

And, when the shooting is complete, I may visit Bingo's Pub, to tip a few !

Wordless Wednesday: Real Treasure

Endless Coffee, sign, 5 cents

Monday, September 4, 2017

Two Animations of Eisa in Kin Town - Obon 2017

Eisa dancers performing in streets of Kin Town, Okinawa

Before Midnight



Many areas were visited during daylight hours by the Eisa groups.

During the day, I'm usually busy with other things and, don't hang around this part of town.

This Kin Eisa gang showed up near my watering holes before midnight.




Young women Eisa dancers in the rain


It Began Raining



Rain might slow them down but, it didn't stop them from performing and smiling.

With the heat and humidity, we've had lately, I think they enjoyed the showers.

Out there following them around, until two this morning, the rain felt great, to me.

While developing these photos, I heard Eisa, down the street and, captured a few more images.

But, they won't be processed or, downloaded until tomorrow.

Out the door, I'm going to chase Eisa dancers, again tonight. Standby for more...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Obon 2017 Means Some Late Night Photography

Eisa dancers performing for Obon season in Okinawa, Japan


Eisa in Kin Town



Just a quick post of an iPhone photo taken last night and, I have to hit the road again.

Obon sneaked up on me this year. It was one minute past midnight when this image was taken.

Tonight, I'll take the Pentax and a wide angle lens, to catch some of the activities.

The wife is off to help the clan do cooking and, I hear the drums outside now.

Over the next few evenings, I'll see how many Eisa dancers can be caught.

Standby for more...

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Where in the World and What's the Name of this Island ?

Japan Airlines (JAL) Departing Ishigaki-jima



Here's just a few minutes of my flight, heading back to Okinawa, Monday, AUG 28th.

For four days, I was pretty much not wired to WiFi, the internet or TV channels.

There were rumors, I heard of missiles flying, storms and tornadoes.

But, with so much fake news going around, I just wait and see what happens.


JAL flight on runway at Ishigaki-jima, Okinawa

4:53 PM


The plane revved up it's engines and, we kicked back in our seats for takeoff.

Beautiful, smiling girl flight attendants made sure we had our seat belts on.

They disappeared so, I started looking out the window because, there was nothing else to do.




Japan Airlines flight leaving Ishigaki-jima


4:54 PM



There's no telling, how fast these jets are moving, when they climb away from the runway.

Lots of passengers, close their eyes and, go to sleep. Beats me, why they do that.

Maybe they're bored with traveling. I want to get my money's worth so, I watch everything.

I noticed a band-aid on that wing but, didn't want everybody to panic so, I kept quiet.

Before long, the wind ripped it of and, everything looked alright. We didn't crash.




JAL flight in skies over Okinawa


4:55 PM


We're still climbing in the skies but, when I look down there's nothing but air, below.

The pretty girls in their happy uniforms are still buckled up somewhere.

Knowing, they'll be coming along with drinks sometime, I keep looking out the window.

Miss Miyagi, a Sabani gal and, my travel organizer, sits next to me, with her eyes closed.

After watching Karate Kid movies, you learn to, not mess with a Miyagi.

We had been through a hectic four day schedule so, I guess she needed some sleep.



JAL flight form Ishigaki-jima to Naha, Okinawa


4:56 PM



Those guys doing the flying, have to level this plane off, sometime. We're not flying that far.

It's only about an hour flight from Ishigaki to Naha, Okinawa.

If, they don't let the gals serve us drinks soon, we'll be on a runway again.

By now, I was thinking. "I wonder if carry-on beer would be authorized."

Before my next trip by airplane, I think I'll check.



jet wing, skies, clouds


4:57 PM



The skies were beautiful. I don't get up there very often so, I'm not sure if, it's always that way.

There were probably 2,000 images on my SD cards from the past few days events.

It would take awhile to download the cameras, when I got back to the office.

Once, all the scenery out the window, began to look the same, I quit taking photos.




clouds over unidentified island in Okinawa, jet flight



5:06 PM



Suddenly, through the clouds, I saw an island below us and, had to poke Miss Miyagi.

Tiled roof buildings, fields and beaches are visible, down there.

When, I asked Miyagi, what island we were flying over, she looked.

She, didn't know. I have no idea, either. Somebody must know.

They probably, wouldn't let me knock on the pilot's door, to ask them.



What if, it's some long lost civilization, waiting to be rediscovered, again ?

A place that hasn't invented politicians, taxes or clothing, yet.

Don't ya think we should check it out ?