Sunday, September 30, 2012

Photo of the Week: From Itoman Okinawa

It's been a few days since anything got posted here or, on the website.

Just a quick  photo from Itoman's Tug-O-War and I have to get going.

There are hundreds more photos from the event, plus some typhoon damage pictures to work on.

More about Typhoon Jelawat, later.

All is well with the Ryukyu Crowd and it was great seeing the sun shine yesterday.

There will be some things to show and tell you about the Itoman City folks, too.

They are awesome !

Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Photo: Another Scene From Nakijin

This photo was taken September 13, 2012.

Below the coral outcropping I was standing on was the Nakijin Fisherman.

Intending to do a lengthy post about that day, I was processing more photos.

Well, I think that Typhoon Jelawat, might be coming early.

Power went off for a few minutes in my office and it's pouring rain, right now.

Not to worry.  Our buildings are built to withstand any old typhoon.

Just hope we get to see some blue skies, again before the weekend is over.

Another local weather linking sticker will be posted.

Find more about Weather in Okinawa, JP

Click for weather forecast

And, I'm getting the heck out of here !

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 2012 Editor's Picks (Photos)

Ie-Shima Sunset

A Fisherman in Nakijin

Things have gotten horribly busy around here this month.  I love it that way.

Only two photos were entered in a contest and I probably won't have time to do any more.

Speaking of contests: Don't forget to read the rules and get your name submitted for the:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rice Harvest Dry and Put Away, I Hope

Another Super Typhoon Blowing Around Out There !


We may be in for another real wet weekend.

Super Typhoon Jelawat might run right over Okinawa, or soak the place real good. 

Here's what I'm gonna do.  Post another link for the weather.

Find more about Weather in Okinawa, JP
And, hope they are wrong, this time.
Click for weather forecast

The rice should have been dried out and put away a long time ago.

Just in case, I think I better go down to Igei and make sure they gotterdun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Energy Conservation Photo of the Week

There's a little confession I have to make.

When I'm out with a camera shooting something like this, I don't always see the background.

 Peeking through a little hole in the back of the camera, I'm concentrating on the boat.

It's moving fast and the sail is flapping in the breeze.

I'm concerned about shadows, light and the glare coming off of wet oars.

Focus is on the sabani, people rowing and the sail, nothing else.

The camera is being panned, to compose a photo with the subject moving.

The orange-tiled roof on the buildings, I was aware of, and some blue sky.

But, I'll be danged if I knew there were solar panels in the picture.

When I developed the photos I noticed them.

We have wind and solar power in the picture, along with some people power.

So, I'm calling this my Energy Conservation Photo of the Week !

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Unusual Boat Photos From Ou-Jima Okinawa, Japan

Today the 3d Nanjo Mayor's Cup Sabani Race was held on Ou-Jima.

It is a small island off Okinawa's southeast coast, accessible by bridge.

What's unusual about these boats ?

They don't have any motors.  People and wind power is what gets them going.

The sails were made in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

It's going to take some research to learn the history behind these boats.

They look like something that came out of China, to me but, I'm not sure, yet.

The only thing I'm sure of is this:

I'd like to have one. When I want to go to another island, I wouldn't take the ferry.

When the wind is blowing, you can move really fast.

If there isn't any wind, you just have to paddle like crazy.

Er, maybe. just stay where yer at until the wind starts up, again.

That'd be alright by me !

Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scenes From A Junior High Undokai

Today was Undokai Day in Kin Village

An Undokai is what you might call Sports Day.

The Junior High athletic field was where I spent the day.

Here are some photos to give you an idea what you might see at one of these events.

Undokai isn't just for students.  Adults participate, too.

If you were a mama or papa you could be in a relay race.

Do stuff like Izzy-dizzy.

And have a hard time running after you took a spin.

Young athletes are the most fun to watch.

Little kids are camera shy, sometimes.

What I try to do is sneak up on them and do something to make them smile.

Like, stick my tongue out at them.

This rascal, did it back to me !

The Pom-Pom girls let you take their picture as long as peace signs are OK.

There was even a sign that said "Yes We Kin Final".

There are over 500 more photos of the Kin Village Undokai on my back burner.

Hopefully, they'll be developed by October 10th.

That's the official Sports Day, all over Japan.

Related Post: Sports Day in Japan

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Travel Photo: A Never Ending Summer

Just catching up on processing photos from August, I decided to share this one.

It was taken on August 11, 2012 at Igei Beach  Okinawa, Japan.


Only five more days of photos from that month to develop and I can start on September's.

The Dragonboat Race got me thinking.

This weekend's schedule has me going to some boat races, again.

It seems like a never ending summer around here, to me.

And, I love it !

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Titanic Losses 1,513---Tsushima-Maru 1,515

Lives Lost on Tsushima-Maru Exceed Those of Titanic

Photo from the grounds outside Tsushima-Maru Memorial Museum

An article published at Yahoo hinted that Tsushima-Maru losses were a few less than those of the Titanic.

 August 22 was the 68th anniversary for the sinking of the Tsushima-Maru.

For my article published August 28, 2012, Dave Bartruff was used as a reference.

In his Washington Times article on the Tsushima-Maru he gave these numbers:

Losses:  Titanic 1,513        Tsushima Maru 1,508 

Dave's story was published August 23, 2012His figures, I'd say must be accurate.

He is married to one of the survivors of the incident.

The Numbers Have Recently Changed


Seven more names have been added to the list of those lost at sea on August 22, 1944.

For more on this story, see the Ryukyu Shimpo (琉球新報)

Tsushima-Maru Museum staff investigate before adding any victims names to their list.

Boarding an evacuation ship during war is done a bit differently than hopping on


Surely, there wasn't a guest book passengers signed as they scrambled aboard.

For now, the loss of lives from the Tsushima-Maru stands at 1,515

Years of silence and secrecy about the sinking of this ship haven't helped matters.

Let's hope everyone has finally been accounted for and the numbers don't rise next year.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sata Andagi (サーターアンダーギー) Doughnuts

In Okinawa The Donuts Have No Holes

No kidding. The photo above is an Okinawan doughnut.

And, I wasn't kidding about the checklist yesterday, either. We have proof.  I'm busy.

A lady on another island gave me that doughnut.

Nobody needs to see the mess my office is in.  So, I used the checklist as a backdrop.

Some Quick Research Provided Us With A Recipe


If you don't have the time or money to visit, you can make your own Okinawan doughnuts.

A chef called Jessica K got the recipe and put it on Food Dot Com !

Not Really Wild About Doughnuts


Maybe that's the reason they wouldn't hire me as a New York State Trooper.

Those doughnuts with holes in them aren't exactly health food, you know.

New York cops ain't the only ones eating them, either.

Somebody should tell them.

Eat veges and live longer.

Doughnuts With No Holes May Be Better For You

Probably, we should call Myth Busters on this one.

That doughnut in the photo, I ate it.  It didn't taste bad.

 So, I ate the whole thing.

But, it left a big grease spot on my checklist.

Now, I have to start all over again.

The Thing Feels Like A Brick In My Stomach

That's exactly what doughnuts with holes in them do to me.

So, I wouldn't want to be a policeman, anywhere in the world if I had to eat doughnuts.

They Should Use Doughnuts To Break Up Riots.


Now, that's where these hole-less doughnuts could really come in handy.

Ask anybody.  You can throw a baseball a lot farther than a Frisbee.

It'd be fun being a policeman if they gave you doughnuts to throw at guilty people. 

Sign me up.  Hah !

Now, I wonder what Chinese cops eat on their breaks.


Visit my homepage for today's Feature Photo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Komaka Island from Different Viewpoints (Photos)

There's A Madness To Our Method

It just dawned on me today.

When the Ryukyu Dudes go off to another island there's usually some sort of plan.

Islands we can't drive to, we try to figure out how to get there economically.

So, we look at them from every possible angle.  Some are too far away to walk to during low tide.

Komaka Island looks like a little speck on the horizon, left side of this photo.

The boat filled with tourists was returning from the island.  So, I watch them closely.

You can tell a lot about people by what kind of gear comes off the boat with them.

For example, if I see a beer cooler, I want to know if they had to rent it.  Or, can I bring my own ?

We get important information about the ferry at the nearest port.

Things like departure and return times, what there is to see and do, and costs.

 Then, we go around and look at the island from different locations.

Talking to the locals on this island, you can get some valuable information.

They know exactly where the sun and moon rise and set in relation to where you're going.

And, they can tell you about other islands you may see that aren't on anybody's map.

These different viewpoints give me ideas for my photography.

See that guy sitting under the tile roof looking at the outer islands ?

It makes me wonder if folks on those islands are looking back at him.

Some Serious Checklists Need To Be Made Here


The day started off with a big sheet of paper and Sharpie Marking Pen.

One, two and three day island hopping trips will be planned.

Don't worry.  It'll get done just as soon as things get caught-up around here.

All The Important Stuff Will Be Listed In Great Detail


That will help me remember to take photos of these viewpoints from the outer islands.

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Little Too Close to Home (Photo) Typhoon Damage

This Is Some Damage Caused By Typhoon Sanba


We were out celebrating the Missus's birthday last night (ahem-ahum) a few days late.

Sometimes, I feel sorta guilty cuz I'm away from home, way too much, with the cameras.

So, I splurged and took the wife out for a steak dinner.

And beer.

Supposedly, I Had Already Covered The Typhoon Damage 


Shucks, I bet I was on my fifth beer and maybe second, or third bar when I heard about this.

Typhoon Sanba took out this cement-block wall.

It's less than a quarter mile from my house !

The Alert Reader Who Notified Me Must Remain Anonymous


That's mostly because I was on my second, or third bar and maybe fifth beer when he told me.

Anyway, he, or she, will remain anonymous until I figure that part out.

About The Crack Of Dawn I Went To Investigate


First, I harnessed-up the dogs.  No cameras when you're walking three of them.

The Husky mutts are getting old but, when adrenalin kicks-in they act like they're on steroids.

Whatever is in dog adrenalin, we should get some of that for old ladies medicine. Hah !

Anyway, back to the story.  Within ten minutes we were at the roadblock.

They had traffic cones telling you not to go there, on both ends of the road.

So, that's where we went. Right on down to the bottom of the hill.

It Was Like Being A First Hand Witness To A Natural Disaster


So, I said "Mush you huskies. Get home, Quick". I needed my cameras.

At the house I unharnessed the two beasts and the little white rat the wife calls her dog.

And I rushed off to the office to grab two cameras and tripods.

There Are Fifty Shots Of This Typhoon Damage In My Files


These folks are my neighbors.  

That's just a little too close to home for me.

After Typhoon Sanba: A Quickie Photo Essay

All is well on Okinawa, at least where we checked today.

The RyukyuMike house is still standing and has electricity.

The office was a different story. Power went out for awhile today.

So, I grabbed a camera and checked out the northern end of the island with Map It Okinawa.

With power outages passing through Kin Village we didn't have to stop for any red lights.  Hah !

So, we drove, very carefully to see the Kanna Dam in Ginoza.

The dam was full to the brim with good old country water.

Out on the back roads there were a few trees knocked down.

We ventured over to the other side of the island on HWY 58 going to Nago.

They still had some stormy seas from the typhoon's tailwinds.

Up around Ogimi Village we had to take a detour because of a landslide.

No photos of that.  A dedicated Japanese Policeman made sure we didn't get close.

Somehow, our journey took us to the Taiho Dam so, here's what it looked like.

Plenty of drinking water is available, a few fallen trees, some minor landslides is what we saw.

Now, I have to get the heck out of here because I'm two days late for the wife's birthday party !

Visit my website for today's Feature Photo

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Typhoon Sanba Could Make It A Wet Weekend

That's just my prediction.  You couldn't pay me to be a weatherman in Okinawa.

Typhoons have a way of becoming unpredictable.

When one of those Storm Tracker guys says it's gonna be a real doozie, he's only trying to help.

If we don't get hit by 100mph winds the poor guy gets all kinds of complaints.

Weathermen can't control nature.  They just try to predict as best they can.

Surfers like the weatherman.  He lets them know about the sea conditions the typhoon creates.

They say stuff like, "Dude, thanks for letting us know, surf's up !"

Well, I ain't sure how bad the winds will be blowing when Typhoon Sanba gets here.

But, just to play it safe, I'm unplugging all my gadgets and locking the place up.

It doesn't look too bad outside, right now.

Slight sprinkles of rain and the birds are still flying around outside my window.

 Typhoons almost always dump plenty of rain on us so, I plan on getting wet.

If the destructive winds follow the weatherman's predictions, the bars may not open tonight. 

Then, I'll just have to do like that dog in the photo above.


Some links you can follow to keep up on what the typhoon is doing are:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Photo: The Straw Roofed Hut Called Kami-ashagi

This type of straw roofed hut is found in Okinawa, Japan.

It's not something you'd find someone living in or using to camp out.

My Okinawan dictionary calls it a divine hut, or a village shrine.

A few other places, I've photographed these structures but, this one is different.

It is the first Kami-ashagi I've seen with stone uprights supporting the straw roof.

All the others have had wooden poles holding the thatched straw roofs up.

The engineer in me figures stone lasts longer than wood.

But, I suspect there may be some spiritual answer involved here.

So, the spiritual part of me says, "Better go back to Motobu and find out".

What do you suppose the reason for the stones could be?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday Travel Photo: A Fisherman in Nakijin Okinawa, Japan

Meet Shokitan Motoo, a fisherman, spotted today on a beach in Nakijin.

Way off on the horizon is Izena-Jima, the next stop in our island-hopping campaign.

A typhoon is coming to visit us this weekend so, the boat trip is cancelled.

Just being out on a sunny afternoon, watching Shokitan cast his net was good enough for me.

It wasn't a good day for fishing.  The net came back empty.

Shokitan came up on the coral rocks where I was composing photos.

We joked and laughed.

He's going home with no fish and I'm not getting to go to another island.

In Okinawa, people don't worry about petty things.

Everything will come together, someday.  So, don't worry.  No need to get angry.

We joked around and laughed some more. Shokitan has a free photo coming to him. 

It turned out to be a great day.


Find more about Weather in Okinawa, JP

Click for weather forecast

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Photo Essay: The Ladies of Gushiken at the Shinigu 2012

These ten photos give a quick peek at what can be seen during the Gushiken Shinigu.

The elderly women wear the ribbon in their hair with the knot facing forward.

Young ladies have the knot tied behind their heads.

After doing a few dances on lower terrain, up the hill they went.

Drum-beating, songs, dance and worship take place on a spot below a sacred site.

No men are allowed to go up the stairs to the Utaki. 

So, you won't see any photos of what takes place up there.

The top of a water tower was made available to capture this photo.

Here, the ladies are facing the East China Sea.

There isn't a happier, healthier bunch of gals anywhere I've ever traveled.