Monday, May 20, 2019

Scene from Abushibare - Cultural Ritual in Yaka, Kin, Okinawa

Abushibare,beach,boat,culture, Okinawa, rituals

Noro Prepares for Prayers on a Beach

Abushibare is a springtime ritual held in some locations throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

Like many special events held in Okinawa, this one coincided with the full moon.

Up and around with the camera for some moon photography, yesterday was a long, hard day.

By the time I finished taking photos of the setting moon, I had to hurry to this event.

It was about a two-hour hike for me and, I happened to be the first one on the beach.

Several times I have witnessed the rituals performed at a small shrine.

That part, I skipped in order to catch my breath and rest in the shade adjoining the beach.

To give you an idea what the whole ceremony looks like, here's a 2017 slideshow:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 2019 Full Moon Over Okinawa

astronomy, Full Moon, Okinawa

Big and Bright Moon Setting

This image shows the moon as it was going down over Ishikawa, Okinawa, Japan.

It was at 99.9% full and would disappear below the horizon before 6 AM.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 300MM with 1.4 convertor for focal length of 420MM

Exposure: f/11   1/3sec   ISO 100

Date and Time: May 19 2019 5:27 AM

Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Hydrangea Report #1 from Motobu Okinawa

A Dozen Images Were Shot Today

This morning a visit was paid to Yohena Hydrangea Garden.

The flowers we were hoping to see blooming are known as Ajisai locally.

The rainy season got a late start this year so, the Hydrangea blossoms aren't ready yet. 

flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Ajisai, Okinawa

In no particular order, other than the way, they came out of the camera, here you go.

Chasing the best available lighting, I composed images of many flowers.

Volunteers can give you the names of these pretty things. I'm too tired to research.

Ajisai, flowers, gardens, Motobu, Okinawa

Before the sun came up today, I was out walking and, covered lots of territory. 

They say you need to walk at least 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.

Well, I got over that and, am trying to walk 20,000 steps each day.

flowers, hills, gardens, Okinawa, Hydrangea

It was supposed to rain today so, I wore a water-resistant jacket.

The sun came out as we climbed the hills and, I looked back to capture the views.

That's when it dawned on me, I left my jacket and iPhone (step counter) in the car.

flowers, Hydrangea, gardens, Okinawa

Well, I already had 16,000 or more steps on the counter so, no need to worry.

It may have added another 1,000 or, two to the contraption, climbing those hills.

If, you're wondering what these pink flower thingies are, send them to a botanist.

They can probably give you an answer, quicker than, I can.

flowers, hydrangea, gardens, Okinawa

From past experiences, I pretty sure this is a Hydrangea. The blue thing.

The blossoms were scarce. When the time is right those hills will be crawling with the flowers.

They come in colors like pink, white and blue. Maybe purple, too.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

These yellow rascals seemed to be doing quite well and, I should know their name.

But, somebody in your crowd probably can identify the beauties so, why should I.


flowers, gardens, hills, Okinawa

Way down in the lower corner of this photo is the red-tiled roof of Yohena's house.

Here's documentation of blue sky (in the rainy season) we're supposed to be having.

Climbing hills and bending your body are good for you when you're 17 years of age.

Today I discovered, I'm not 17 anymore.

flowers, gardens, house, Hydrangea, Okinawa

We must have walked every inch of Yohena Gardens today and seen every hill.

Sometimes, I think we even got onto somebody else's property, up in the hills.

The Hydrangea flowers might have been disappointing but, the nature walk was great!

flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Okinawa, Yohena

The woman who planted (some 10,000 or so) Hydrangea in those hills, went to heaven.

She lived to be around 100 and won many awards for her gardens.

Her son, let me know, the full bloom period should be around May 25-Mid June this year.

Ajisai, flowers, gardens, Hydrangea, Motobu, Okinawa, Yohena

Leaving the gardens, I couldn't help but, shoot one more scene with the tiled-roof house.

That's where Mrs. Yohena would always be happy to greet guests to her gardens.

Of course, we promised to return, when the flowers are in full bloom.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

This purple specimen is another one I'll have to pass on sharing the identification.

flowers, gardens, Okinawa

In the parking lot, I spotted this beauty, which reminded me of a gal I used to know.

Shucks, I forgot her name too! 

Important Information: Yohena Hydrangea Garden Website

Friday, May 3, 2019

10 Photos from a Mud Festival in Okinawa

Kin Town Tanbo Festa 2019

A Tanbo is a flooded field or rice paddy and this Mud Festival is a Golden Week event.

Not wanting to get signed model releases, I won't be selling any of these images.

children, festival, mud, Okinawa, people

The idea is to let kids have some fun while splashing around in the mud.

After capturing a mob scene photo, I decided to get some closer up photos.

child, festival, mud, Okinawa

Snapping images of children can be tricky. I always get parents consent before shooting.

Some children don't want to cooperate. You can't swat them like they're your own!

Just kidding.

children, festival, mud, Golden Week, Japan

Some of the cute little rascals love to pose for the camera.

children, festival, mud, Okinawa, people

Anyone who's been in Japan over one week understands this picture.

Every time someone takes a picture in Japan, you're supposed to smile and flip a peace sign!

children, festival, Golden Week, people

It's nice to have parents, who've been in the mud, pose along with their children.

children, family,festival, Golden Week, Japan, Okinawa

This woman was probably the most photogenic and cooperative subject of the day.

She assembled her family for pictures several times over the course of an afternoon.

Then, she'd jump back in the mud with her kids and catch frogs with her bare hands!

It's hard to find a frog-catching woman these days. Dontcha think?

mud, festival, Japan, Golden Week, people, Okinawa

Normally, I wouldn't get in someone's face with the camera at a festival.

A photojournalist friend arranged for some of the Nature Mirai staff to pose for me.

mud, festival,Okinawa, people

Maybe, I'll be able to chase these subjects down and give them prints of their images.

Of course, model releases will get signed. The girls were super cooperative.

Notice, they traded the peace signs for some different hand signals.

children, mud, festival, Golden Week, Okinawa, Japan, people

It's a good thing this dad gave a big happy smile for everyone to look at.

The child wasn't as thrilled. She's sort of gritting her teeth and shivering from the cold water.

Anyway, they helped keep the audience's eyes off of the background scenery.

That's good because someone out in the water got totally naked. I hope you didn't notice!

children, festival, mud, Golden Week, Japan, Okinawa

Most of these folks were smart enough to bring along a change of clothes,

They had some freshwater outdoor shower contraptions hooked up.

That way, you could be sparkling clean for the ride home.

Maybe, I'll pack some dry clothes next year and jump in the mud with everybody!