Simian capture

On my first date with Hiro he took me to the Osaka Zoo.Β He had no money, so the zoo was an inexpensive entertainment. Having not been to a zoo since I was in grade school, I was moderately interested — but I never would have gone on my own.

Yesterday I decided to go to the Ueno Zoo to take photos. It’s the first time since that date that I’ve been.

Going with Hiro we focused on each other. Going with a camera I focused on the animals. Generally speaking, most of the animals didn’t seem happy to me, which is the mood I sought to capture with the simians. Can you imagine being kept in a cage or a pen your entire life? Many free-people live a bounded life. None of this has to be: Animals can be kept in a nature enclosure; people can get out of their own enclosures.

ueno zoo simion-4

ueno zoo-14

ueno zoo simion-2

ueno zoo-21

19 Comments on “Simian capture

  1. Zoos make me sad. 😦 Also, sea parks with captive whales and dolphins. If you haven’t, I would recommend watching “The Cove” and “Blackfish”…they are great documentaries.


    • Thanks. Is The Cove the one about the Japanese dolphin hunting? That didn’t go over well here. πŸ˜‰

      I’m not fond of zoos, but I do know they have three wild animal parks here. What I did see at the zoo (I went to) were expressions of joy and interest from the kids — lots of children. I have to believe that zoos at the very least connect children to the wider world. I only wish it were mediatory that all zoos were more like those big wild animal parks.


  2. Heart-wrenching pictures, Steven. Nearly twenty years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to go on safari in South Africa. Being out in an open landie in the middle of the bush – the back of beyond! – was a transformative experience. Elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, wildebeests, zebras, hippos, baboons, springbok… I had seen these animals in zoos when I was young. But I would never see them in a zoo again. I could never set foot in a zoo again! Zoos are prisons. And I never realized that until I encountered these creatures in their natural world. Free to roam, to live, to raise their young. You’ve captured that sadness they endure in captivity. I hope people will turn away from the immoral ‘entertainment’ of zoos and marine parks. A whale in an aquarium?! That is as absurd as it is cruel. The same statement applies to the American prison situation… another tragic outcome of the racism that infects my society.


    • I’ve not been, but I’m told that Zooraia is okay. The animals are free to roam. I also heard that Fuji Safari park has the same set up but 100 times bigger.

      Zoos aren’t my thing. Now, Fuji-Q! That’s something I can get excited about.

      Did you go to the Okinawan festival in Shinjuku today? Are you going to one of the fireworks displays tonight? I’m debating: Sumidagawa, Tachikawa, or an Obon festival.


      • I didn’t – not sure if I knew about it or not. I had a late night though anyway, and have just been a waste of space all day πŸ™‚
        I’m probably not going to see the fireworks either – I can’t stand the humidity outside 😦


      • You can’t stand the humidity because you’re approaching it wrong. Suntan = wrinkle juice, but humidity is deep, continuous moisturizing. We do not sweat with the rise in temperature. We glisten and detox. It’s all perspective. πŸ˜‰


      • Ha ha my PE teacher from secondary school used to say that, “Girls don’t sweat, they glow.” Your words are very nostalgic πŸ˜‰
        I love wearing makeup and I really don’t like it when it melts off πŸ™‚ I’m just never going to be a fan of the humidity. If I want to sweat I can go to gym. I don’t like saunas either πŸ˜€

        I am a little envious of people who don’t mind the heat though. But then I do better in the cold while others are being all shivery and staying at home. We all have our strengths I suppose πŸ˜‰


  3. While a child, I have been excited about zoos. Why? Because the zoo that I knew was the one in Singapore, which is one of the best facilities in the world. Having grown up, I am not fond of zoos anymore. For the obvious reasons. Recently my husband and I watched “Blackfish”, that documentary about the killer whale in San Diego Sea World. We have decided not go to go any facility where creatures are kept captive. Period. Your photos are another reminder – wonderfully visual.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hate Zoo’s too. I was lucky enough to go on safari last year in south Africa and it was awesome. I am a huge animal lover. I do a lot of voluntary work with a charity called Riding for the Disabled, which provides therapeutic horse riding for disabled children and adults. On wednesday I was literally chased round the stable because I took some of my special home grown carrots up for my favourite horse Daz. Sad aren’t I?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great date destination… neutral and entertaining given the right mindset (of humans and animals).

    As for American’s prison-like settings, and I suggest this not lightly, it’s often a choice they make and venture not to change. Quite sad.

    I hope there are happier zoo inhabitants the next time you visit. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. On Americans and cages yes it can be sad friend but they make a choice and choose to be there .No one holds us that way.. Its all about Choice .. and some animals are born in the zoos they wouldn’t know how to survive the wild ..I don’t think the other animals would care for them because of human contact .. I have heard that they could be killed for this.. sad but that’s the way for an animal…You food looks great. Have a nice day..


    • You might be unaware that the US holds the worlds largest prison population, dwarfing China and any and all other countries. It is about choice. It’s about the rigidity of the laws enacted and the fairness in prosecuting people.

      When a poor person is caught with drugs they are a criminal. When a celebrity is caught, it’s a sickness in need of treatment.

      Yes, that is a choice.

      As for the animals, my meaning is they needn’t be locked in cages. They can be placed in more humane settings, such as an enclosure.

      Thanks for the comment, though I disagree with it I welcome the chance for dialogue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No problem;) I disagree as well but that’s only being human Hope we are still on peaceful terms.. Have a nice day..

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you are right, they don’t look happy. In the wild they have something to look forward to and something to strive for. In the zoo they have the same thing every day – nothing. Their habitat and food is provided and there is nothing new inside those walls. No, the animals are not happy. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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