I teach at an international high school in Japan. This term I’m in charge of an elective on contemporary events as seen through media studies and literary theory. I’ve opened the term by exploring stereotypes. I want to share with you what they’ve been teaching me, starting with the fact that it is natural and good to discriminate against women. A few weeks ago I assigned two readings, one on ultra orthodox Jews who have been refusing to sit next to women on International flights and another on women who are snubbed… Read More
Fist off, I started this blog a year ago today — time flies. I need to apologize for the unintended absence. For my birthday (on October 6th) ANA sent me a special promotion which I used to take an unscheduled, unplanned, always needed two-week vacation. When I came back I had essays up the kazoo to grade and, by chance, there was opening for a promotion. I wanted the promotion. I needed to prepare for the test (the first step in the application process), then for three successive interviews. I made it… Read More
Many people like the words ‘I’m blessed’, for me it’s more like I’ve made some really good decisions. I used to think I wanted children, then my friends started producing them, I stated babysitting, and all my paternal feeling went down the commode. I am so grateful to be gay. I will never, ever come home to Hiro knitting baby booties. Don’t misunderstand, I enjoy being around children. I’ve two jobs in which I get to work with young people (whom I call short people): One a high school and the other… Read More
Education is not just book learning. Japanese schools hold several team building events throughout the year which are viewed on par with academic performance. The teachers are only superficially involved in an administrative role. Depending on the event young people will be grouped by age, by class, by club, or randomly, but never by ability. From the chaos a leader rises, the group coalesces, and the events are held — sometimes for the public, as in this event, Bunkasai, or the Culture Festival. Several days before the Bunkasai all classes stop to… Read More
Elementary schools were given colorful streamers for children to write down their good wishes for the world. Phrases like, “I want everyone in the world to try hard with a smile”, “May good feelings and smiles all over the world increase”, “All the children of the world come together and make a peaceful world”. These were hung down different streets (from those on my previous post). Being of lighter paper they fluttered more in the breeze providing a sound like leaves and the reflected light of dozens of rainbows with… Read More
From the seventies Japan amassed much of it’s garbage into a landfill used to reclaim land from the sea. By the late 80’s the site was full and work began to turn this landfill into a new part of the metropolis — Odaiba. Before it was heaped full of excess and waste Odaiba used to be series of small rocky crags that housed the cannons which keep the West out of Japan. Of those original islets only two or three remain are filled in with the waste as people threw out… Read More
I got back the other evening on a late shinkansen. I walked into my home, immaculately clean, lay fresh sheets on the bed, took and shower and slept for sixteen hours uninterruptedly. I had set 15 posts to upload here automatically during my holiday, expecting to chime in from time to time with “cellphoneography”, but they stopped self-posting. I apologize for that. Once I started island hopping keeping a charge in my i-devices became a battle, so I shut down all mail and anything push; used the cell camera when the taking… Read More
These were taken in Odaiba around midnight. The only illumination is artificial. The moon was full, but it was hidden. Two and three minute exposures pull out details that are lost in the light, or with the crowds. Think of them as a reminder of the details seemingly hidden in the dark. 😉 If you’re seeing this and it’s August I’m still on holiday and this is pre-written. 🙂 I may not be able to reply to your comments quickly, or come to your blogs soon, but I will.
The amazing thing about this series of pics is the ISO. I shot these in very low light under a train track on an overcast day. The ISO 256,000. I usually set my camera between ISO 100 – 400, to give you an idea just how high that is. It’s rare to see monks out to collect alms. I leaned into the shade of a building and watched the people busy by him for several minutes. Everyone has their work. No one has much time for each other. It’s less obvious in… Read More
Same day as the previous post, but I was shooting to impose a different mood. Tell me what you think, or which of the two you like best. Comments and critique help me learn.
A series of cherry blossoms with the Tokyo Sky Tree. Tell me what you think.