Monday, January 11, 2010

Cross Section

Cross Section is a new photographic series that takes an up-close look at life in Yokohama, Japan's Tsurumi ward. Focusing the camera lens on various crosswalks throughout Tsurumi ward, the Ride of My Life photographic team hopes to capture a representational cross section of life in Japan.

Today is seijin no hi, or Coming of Age Day, in Japan. Young men and women who become 20 years old this year celebrate the day by dressing in Kimonos (mostly the young women), visiting shrines, etc. Local city offices throughout the country also hold special ceremonies to mark the occasion. The City of Yokohama holds a big ceremony for those officially reaching adulthood this year at the Yokohama Arena, a sprawling sports and performing arts complex. In recent years some of the ceremonies have been marred by outbursts from drunken celebrants representing the rougher side of a society that is often viewed as typically quiet and orderly.

While out walking today I spied a trio of newly minted adults. They were all dressed in traditional Japanese silk kimonos but had  kind of a rough edge to them. One of the young men was covered in bling and sported a pink men's kimono, or hakama. The other two were clad in what seemed more traditional-colored attire with the lad in a black hakama and the young woman, a bleached blonde, decked out in a lavish, floral patterned kimono. All three had cigarettes dangling from their lips and were making sort of a minor spectacle of themselves as they took turns posing for pictures that they snapped with their cell phones. It was a Pulitzer Prize winning scene, a real slice of modern day life in Japan, that I wanted to capture with my camera. In the end I was afraid that they would notice me and then chase after me (in their wooden flip flops) and then who knows what. So I decided to play it safe and took this picture of the novice priests/monks from Sojiji Temple on their regular jaunt through town begging for alms.

About the photos: The photo team took these photos with its relatively new-to-it Fuji Finepix S602Zoom camera it got from its Uncles a couple of years ago. If the team could have figured out how to use the zoom function I believe that it could have taken the Pulitzer Prize winning photo mentioned above from a safe disatance.  
Look forward to exciting new developments from the newly equipped photo team!

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