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  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Instructions for worship at a shrine
    Ikuta Jinja - Instructions for worship at a shrine

    This sign instructs those (probably of younger generations) who need a reminder how to worship (from right to left): "First you bow twice with back bent to ninety degrees and head lowered. Then you clap your hands twice at chest level. Then bow one last time."

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - An ema with a wish
    Ikuta Jinja - An ema with a wish

    This ema reads, "May my family be happy and live joyously and brightly. May we all be happy."

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Banner on main gate of Ikuta Jinja
    Ikuta Jinja - Banner on main gate of Ikuta Jinja

    This banner advertises an upcoming festival, on July 15th, that will feature the lighting of a thousand lanterns, the rope circle through which one may walk (chinuwa kuguri), and a purification rite aimed at "countering obstacles, eliminating illness and vanquishing troubles."

  • Thumbnail for Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan
    Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan

    This is just one of hundreds of such massive entrance gates to a temple in the town of Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Amulets
    Ikuta Jinja - Amulets

    Most of the amulets (o-mamori) shown here are for success in academics, either for good grades or for passing an entrance exam into the school of your choice. The prices here, which are more or less standard, range from 500 to 1000 yen (from $4-$8).

  • Thumbnail for Poster, Changing Roles, Japan, 1998
    Poster, Changing Roles, Japan, 1998

    This poster was photographed in front of a post office in Japan in 1998. The red triangular motif in the lower left is the logo for the "Peace People Japan." The interesting aspect, of course, is the depiction of a young woman, dressed in uniform, with wrenches in hand as she approaches a helicoptor. While much of Japan remains bound by tradition and roles defined by tradition, there is also far reaching social change occurring, with redefinitions of gender roles, etc.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Urban street scene in the post-war era
  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Small town open front markets
    Japan, 1951: Small town open front markets

    Open front shops are seen in smaller towns --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script", was to accompany a slide show of the images for family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 19  --  "Mother and me joyfully reuniting in the ruins"
    Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 19 -- "Mother and me joyfully reuniting in the ruins" by Furui, Natsuko

    Mother and me joyfully reuniting in the ruins -- Explanation by the artist: "Looking for my mother, I searched among the crowds of people trudging out of the city. Then, ahead of me I noticed my mother walking my way in her underwear and with blood on her shoulder. 'Mother!!' We held each other and cried by the side of the road. My mother had been trapped under the house, unable to get out, but neighbors freed her. It was a miracle. If we hadn't met then, I would have spent the whole night wandering through the rubble and smoke looking for her." -- The artist was 22 at the time of the bombing, 78 when she drew this picture.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:   Meats
    Grocery Store Display: Meats

    A variety of meats.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Fish
    Grocery Store Display: Fish

    More fish for sale.

  • Thumbnail for School Girls
    School Girls

    School girls take a break from studying.

  • Thumbnail for School Children's Poster
    School Children's Poster

    Children's drawings adorn this poster.

  • Thumbnail for Kids Day KFC Style
    Kids Day KFC Style

    The colonel gets into the spirit on Chldren's Day in Japan by dressing up samurai style.

  • Thumbnail for Crane Scroll, Part 1
    Crane Scroll, Part 1 by Koetsu, Hon'ami , Sotatsu, Tawaraya

    The scroll, almost fifteen meters long, was designed to be viewed section by section. Delicate silver cranes dance across a golden shore, gliding through clouds of gold, sometimes in graceful formation, other times frolicking. The lavish gold and silver under painting, attributed to Tawaraya Sotatsu, captures the eye first, however it was not intended to be viewed as a self-sustaining composition, but rather as a background to highlight the darlky inked strokes created by the calligrapher's brush. Boldly inscribed by Hon'ami Koetsu in his distinctive calligraphic style, the texts include famous court verses, one by each of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets 0 famous poets of ancient Japan. - from text by John Carpenter.

  • Thumbnail for Rice Cookers, close-up
    Rice Cookers, close-up

    Some high tech rice cookers.

  • Thumbnail for Bags of Rice
    Bags of Rice

    Very expensive and high class Japanese rice.

  • Thumbnail for Children's Books
    Children's Books

    A display of childrens books at a bookstore in a Tokyo department store.

  • Thumbnail for Food Menu
    Food Menu

    A menu full of tasty Japanese dishes.

  • Thumbnail for Kimono Display
    Kimono Display

    Beautiful white silk fabric to be used for kimonos.

  • Thumbnail for Flower Prices
    Flower Prices

    Example prices at a flower shop .

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting of the gods of wealth and long life
    Fan painting of the gods of wealth and long life

    A New Years Haiku. Text: "Shaved up and ready (Sori-tatete)/ Pines by the door and breezes, (kadomatsu kaze-ya)/ Happiness, Wealth, Long Life (Fukurokuju). [Signed] Buson [seal]"

  • Thumbnail for Torii
    Torii

    A line of bright red torii gates mark the path to a shrine.

  • Thumbnail for Emperor Go-Mizunoo
    Emperor Go-Mizunoo by Gen'yo Shonin [1634-1727]

    Ink and color painted I\image of the Tokugawa-era emperor Go-Mizunoo. The two poems were copied from inscriptions on other portraits of the emperor. The translation by Watanabe Akiyoshi is as follows: "Painful, this/withered tree fence hidden/ in the deep mountain;/ would that at least my heart's/ flowers were fragrantly abloom./ My life being thus,/ in this world that I will never revisit/ the thought of leaving a trace/ of my calligraphy for a moment-/ even that is sad." The artist Gen'yo, a Zen Buddhist nun, was Go-Mizunoo's granddaughter.

  • Thumbnail for Subway ticket machine
    Subway ticket machine

    Examples of different kinds of tickets offered at a Japanese subway station.