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  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Fudo image
    Hasedera - Fudo image

    Statue of Fudo Myo-o within sub-temple.

  • 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 Minatogawa Jinja - Cast statue of Kusunoki
    Minatogawa Jinja - Cast statue of Kusunoki

    This image of Kusunoki in full warrior regalia on a horse is priced at 80,000 yen (roughly $600).

  • Thumbnail for Sign along path to the Garan complex
    Sign along path to the Garan complex

    This long path leads from the Kongobuji temple to the Garan, which is a complex of buildings such as large pagodas and halls for worship. There are several signs like this one in Koyasan (often with their idiosyncratic English renderings) that show support for the town being recognized by UNESCO as a site on their World Heritage List. As of 2003 Japan has ten sites so recognized.

  • 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 Hiroshima:  Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 18  --  "A line of burned lunchboxes"
    Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 18 -- "A line of burned lunchboxes" by Takeuchi, Isamu

    A line of burned lunchboxes, Art -- Exlpanation by the artist: buriedAfter morning assembly, they were probably doing calisthenics. They seemed to be junior high students. I wonder where the owners of these lunchboxes were, laid out so neatly. Because this drill ground was near the hypocenter, the lost lunchboxes were burned but still retained their shape, which makes my heart ache. Thinking of the kindness and love some mother put into each, for them to become last lunches. . . -- 360 m from the hypocenter, Western Drill Ground, Moto-machi. The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 when he drew this picture.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 15  --  "Searching"
    Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 15 -- "Searching" by Takeuchi, Isamu

    Searching -- Explanation by the artist: "Bodies lined up along the road for pick-up." The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 at the time when he drew this picture.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Seller of pots, pans, and other household necessities
    Japan, 1951: Seller of pots, pans, and other household necessities

    Japan, 'the workshop of the Orient,' produces quantities of pans, pails, and kettles of iron and aluminum. Such exports we once sold principally in the Orient, but now they are sent to Africa and Latin America --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 Japan, 1951:  Street scene, advertising, Charlie Chaplin
    Japan, 1951: Street scene, advertising, Charlie Chaplin

    Only on holidays are the beautiful kimono seen in significant numbers. 'Charlie Chaplin' proves that Japanese businessmen also believe that 'It pays to advertise.' --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 Japan, 1951:  Election Day in Tokyo
    Japan, 1951: Election Day in Tokyo

    Election Day in an industrial area of Tokyo shows political representatives using megaphones as 'loudspeakers' as they describe the virtues of their candidates. Each party representative awaits his turn. One candidate is fined for spending over $3,000. on election expenses! Because all Japanese are literate we can more easily understand why 90% exercise their right to vote. --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 Japan, 1951:  Urban street scene in the post-war era
  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima Memoir:  Yasuko Imai
    Hiroshima Memoir: Yasuko Imai by Imai, Yasuko

    Passage from the Memoir of Yasuko Imai (female) “The morning sun shone into the reception room, lighting up a corner where a young man lay facing the wall. He turned his eyes – which probably were losing vision – toward me and mustered his strength. ‘Nurse,’ he called, and I stopped. He said, ‘I got here before all these other people, can’t the doctor see me yet?’ I said, ‘I’m sorry for the delay. I’ll get the doctor to see you right away. You must not give up.’ He said, ‘Excuse me, but please give me water.’ He died when he drank a sip of water. I picked up the cup with trembling hands. I could no longer control my feelings. Tears flowed onto my monpe work trousers. How he must have wanted to call out, ‘Mother!’â€

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  Housing in the aftermath of the explosion
    Hiroshima: Housing in the aftermath of the explosion

    Photograph taken near the Yokogawa Station in October, 1945, showing the makeshift huts in which survivors were living.

  • Thumbnail for Osechi
    Osechi

    Japanese New Year's food is called osechi-ryori, and consists of many different kinds of dishes. It's a Japanese tradition to eat osechi-ryori throughout the New Year's holiday or until Jan. 3. Traditionally, people finish cooking osechi dishes by New Year's Eve so they have food for a couple days without cooking. Most of the dishes can last a few days in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature. Colorful osechi-ryori dishes are packed in layers of lacquer boxes, called jubako. Each dish and type of food in osechi has meaning, such as good health, fertility, good harvest, happiness, long life, and so on. Nowadays, many people in Japan buy osechi at stores instead of cooking them at home since it can be time-consuming to cook so many kinds of dishes. If you are in Japan, you can order a set of osechi-ryori at department stores, grocery stores, or convenience stores. The kinds of osechi dishes eaten at Japanese homes vary from region to region. Osechi cuisine is packed in three or four-tiered lacquer boxes called jubako. Here's what goes in where. Ichi-no-ju (top tier) Kuromame (black beans), a symbol of health, are boiled in syrup. Kazunoko, with its myriad of tiny eggs, is a symbol of procreation. It is usually seasoned with soy sauce. Tazukuri symbolizes a good harvest, and consists of tsukudani made with small sardines. Kurikinton is kuri (sweet chestnuts) and mashed satsumaimo (sweet potato) boiled in a sweet sauce. Terigomame are baby sardines simmered in sugar and soy sauce till sticky while datemaki is a sweet cake-like egg that symbolizes knowledge. Ni-no-ju (second tier) Most items in this second box are seafood tidbits to be snacked on while imbibing hot sake. Namasu is a salad of shredded daikon (Japanese radish) and carrot seasoned in vinegar. Also included are: vinegar-seasoned octopus, vinegar and lemon juice marinade of squid, cucumber, grilled shrimp, and Japanese turnip. Marinated pond smelt is also popular. San-no-ju (third tier) The third box holds mostly vegetables and roots. Most vegetables in this box are seasoned with sugar, stock and soy sauce and pair well with rice. Broiled taro, twisted konnyaku and other root vegetables are common. Yo-no-ju (fourth tier) Nishime (simmered root vegetables) is comprised of artistically arranged vegetables such as carrot, gobo (burdock root), renkon (lotus root), yatsugashira (taro), etc.

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

    A variety of meats.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Cheeses
    Grocery Store Display: Cheeses

    Although the Japanese don't traditionally like cheeses, more people eat cheese these days. This grocery store has an impressive selection although this is *just* a regular super market.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office Sorting Box, close up
    Post Office Sorting Box, close up

    A sorting box, used to divide mail into prefectures, by hand.

  • Thumbnail for Map of Regions of Japan
    Map of Regions of Japan

    A poster with maps of regions in Japan at the Hokkaido post office.

  • Thumbnail for School Girls
    School Girls

    School girls take a break from studying.

  • Thumbnail for Liquor Menu
    Liquor Menu

    A liquor menu, with a variety of mixed drinks and sake.

  • Thumbnail for Fruit Stand
    Fruit Stand

    A fruit stand is set up on the sidewalk for people to browse as they shop.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:    Miso
    Grocery Store Display: Miso

    Packages of miso

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:   Nori
    Grocery Store Display: Nori

    Dried sea weed (nori) is an essential part of a balanced Japanese diet.

  • Thumbnail for Lotus Sutra
    Lotus Sutra

    The Lotus Sutra is an impressive example from an original set of eight scrolls of the Lotus Sutra, commissioned by Empress Tofukumon'in. The popularity of the Lotus Sutra as a text for copying is partly due to the teachings of the sutra itself, which promises merit and reward to those who copy the text or have it copied or who treat it with veneration.

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

    Some high tech rice cookers.