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  • Thumbnail for Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 14, Isolated mountain valleys, Kitakami Highlands, near Mt. Komagatake
    Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 14, Isolated mountain valleys, Kitakami Highlands, near Mt. Komagatake

    Isolated mountain valleys, Kitakami Highlands, near Mt. Komagatake. -- Many valleys in Japan with enough flat land to support a village or town are separated from each other by mountainous terrain. Here two such valleys can be seen, one in the left foreground, the other in the middle distance on the right. Small settlements are present in each of these valleys. Recent road and railroad construction has improved communication, but for much of their history, many Japanese villages were relatively isolated from the rest of the country.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Bicycles frequently used for transportation
    Japan, 1951: Bicycles frequently used for transportation

    In the early period after the war, bicycle were perhaps the most common form of transportation used in Japan, even for the transporting of goods, as seen in this image. [note: description written by IDEAS editor. The photographer, Arthur O. Rinden, did not provide a description for this image.]

  • Thumbnail for Flower Shop
    Flower Shop

    A flowershop in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Trolley ride
    Trolley ride

    During our stay in Nagasaki, we often rode the trolleys to get around. After spending some time at the Atomic Bomb Museum, Annie Haugen ('05) took some time during our ride to contemplate.

  • Thumbnail for Farmers in Japan
    Farmers in Japan

    There was a chore for everyone including the undernourished horse. The farmers accepted poverty as inevitable and were slow to accept change, even if it meant improving their lot.

  • Thumbnail for Papermaking
    Papermaking

    This is how paper was made in early times. Paper is still made this way in some parts of Korea with only minor changes. Seoul, South Korea.

  • Thumbnail for Funerary Vases (detail 1)
    Funerary Vases (detail 1)

    Detail of side of funerary vase. This unusual green glaze jar belongs to a particular type of funerary vessel made during the Three Kingdoms and Western Jin dynasties. Called a hunping (spirit jar), it has a long tapered body topped by a configuration of architectural elements and animals. In this example, figures circle the jar as other creatures swarm up the neck of the container.

  • Thumbnail for Funerary Vases (view 1) vase 2
    Funerary Vases (view 1) vase 2

    This unusual green glaze jar belongs to a particular type of funerary vessel made during the Three Kingdoms and Western Jin dynasties. Called a hunping (spirit jar), it has a long tapered body topped by a configuration of architectural elements and animals. In this example, figures circle the jar as other creatures swarm up the neck of the container.

  • Thumbnail for Fruit, Large, and Juicy
    Fruit, Large, and Juicy by Unknown

    Woodblock print, 19.5 x 26 inches. It shows Chinese workers harvesting fruit that fill the trees in an orchard. A red flag, signifying the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976, waves over heavily laden carts. This is an example of peasant art used as state propaganda. This and images like this originated as gouache paintings done by Chinese peasants. The exhibition of the paintings in France was so successful that the government directed woodblock artists to make exact copies for sale.

  • Thumbnail for Aurangzeb Mosque, Qur'anic inscription
    Aurangzeb Mosque, Qur'anic inscription

    Passages from the Qur'an are used as decorations and as reminders of the presence of God in homes and in public places, as well as in mosques.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office Drop Box
    Post Office Drop Box

    PO Boxes wait for mail in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for ATM, close-up 2
    ATM, close-up 2

    A closer look at a Japanese ATM.

  • 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 Post Office: Jihan 1
    Post Office: Jihan 1

    A post-card and stamp machine in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Air Raid Drills
    Air Raid Drills

    Air raid drills in Japan during World War II.

  • Thumbnail for Bouquets
    Bouquets

    Examples of the winter flower selection.

  • Thumbnail for Traditional Korean punishment
    Traditional Korean punishment

    This is a wooden cross where a person who was being punished was strapped down and hit repeatedly with a long, flat, wooden paddle. Usually the punishment was issued by an authoritative figure.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Bronze Knife (front)
    Chinese Bronze Knife (front)

    7" l. The scimitar-form coin is cast in thread relief with a line border, three horizontal lines towards the tip, archaic characters above, two vertical lines on the stem and terminating in a ring.

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: two friends greeting eachother
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: two friends greeting eachother

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Weapon - muzzle-loading pistol
    Weapon - muzzle-loading pistol

    Muzzle-loading pistol, has the tamp attached below the muzzle. Wooden handle; fittings, barrel, and tamp are all metal. If it is Japanese, it dates around 1543 because guns were outlawed early in the Edo period, and did not reappear until the Meiji era.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 066, Bamboo rope making.
    Thorp Collection 066, Bamboo rope making.

    Thorp Collection, Bamboo rope making. This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this collection.

  • Thumbnail for Shoes are removed on entering a Japanese home
    Shoes are removed on entering a Japanese home

    As one enters a Japanese home, one removes one's shoes in the entry way foyer, then steps up into the house, stepping into slippers that are worn only in the house. If one is visiting, the street shoes usually would be left on the floor in the foyer, with the shoe toes pointed away from the interior of the house, so that they can be stepped into easily as one leaves. If it is one's own home, the shoes usually would be placed in the cabinet next to the step. -- This custom has to do with the ideals of "purity," not allowing "dirt" from the outside to enter the house. This includes not only physical dirt but also, just as importantly, it includes the ideal of leaving psychic and emotional involvements with the outside world as one enters the sanctity of the home. In that sense, the removal of one's shoes is a symbolic separation from the concerns of the everyday world as one enters one's home.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office:  Hoka Mado
    Post Office: Hoka Mado

    Text: "Hoka no madoguchi o go-riyoo kudasai" ("Please go to the next station")

  • Thumbnail for Hand-set Type
    Hand-set Type

    It could be exasperating when dealing with a language burdened by thousands of kanji.

  • Thumbnail for Daybreak at Nihonbashi Bridge
    Daybreak at Nihonbashi Bridge by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido series in the Tsutakichi Tokaido edition. One of the most well known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. Though Hiroshige’s most famous series was called “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido,†most editions actually included fifty-five images as the artist executed both the beginning point of the traditional journey, Nihonbashi bridge in Edo, and the terminus of the highway in Kyoto. Here the famous bridge in the center of Edo is bathed in early morning light, representing both a spiritual and a literal beginning of a long journey.