Thursday, 18 August 2011

Kendo shinai

The kendo as sport originate from the training of the samurai, in ancient time they used the katana, the famous japanese sword, that is still used in a martial art called iai. The kendo sword is called shinai, is made in bamboo, four pieces tied together, very flexible and make a great sount when hit the opponent. To protect the hands must wear the gloves called kotè.

Kendo men

Kendo helmet is called men, is weared over a cloth called tenugui, with the name of the school or team or calligraphy from famous master. The uniforms and clothes for kendo are tradutionally indigo blue, with diverse finishing.

Kendo armor

To play kendo it needs to wear many protections, this is the armor to protect the abdomen, called Do. Master of high level, like this one is 6th dan, in competitions and exhibitions need to wear very sophisticated equipment and clothes, this do is covered is shark skin and the symbol of the family called kamon.


Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art very popular abroad too, children at school plays it and is part of Japanese police training. I took this pictures in Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture, where there is  a great tradition in martial art because there was a castle and so many samurai lived there in the past, young generation are keeping alive this tradition after the end of the American ban on martial arts during the post war occupation of Japan.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


This is the sign of a bar in Kitakata, is not particularly interesting, but .... my name is Flavio. During my daily walk with my camera, I take some picture, even very simple subjects, just the pleasure to look at the word without any pressure of work or result, just the fun of it. Natural light.

Stone lanterns

The stone lantern in Japanese gardens are called torou, this are in the garden of Izumo jinja (temple) in Kitakata, the flags are displayed during the matsuri, the festival of the jinja. I like the contrast of materials in this pictures, the haviness and stillness of the stone in opposition to the softness and lightness of the fabric. Photographed in natural ligh in a graysh afthernoon.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

たんじょうび おめでとう! ありがとう!

Today is my birthday and my brother in low and his wife arrived in Kitakata from Tokyo early in the morning with this lovely bunch of yellow roses for me! They know I'm crazy about yellow, anything yellow. Thank you so much for your love. In Japanese happy birthday is tanjoubi omedetou, arigatou is thank you.

If you are interested in technical details: I shoot this picture with the 105 mm. macro lens, wide open to have a great bochen effect, with natural light coming from a window and balanced the white (very important to do so correctly ;-) no post production nor saturation correction.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Zippei is a star

Zippei (pronunced Jippei) is the tv star of this Summer in Japan and he is touring Fukushima prefecture with live broadcasting every morning on national tv. We did not know him and his broadcasting at all ;-)  Few days ago the tv troupe was parked under our house in Kitakata early in the mornig and I went down .to meet the nice dog.

Blue Cadillac

It was a great surprise when I discover a new Jinja (temple) in Kitakata with a nice big garden around and parked beside the main building I found a blue Cadillac with customized blue wheels. May be the priest's car? Was late afternoon and there was a great warm light coming out from the breaking clouds, after a summer shower.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The sake sleeps at night

The Summer moon over the sake factory in Kitakata.

The moon and the pine

The moon and the pine plays in a Summer night in Kitakata. Photo taken with natural light, moonlight and exposure of 30 seconds at 100 iso.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Tha art of sushi making

The art of sushi making is a great process to witness, everything happen in few seconds, the small quantity of rice is taken from a wooden basin, shaped quickly, add wasabi to the cutted fish and placed on top of the rise and voila! Sound easy but is really difficult to do it nicely and good, but photographed here is a real artist of sushi, Shimizu san.


 For me the best food in the world is sushi and I've been so lucky to teaste real sushi in Japan and particularly the delicious one from Midori Sushi reastaurant in Umegaoka, Tokyo. every food is different in differrent restaurants, with sushi is even more impressing the difference. We ask only for Shimizu san sushi, because his prepration is special, is pure art, indescribable. This are just starters!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Red lanterns

Every year I visit this small jinja in Kitakata, I like the quiet feeling here, just some children playng in the field nearby.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Sake is mature!

Outside the main door of sake factory there is always anging a nice big ball made of  brunches of Japanese cedar, they put it outsidein Winter, when the sake is made and all leaves are gree, in Summer the leaves turn to a nice red and that means the sake is mature and ready to drink.

Clear, fresh sweet water

Japanese culture and is great, I love it, the attention for details is paramaount, in this photo can see  a detail of the the roof's tiles of the sake factory, the lower roof of the entrance gate. Every year I go to Kitakata I take new pictures of the same places, I discover new details, in different season (only in Winter and in Summer I can go, unfortunately) or the same but in a new light.

Sake factory

Close to our house (my wife's mother) in Kitakata,  there is a very good sake factory called Yamatogawa, this is the noren, the traditional curtain at the entrance of the shops with the name of the owner and the date it was founded, pfthen with nice calligraphy writings. The fountain outside the sake factory of pure spring water is coming from the nearby mountains is there for passerby to drink or even bottle it. To make good sake it neds good rice and good water, and here in Kitakata are both very good indeed! I like sake.