Saturday, 18 February 2012

100 books!

I started reading Japanese literature after I married, less than 10 years ago, before I read almost only art, aesthetic, philosophy, esoterism essays. The first (Japanese) novel I read was Murakami Haruki's Tokyo Blues and Norwegian Woods and I immediately followed in love with this literature, from that moment, I bought only Japanese writer's books, and I realised yesterday, after a fruitful stop at a second hand bookshop in Milano, I reached 100 books of Japanese literature! I think it a moment to remember and, to celebrate, I shoot this picture. It was not easy to keep all this books standing there ... the tower it was tall 170 cm. like me!

Obi and obijime

To wear  a kimono is an art and is almost impossible, if not well trained, to do it on your own, it need the skilled help of an expert. This is an obi, the heavy silk sash to decorate the kimono as a belt and tight in a different variety of bows, usually women's obi are 30cm. wide and 4 m. long, for men are thinner, about 8 to 10 cm. The string in the picture, is the obijime and is used to help the obi to remains in place and is always in contrasting colours with the obi, the Japanese have a straordinary good taste for colours, ofthen surprising for us and very attractives and harmonious.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Chukafu nasu

This Japanese recepie of eggplants is really good, the name means eggplants Chinese way, are fried in olive oil and after marinated in soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic and  spicy Chinese sauce, decorate with fine chopped leek and toastes sesame seeds, to be eted accompanided by Japanese white rice.
Photo taken in natural light with 105mm. macro lens fully opened.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


This is toba, is sliced marinated in sake and dried salmon and slightly warmed on a grill before serving. We had this ozmami a speciality from Japan, as appetizer today with white wine arneis from Piedmont, but we where not satisfied with the match, it would be better with slightly dry Japanese sake. Toba is very, VERY good! Shoot on (a gray day) natural light with Nikon 105mm. macro lens, very nice for close ups and shallow focus.

Icicle roof

This icicle from the roof looks like teeth of a great monster, impressive.

Snow on the temple roof

A bright sunny morning in Kitakata, graphic shadows of the trees on the snow covered roof of the main temple of Teramachi Jinja, near my mother in love's house in Kitakata, very nice geomery of shinmei zukuri style temple.

Sun rays in a cold winter day

Watashiwa Sampo o shimasu. I use to tell to my mother in love: vado a fare una passeggiata. I love walking through the small town of Kitakata, even in very cold winter days, only with the company of my camera, I travel light during this promenades, I carry the 85mm. lens and the 17-35mm zoom, the latest I use rarely, I love details, close ups, I do not feel as landscape photographer, I look out for mood, sensations, glances on passing moments. I love this rays of sun caressing the trees covered witrh snow.

Pine and snow

After the grey and snowy days, the sky cleared and a pale blue appeared giving more dept and enhancing the geometry of this nice shaped pine.

Pines under the snow

I mounted together two pictures shoot at different times and slightly different angles of the same pine, in Japanese matsu covered with snow, yuki, that is a lovely name for girls as well in Japan. Photo taken in Kitakata in Januari 2005.

Yuki furite
toshi no kurenuru
toki ni koso
tsuini momijinu
matsu mo miekere.
Only at the end of the year / when the snow  spread / the white blanket / highlight to the eyes / the perennial green of the pine.
Thanks to great article of  professor Rossella Marangoni (in Italian)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Pupils piano recital of Takizawa school in MIlano 2012

I made this poster, photo and graphyc for the piano performance of younh pupils of Takizawa School in Milano in 2012. Very shallow focus with the 105mm lens fully opened, a brass violin key on an old score with yellowish paper gives this old look. Flash light in my studio.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Flavio Gallozzi photographer meets karate master Shirai Hiroshi

Shirai Hiroshi is a karate master and is a living treasure of Japan, his mission was to bring to the West and particularly Europe, the true and traditional karate from Japan. He has been living in Italy for more than 40 years now and still have great passion and dedication to his work and way of life, the karate. After all this time his mission is greately accomplished, he manged to transmit the pure spirit and create many good masters to continue the good work after him.
I had the great privilege of being invited to take photos of him by the Accademia del Karate Yoshitaka in Abbiategrasso near Milan, where Shirai sensei regularly hold seminars.
To tak the photo I had only half an hour time with him, early morning in a superb December day in 2011, but at 8 am. there was no light coming from the big windows and I had to set my lights, 4 tungsten spotlights of 350 w. This is why tere is a deep blue windows, I like this effetc. I use a 85mm 1.4f Nikkor lensfully open to achieve a great bochen effect (means shallow focus) is funny to notice that the boken in japanese is the wooden sword used for training in kendo.

Great book about the first Italian diplomatic mission in Japan

A great book  about the first Italian diplomatic mission in Japan in 1866, written by Enrico Hillier Giglioli, doctor and antropologist, pupil of Charles Darwin. The trip is made just ten years after the opening of Japan to the rest of the world with the "help" of Commodore Perry. A gread trip diary, intelligent, with scientific and cultural analysis and observations of the last period of medieval Japan.