Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hair ornament

Very strong and nice contrast of colours for ykata and obi, a simple and stylish hair ornament as traditional Japanese way of elegance and beauty.

Koto ensamble

The koto ensamble rehersal is going to start in minutes, take position. Tke koto is a traditional Japanese strings instrument, made in one piece of paulonia wood, originally imported from China, is still played by many people, have a great sound.

Tight the obi

The final touch to the red obi on a striped grey and flower yukata. A young and sexy Japanese girl.

The tress

A nice tress on a yukata for a young girl with a great yellow obi, very stylish and elegant. Is very difficult to tied ut obi for kimono or yukata, majority of women ask for help to mother, sister, friends or hairdresser are expert in dressing up for formal occasions. Even obi for men, (that is 5 cm. wide) is difficult, or not, I mean I'n not able to do it properly. Mix light, natural light from a window and some artificial light, Niko 85 mm. lens as usual.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Lovely hair

Lovely long black hair, very sensual silouette and a nice gesture of a Japanese woman holding a photo camera at an art exhibition. Photo taken in natural light with 85mm. Nikon at f 1.4

Sculpture by Azuma Kenjiro

A bronze sculpture of the Japanese artist Azuma Kanjiro at Abbey Contemporary Art in Parodi Ligure (Alessandria). He is one of the few Japanese fighter airplane pilots that survived the war, his kamikaze mission was cancelled because the Emperor surrended, just one hour prior to his take off. He moved to Italy and became an artist, is living in Milano.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Miyahara Mitsuo

This is a painting of Miyahara Mitsuo, a Japanese artist living in Torino, Italy, since 1968. This pictures were taken at Abbey Contemporary Art in Parodi Ligure, near Alessandria, Italy. The exhibition was in an old and beautiful deconsecrated church in the lovely countryside. Miyahara was my teacher at art high school in Torino in the early '70s, after coming back from London and with a Japanese wife, I searched for him and I was surprised to found him still living in Torino; we are very good friends now and I'm very greateful to him for starting in me the interest for Japan that has grown for many years and become true love and is a great part of my life and my art. Arigatou sensei!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fueda san

Some years ago I took this portrait of a Japanese classical singer  in my studio, he was studing in Italy at the time. His name is Fueda and is a tenore, now is making a great career in Japan. I used flash lights, Nikon D2Xs camera and the 85mm. f 1,4 lens.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lovely hair

Lovely black hair, nice sweet smile and relaxed expression in this black and white portrait. The face is a bit in the shadows and sligtly covered by the hair to add a bit of mystery. Really nice eyes. Nikon camera and lens 85mm. f. 1,4 fully open as usual (for me) studio strobe lighting.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Yukata flower pattern

A nice yukata pattern with yellow and orange flowers on blue background and a lovely neck.

Walking with kimono

As I wrote before, I found Japanese kimono and yukata very elegant and sensual clothes, they hide the body's form  and shape, they blank out the brest with layers of fabric and towels, but let the imagination free. It can be seen just the neck, little of the arms and the feet (in Summer) and ankles ... this is sensuality. I shoot this picture in natural light, filtered by the shoji I built using not rice paper because too weak, I used photographic frost film, perfect to soften the light and not influencing the color temperature.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A little mystery

A little mystery, by focusing on the print of the yukaya (summer cotton kimono) and blurring the lovely face of Mirei san to enfatize the sensual neck, very sexy. Natural light with reflector and 85mm. lens f 1,4 Nikon.

Japanese great style

Lovely Japanese style, the raw white silk of the kimono is decorated wit sylized red cranes and the obi is red as well. Photographed in my studio on natural sunlight with Nikon D2Xs and 85mm. lens f 1,4.

Look at me ...

Lovely and sensual she looks in camera, very relaxed and natural, not easy to achieve in a non professional model. To capture a natural expression in a portrait is a grteat satisfaction, here I was focusing on natural beauty of the girl and delicate sensuality of her neck and ear. Photographed in my studio on natural light through a shoji an reflector, shoot with the Nikon 85mm. at f 1.4, camera Nikon D2Xs.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Sweet neck

A sweet neck of a sweet girl wearing a silk white kimono with red cranes and casual hair style. Photo taken in my studio with naturaql light coming from a window through a shoji with whitepaper on it and reflectors for the shadows.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Gracious feet

"At the careful eye of Seikichi a foot can communicate the same complex sensations of a face, and that's woman foot apperaed to him like a precious meat jewel." from the book "The tatoo" by Kawabata Jun'ichiro


The simple elegance and discreet sensuality of yukata, the cotton kimono for Summer, the harmony of gesture and posture and a flower arrangement, a ear and a lovely neck line, this is what I love of Japan.


Empty space, just a place for meditation and beauty. Natural light coming through a shoji, the reflection on the wood floor, the elegance of a yukata and obi, the sensuality of bare feet. Siple eroticism.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


The higashi are very dry sugar cakes, made of pressed sugar and rice weat,  the tiny one are just made of shugar, to be served in the chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Photohgraphed on a laquered woden plate in natural light with a fully open Nikon 105mm. macro lens, to blur abundantly the back ground.

Green tea in glass cup

Chanoyu in summer can be done using a handmade glass chawan, the cup, to suggest the idea of freshness, suzushi. Harmony with the season will be all the accessory, like the kimono of the master performing the Tea Ceremony, the flowers of the chabana and the calligraphy or print in the tokonoma. In the foreground of this picture are some coloured sugar sweets, the higashi, served here on a laquered tray in the shape of a fan, again to sugest the idea of freshness. The contrast is important too in Japanese culture, the bitter of the matcha, the powdered green tea and the shugar sweets.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Open studio

Here my studio in Kitakata, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. To set up a studio is not necessary too much equipment, just a camera a nice subject and fantasy. Sun light is the greatest, better not direct sunlight that's too harsh, some white fabric to reflet light is fine to control shadows and be careful at what are around for color reflections (red walls, blue cars ..) consider that the sky is blue end so reflect a blue light. All the photos of flower arrengements here are made like this, with natural light and is reflected mostly from the ground and the white sheet. On the small table the Nikon 85 mm. 1.4 f lens, that I love and use so much for the ability to blur the background with extreme shallow focus. To paraphrase the title of an Italian neorelaistic movie (Pane, amore e fantasia) Camera, Love and Fantasy can be my motto!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

More chabana

More chabana, flower arrengements for the Japanese tea ceremony.

Chabana and calligraphy

A lovely flower composition, very simple and minimal, is a chabana a flower arrangement for ther tea ceremony. The flower is a kind morning glory in a deep blue glass vase, in the back ground a golden screen and a nice calligraphy.

A giant hydrangea

A giant hidrangea, in Japanese ajisai coming from the garden of nice friends living in the countryside near Torino. In Japanese the word ajisai is written with the kanji of purple and the kanji of sun. Photographed in natural light in very sunny afthernoon of July with the Nikon 105 mm Macro lens.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


An other lovely chabana with a kakejiku made with a single abujiron flower in a metal vase with a calligraphy, shodo. Photographed in natural light with a Nikon 105 mm. macro lens to have a nice shallow focus effect.

Pink flower chabana

Chabana are the essential, minimalistic traditional Japanese flower arrangements used only for chanoyu, the tea ceremony. While in Japan, I live in Kitakata to my mother in low house, shi is ikebana master and chanoyu master, so I ask her for composition to take many photos, she have many vases and accessories and the important golden screen on the bach ground, is a wodden frame covered with paper and gold like color on it (not real gold) that give an incredible depth to the photos. I prefer natural light coming from a window or the main door, a flower composition is always placed in the entrance room of the house, like this one. The bottle in an old sake jar, very nice, placed on a little laquered wodden table.

Chabana, the flower arrangement.

A ikebana is a traditional Japanese flower arrangement, very simple, natural and essential, compose by many rules and different styles, using cutted flowers and herbs, also the choice of vase and the container are very important, always in harmony with the season. This pictur was taken in latural light coming from the entrance door of my mother in low house in Japan.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama photographed in Milano in June 2012 at the press conference.

Long time passed through this door

A nice, old wooden gate in Kitakata, Fikushima prefecture, Japan. I love textures, especially woods and natural material, Japanese are master in creating lovely textures with woods and they keeps the signes of time and weather on them, as an improvement, an enrichment and not as defective.

Wagashi with anko

Anko is a marmalade of azuki beans, in this case they keep the shape and texture of beans, somethimes are squashed into a paste, always lightly sweet, used in many Japanese sweet like the dorayaki, very good.

Red flower wagashi

An other nice wagashi,  shaped as a red flower. The wagashi are tiny soft sweets, inside can have anko, a marmelade of azuki beans, very delicate taste, perfect with the matcha, the bitter green tea, used in the Tea Ceremony. On the tatami a nice black laquered wooden plate.

Wagashi with gold

The wagashi are small sweets made of rice weat, to be part of the chanoyou, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Are little work of art, comes in infinite different shapes, like flowers, animals, shells ... always in complete and sublime harmony witrh the season, like everithing in chanoyou, the bowl, the little flower composition and the print or calligraphy on the wall of the tokonoma. This wagashi has little gold leaves in it, to be of good luck, good omen for the new year, this photo was taken in January wit artificial light and the reflection of the window on the laquered little tray on the tatami, giving the bluish color to it. The chawan, the tea bowl is a black raku with the caratheristic matcha, the powdered green tea in it.