Shooting Film in Japan

Spring market. Unlike America where most old people are almost never seen, the Japanese are active regardless of their age.

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Young people are busy at work / school so you don’t see a lot of them in the day time.

As the night begins to fall the restaurants get their menus ready.

The typical Japanese city bike: front basket, step over frame, vertical stand, embedded lock on rear wheel. Danny Choo’s video on Japanese automatic velo parking. 

This brief moment when day  and street lights coexist in an unstable balance.

Finally, the artificial lighting takes over.

Outside America, Japan is probably the only other country where baseball is popular.

Japanese work quite long hours. To come home late is a daily ritual.

The bikes remain in the night.

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Females on wheels, Japan

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Lunch hour at the pond – Fukuoka (shot on color film with Leica Minilux)

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The noisiest scooters in the entire world are in France. In Japan, they are almost silent.

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The most popular bike type in Japan is a 20 inch folder. Leica film.

24-inch wheels are also common.

The first ride to Mt Tabor after returning from France

As I begin my climb I can’t but stop to take a snap or two of these magnificent colors, especially the fresh green – still fighting back the inevitable winter.
When I reach the top… Did you know that Mark Rothko grew up in Portland Oregon? Perhaps it’s this Portland citiscapes, the horizontal lines of different colors that inspired his famous work.
I should start a new blog, seriously. “People Shooting Film Around the World”.  This young lady was kind enough to allow me to photograph her Polaroid camera. It looked new so I wondered where one would buy film packs since the Polaroid camera stopped making them years ago. (Hint: the IMPOSSIBLE project)
I ride my bike all year round for all purposes. Which includes shopping. Here’s the character of the day.
I see this cute bike and decide to take picture. As some customes walk in (notice the shoe) I realize it’s a Marijuana Store. America is an amazing country. What you can do freely and openly in Oregon, like buy and smoke pot, even grow it, may land you in jail in many other states.
The fall colors of Oregon are perhaps the best in the world

Portland Oregon, January 2017

“Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the centre of the world.”

— John Burroughs

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Forget the world. And so command the world.
—Rumi

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Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you. — Deepak Chopra

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Le centre du temps, le centre de l’univers

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Burmese Chronicles, continued

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Burma is an open society. Most of life happens in plain view. There is an overwhelming sense of connectedness. Everybody’s acts are exposed.

burma-01Yangon cats are always lean. Unlike the monks.

chaosTraffic is the worst part of Yangon. The easiest way to get around the city is by taxi. They are everywhere.  The destructive effect of the car – as a transportation concept – is visible in every country but Burma is one of the worst examples. Not just the ecology but the destruction of the city as a communal form of living.

In fact, what the car does is turns every city to an anti-city. (The city as the idea of “Agora” in the  Antiquity.)  Most of us were born in anti-cities so we don’t know any better. But it pains me to see the destruction of a living Agora that’s going on right in front of you.

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The massive invasion of cars is rapidly destroying both the ecology and the human connection. The traditional velo-taxis are still popular but they are assaulted by these road monsters.

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People are poor but everyone seems to own a massive Japanese SUV. It certainly feels like Japan dumps its used cars here.

Japanese cars are made for driving on the left. The Burmese drive on the right. The chaos is unbelievable.

Most of Yangon consists of narrow streets with no sidewalks.  Every driver beeps when they approach you. The locals don’t seem to car  but it drives westerners crazy!

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When it’s lunchtime, everybody goes out (or inside an air-con mall – depending on one’s income.)

Street dogs appear absolutely comfortable. Nobody minds them and there’s plenty of food. I heard rumors  that the government poisons them.

 

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Lunch is a communal ritual thousands of people partake daily.

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All business is done in cash. The Myanmar currency is called Kyat (pronounced chut). She keeps the bills in a plastic bag. Some people carry massive wads of cash.

It’s still a very cheap country. But the times are a-changing. Next year it would probably be a different country. More “advanced” in the Western sense. More banks, Burger Kings, ATMs, and alas even more cars.