Temple incense

mbfitzmahan. Temple Incense – Boys and old man. Osu Kannon Temple, Nagoya – Japan. 2012.  Framed: 18 x 18 in.

Giving off aromas of deep green woods, a massive bronze incense burner is central to the Japanese temple.

A wayfarer embraces the smoke.  Clinging to the remains of the sandalwood, he applies the wood scent to his hands, hair, and clothes.

Kafé Japan

IMG_0490-Edit-2.jpg
mbfitzmahan. Kafé Japan,  Kasugai,  Japan. 2012

A cup of coffee cost a whopping $5.00 or $6.00.  That is more than $20 in today’s money.  American journalists loved to report how exorbitantly expensive Tokyo was by quoting the cost to buy a steak dinner or a cup of coffee.   

I didn’t care much about steak dinners, but I loved my coffee shops.

In 1968, I was surprised to find a booming coffee culture in Tokyo.  I expected to see a plethora of tea shops.  You know –  tea, temples, and geishas.  Actually, I found it challenging to find a tea room in the city.  Instead, I found that Tokyo had the finest coffee and coffee shops outside of Europe, perhaps the world.  The kissaten.   

It was in Tokyo that I learned to love coffee.

Continue reading “Kafé Japan”

Quiet refinement

Jōkōji, Japan
mbfitzmahan. 2012 Jōkōji, Japan. A weed deserves to be noticed once in awhile.

I have two deep passions.  Black and white photography, and kanji, the system of Japanese writing.   The allure of these two systems comes from my attraction to Japanese aesthetics: simplicity, suggestion, irregularity, quiet refinement. 

Both photography and kanji can be minimalistic, complex, esoteric, mysterious, and enigmatic.    Continue reading “Quiet refinement”

Japanese aesthetics

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Imperial gardens, Kyoto – Japan

women’s only train car -Nagoya

woman's only train
women’s only train. June 13, 2013. Nagoya, Japan
iPhone 5. ISO 50. 4.1 mm. f/2.4. 1/127. Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2

a journey – even today

a journey - even today. June 13, 2013. Nagoya, Japan iPhone 5. ISO 50. 4.1 mm. f/2.4. 1/30. Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2
a journey – even today. June 13, 2013. Nagoya, Japan
iPhone 5. ISO 50. 4.1 mm. f/2.4. 1/30. Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2

if I hold the tears, they sparkle – autumn dusk

Miyajima dusk
Miyajima. October 10, 2012. Hiroshima, Japan
Nikon D7000. AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G. ISO 400. 18mm. 1/13. 1/640. Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2.

I like to wash, the dust of this world, in the droplets of dew (Bashō 1644-1694)

droplets of dew
droplets of dew. February 18, 2013. Kozoji, Japan
iPhone 5. ISO 80. 4.1mm.f/2.4/1/20. Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2