Thursday, August 20, 2009

Makes me wanna go there

Zen-like, a side-by-side existence of the ancient and ultra modern.

"The West not only loves Japan, but it also seems to love to love Japan, almost unconditionally and in a hyper-realistic way."

Not a rant from someone who wants to bash his head against a brick wall every time he hears some nonsense about mysterious, exotic, weird, inscrutable Japan and its people, but from Japan Exposures.

He is writing about some photos taken in Japan, in particular the way that the most mundane and stereotypical seem draw raves as long as it can be identified as "Japan," especially as the exotic Japan of the imagination.

I wonder how many new identical photos of Kyoto's Kinkokuji exist? Millions? Billions? I have a few and I nearly got trampled to death by a horde of very polite people in order to get them. Afterward, I wondered why since they were from the same spot and under the same light and conditions as thousands of others which are easily accessible---and even printable---online.

When I was in high school, I remember looking through a photography book with mostly monochrome landscapes of Japan. I don't think there were any photos of Mt. Fuji or of any other place that was recognizable as Japan. I finally gave up in disgust after looking at a photo taken near the seacoast and wondering why anyone would go to Japan just to take photos that were not much different in content than one could take anywhere else. Don't recall feeling the same way about photos taken in other countries.

Still gotta get the shot of Shibuya crossing with its huge crowds of people which is so typical of Japan. And while I am there, maybe I can get one of Hachiko too, since Richard Gere's destined-to-be-a-classic Hachiko has started playing. Oh, and a geisha...and a few more photos of Fujisan...

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