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Letter of Thanks from PhilI really enjoyed my first trip to Finland during September 4-18, 2005 (Sept. 8-17 in Kuusamo) and savored every hour. The people in Kuusamo were all so nice and it was a great pleasure to meet and see the work of many talented and dedicated photographers from Europe.

They have definitely piqued my interest and opened my eyes to the nature and wildlife in northern Europe and the Arctic region. I've also become much more keenly aware of the seriousness of global warming. People in Finland have told me how the climate has become noticeably warmer over the decades. Such countries near the polar regions are the first to feel and see the detrimental effects of global warming. I really hope we can someday reverse the trend.

I want to thank the people who made my sponsored trip and participation in Kuusamo Nature Photo 2005 possible and very enjoyable. After months of email correspondence with the festival staff, it was great to finally meet all of them face to face. It makes a big difference when you know the face and person behind the name.

I know they worked very hard to pull off a very successful nature photo festival. For all the email correspondence, coordination, and making all the arrangements, I especially want to thank the following:

Lassi Rautiainen, Kuusamo Nature Photo Director
Pekka Pirhonen, Kuusamo Culture Department Manager
Seija Väisänen
Hannele Pappila
Town of Kuusamo
Corporate sponsors

I also want to personally thank the following people:

Pirkko Väätäinen, my interpreter who interpreted my three slide shows into Finnish.
Hannu Hautala and wife Irma, for having us over at his home/office. Despite his fame, Hannu is a very down-to-earth and warm-hearted man. It was a great pleasure to meet him, to see his collection of Japanese photo books, and hearing about his two trips to Japan.
Barbara, for videotaping my slide shows with my video camera and taking some great snapshots of me enjoying myself in Kuusamo. And also for providing transportation to/from the airport.
Tõnu Ling, for taking snapshots of me in Kuusamo and being my first friend in Kuusamo (we met on the plane to Kuusamo).
Koillis sanomat newspaper and reporter Tuomo Pirttimaa for interviewing me in an article they published.

Again, I have to thank Lassi for everything. He was the one who took care of all the details even during our nature trips. Lending sleeping bags, carrying hot drinks in heavy thermos bottles, driving us all over the place, answering all our questions, taking pictures of us, and making sure everyone had an enjoyable time. He turned out to be quite humorous. I can highly recommend him to anyone who needs a very knowledgeable local guide to watch or photograph wildlife in Finland.
See his Web site: Articmedia

Finally, I want to thank all the people and photographers I met at Kuusamo for their pleasant company and friendship. Remember that you have a friend in Japan. If you ever come and visit, let me know.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this permanent online gallery of Finland photos explained in both English and Japanese.

Philbert Ono
Tokyo, Japan

P.S. In case you don't know, "kiitos" means thank you in Finnish.
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30-min. delay from Helsinki to Kuusamo... 出発30分の遅れKuusamo, the site of the annual Kuusamo Nature Photo festival I was invited to, is in northeastern Finland near the Russian border (see map). After spending a few days in Helsinki, I took this plane to Kuusamo taking about 70 min. Finnair flies from Helsinki to Kuusamo usually once a day. By car, it's about 800 km.

This day (Sept. 8, 2005), we stood in line at the gate, gave our boarding passes, and boarded a bus that would take us to the plane, a Boeing MD-82.

After standing and waiting for some minutes in the bus, they announced that they had to change one of the tires of the plane, so the flight would be delayed by 30 min. We all went back into the terminal building and waited. Of course, no one complained. We would rather fly in a safe plane. I wonder why they waited until the last minute to inspect the tires? Shouldn't they have inspected the tires the day before??

It's hard to see in this photo, but the left-most rear tire was indeed replaced. It looked new (shiny black) compared to the tire next to it.

ネイチャーフォトの写真まつりの開催地クーサモは、フィンランドの北東にある。ヘルシンキからクーサモへ毎日一便(約70分)が飛んでいるが、この日、飛行機を乗るところになんと左のタイヤの交換が必要という知らがあってターミナルビルへ戻されて30分を待った。勿論、安全が第一で誰も文句を言わなかった。この写真で見づらいが、確かに一番左のタイヤが新品だった(艶があった)。
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Otsu Exhibition, Nov. 21 - Dec. 4, 2005 at Shiga Kaikan, Otsu, Shiga. Right across from the Shiga Prefectural Office. 滋賀会館For this exhibition, I created my own photographic rendition of the places and scenes mentioned in the song and also photographed all the stone monuments dedicated to the song. I used Photoshop to composite images and to alter the colors into a dreamy condition as the song suggests. I also translated the lyrics into English.

The exhibition was held at Shiga Kaikan, right across from the Shiga Prefectural Office. Shiga Kaikan has two spaces for exhibitions, and I used the smaller space called Bunka Salon Gallery.

Map: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/map.html
Address: Kyomachi 3-4-22, Otsu, Shiga Pref.
Phone: 077-525-9995
〒520-0044 大津市京町三丁目 4-22
Web site: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/
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Title: Lake Biwa Rowing Song - In Pictures and in English Bunka Salon Gallery (also a coffee shop) inside Shiga Kaikan. 「琵琶湖周航の歌」〜写真と英語に〜The title was "Lake Biwa Boating Song - In Pictures and in English." I later changed the song title to "Lake Biwa Rowing Song."

Shiga Kaikan has two spaces for exhibitions, and I used the smaller space called Bunka Salon Gallery.

One entire wall and half of another wall were available for exhibitions free of charge.
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My first and very small exhibition to introduce "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" in English. The English lyrics were still unfinished, so only an English translation was presented.I showed three images per verse (6 verses total), plus caption sheets and artist's message, boating map, and composer's biography on the other wall.

All the pictures were printed on A4 inkjet paper. Very low budget exhibition, but it caught the interest of one newspaper reporter. I later changed the song title to "Lake Biwa Rowing Song."

Exhibition Date & Time: Nov. 21 to Dec. 4, 2005, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, closed Mon.

Map: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/map.html
Address: Kyomachi 3-4-22, Otsu, Shiga Pref.
Phone: 077-525-9995
〒520-0044 大津市京町三丁目 4-22
Web site: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/
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For each verse (total 6 verses), I showed three photos and a caption sheet with my non-singable English translation of the verse.「琵琶湖周航の歌」をイメージ写真付きで英訳された作詞と英文説明で紹介する写真展です。歌に登場する各地の写真や6番まですべての歌碑も英語で紹介。外国人も知って欲しい名曲です。英語の勉強にも!

2005年11月21日(月)〜12月4日(日) 9:30〜17:00
滋賀県大津市 滋賀会館 文化サロンギャラリー  入場無料
〒520-0044 大津市京町三丁目 4-22
Tel: 077-525-9995
HP: http://www.shiga-bunshin.or.jp/shigakaikan/

アクセス:
JR大津駅びわ湖口(北口)から徒歩5分
京阪浜大津駅からバス7分
名神大津インターからバス5分
京阪島ノ関駅から徒歩3分

1971年に加藤登紀子の大ヒットになったこの「琵琶湖周航の歌」は、昨年までに僕は聞いたことない。昨年の春に長野県諏訪市の御柱祭りを見に行ったときに岡谷市に泊まって近くの諏訪湖で散歩すると歌の作詞家である小口太郎(岡谷出身)の銅像があって「琵琶湖周航の歌」が紹介されて非常に興味深いものと思った。

英語で紹介したいなと思ってこの歌の英語版とイメージ写真をやっと完成しました。そしていつかこの歌を英語で歌ってもらいたい。歌詞を英語にすることはあまり難しくないが、それを歌のメロディに合わせることが大変。まだそこまで完成していない。もっと時間が必要。できあがったら、勿論また発表します。

この文化サロンは、サロン形の喫茶店になっている。
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Verse 1 photos (Otsu)
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Verse 2 photos (Omi-Maiko)
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Verse 3 photos (Imazu)
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Verse 4 photos (Chikubushima)
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Verse 5 photos (Hikone)
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No Photography撮影禁止 - The sign reads "Satsuei kinshi." "Satsuei" means to take photos, and "kinshi" means "prohibited." The "No photo" symbol also makes it clear.

On Japanese warning signs, the three most common words you will see are "kinshi" (禁止), "kiken" (危険), and "chui" (or "go-chui") (注意). They respectively mean "prohibited," "danger," and "beware of."

Place: World PC Expo in Makuhari Messe in Chiba.
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Statue of Ueno Hikoma
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Landing in Kuusamo in northeast Finland slightly below the Arctic Circle. I was invited to their 10th Kuusamo Nature Photo festival in September 9-17, 2005 to give slide shows of Japanese photographers. クーサモの上空Lakes everywhere. In fact, about 14% of Kuusamo's land area is covered by lakes (about 166 of them), and 60% is covered by forests. Lakes and forests breed a lot of nature and wildlife. Hence, Kuusamo is one of Finland's prime areas for bird-watching and wildlife safaris. The population is over 18,000, but they receive about 1 million visitors a year for the nature and skiing.

With so much water and trees all around, I think Finland is a very pacifying country. Most people feel at peace whenever they see water or trees. Finland will probably become a popular tourist destination when more people discover it. A great place to kick back and relax.
See Kuusamo on map: Virtual Finland map
Web site: kuusamo.fi

クーサモの14%が湖で6割が森林。こんな水と木の多いところは、やはり癒してくれる環境である。言うまでもなく自然いっぱいの地域。野鳥や野生動物を観察できる最高の地域。
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Verse 6 photos (Chomeiji)
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On the adjacent wall, I showed a map of the rowing route, artist's message in English and Japanese, and an English biography of Taro Oguchi, the songwriter.
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No Photography撮影禁止 - Another sign that reads (top to bottom) "Satsuei kinshi." "Satsuei" means to take photos, and "kinshi" means prohibited. At this Shinto shrine, you are not allowed to photograph inside the main shrine building housing the altar.

Place: A shrine in Kyoto.
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Statue of Ueno Hikoma
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Kuusamo Airport クーサモ空港. クーサモはヘルシンキから飛行機で70分で行ける北東の自然いっぱいの町。2005年9月にクーサモのネィチャーフォトの祭りへ招待されてスライドショーをあげた。The airport is close to town, taking about 10 min. by car.

市街まで車で10分。
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Imazu Exhibition, May 16 - June 25, 2006 at Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan, Takashima, Shiga. Photo exhibition poster.
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Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan song museum, in Imazu, Shiga 琵琶湖周航の歌資料館
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Title: Lake Biwa Rowing Song - In Pictures and in English 「琵琶湖周航の歌」写真と英語に. Entrance to exhibition room in the song museum, Imazu.
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Exhibition room on the 2nd floor of the Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan song museum.
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Crowd gathers
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Exhibition introduction
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Verse 6 song monument photos (Chomeiji)
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Verse 6 photos (Chomeiji)
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Verse 5 song monument photos (Hikone)
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No Tripods三脚使用禁止 - The bold characters read, "Sankyaku shiyō kinshi" meaning tripod use is prohibited. The sign further explains that since tripods hinder the view of other spectators, they are not allowed except in the press photographers' box.

The kanji characters for tripod consists of "san" for three (the 3 horizontal lines make it obvious), and "kyaku" which means legs.

Place: Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine (during the Yabusame Festival), Kamakura, Kanagawa Pref.
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Statue of Ueno Hikoma
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Kuusamo Hall 写真まつりのメイン会場、クーサモ・ホールKuusamo has been holding a nature photo festival annually in September since 1996 at this beautiful hall. They invite a good number of nature photographers (mostly from Europe) to give slide shows and exhibitions. The main venue is Kuusamo Hall, pictured here. They also use other venues in Kuusamo town for photo exhibitions.

Normally, the festival is held for four days centering on one weekend. But for their 10th year in 2005, the festival was held during two consecutive weekends during September 9-18. For this special year, they decided to invite people from as many countries as possible (like ten), including Japan for the first time.

In spring 2005, they contacted me for recommendations on Japanese photographers to be invited to the festival. We tried to invite a well-known Japanese photographer (with me as his guide and interpreter), but he had to pull out at the last minute so I ended up being the only person from Japan to participate in Kuusamo. I gave three slide shows held in this hall on Sept. 9, 10, and 11. Fortunately, it worked out very well.

As you can see, they raised the flags of all the countries represented at the photo festival. I was proud to see the Japanese flag and to be representing Japan even though I'm American.

Kuusamo Nature Photo Web site: kuusamo.fi/naturephoto/english.html
Kuusamo Hall Web site: kuusamo.fi/kuusamotalo/eng/

クーサモ ネイチャーフォトまつりのメイン会場であるクーサモ・ホール。この写真まつりに初めて日の丸も上がった。私はアメリカ人なのに、日本も代表できることで嬉しかった。星条旗も上げて欲しかった。クーサモ・ホールの他にも市街にある展示スペースに写真展が開催された。

今年の春にまつりの実行委員長 (Lassi Rautiainen) からメールが来て、「今年は10年目で、日本人の写真家も招待したいので推薦できる写真家がいないか」と聞かれました。私が一人の有名写真家を推薦したけど、彼が急に都合が悪くなって結局、僕一人で日本の代表として行くことになりました。これも上手くいった。
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Verse 5 photos (Hikone)
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Verse 4 song monument photos (Chikubushima)
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Verse 4 photos (Chikubushima)
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Verse 3 song monument photos (Imazu)
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Verse 3 photos (Imazu)
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Verse 2 song monument photos (Omi-Maiko)
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Verse 2 photos (Omi-Maiko)
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Verse 1 song monument photos (Otsu)
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Verse 1 photos (Otsu)
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Photos of the song monument and Taro Oguchi statue in Okaya, Nagano, his hometown.
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No Tripods and Monopods, unless...三脚 一脚 - This sign says "Sankyaku, ikkyaku go-shiyō no kata wa, kyokasho (2,000 yen) ga hitsuyō desu." Since you learned the characters for "tripod" in the preceding image, you should also know the characters for monopod, called "ikkyaku," literally "one leg."

This sign is a warning and a money-making scheme. It says that you cannot use a tripod or monopod in this garden unless you pay 2,000 yen to obtain a permission slip.

Place: Heian Shrine Garden, Kyoto.
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Statue description
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Inside Kuusamo Hall ホールの中(休憩中)The hall, called Kuusamotalo in Finnish, has a very nice auditorium with comfortable, deluxe chairs equipped with tables. As if symbolizing Finland's vast number of forests, lots of wood is also used in the hall's interior.

Opened in 1996, the hall seats over 500. It is geared for all kinds of events like conferences, concerts, stage performances, and slide shows. This is where all the slide shows were held during the Kuusamo Nature Photo festival.

We could easily project our images either with a slide projector (with remote control) or from our own laptop computer which we could control directly from the podium. The screen is very large and well-suited for slide shows. The hall's sound system is also excellent. Picture taken during a slide show break.

500人以上も入れる大ホールが木がとても奇麗。スライドショーは、自分のノートパソカンで直接上映できたり、またはホールスライド映写機でも使用できる。音響システムも抜群。
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Danger, Keep Out危険 立入禁止 - The kanji characters on the right say "kiken" meaning danger. The big characters on the left say "tachi-iri kinshi" meaning "entry prohibited." Remember the word "kiken" (危険). It is one of the three most common words on warning signs in Japan. Another one is "kinshi" (禁止). If you see it, be aware that something is prohibited.

Place: Ohara beach, Chiba.
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Ueno Hikoma birthplace
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Kuusamo Hall exhibition space ホール内の展示スペースBesides the big auditorium, Kuusamo Hall has multiple facilities including exhibition spaces and a restaurant. It functions as a performing arts and culture center.

総合的の文化施設で広い展示スペースや会議室も設けている。
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Nagahama Exhibition, July 1 - Aug. 10, 2006 at Biwa Library, Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture. Exhibition poster.
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Lute Plaza, which includes Biwa Library in Nagahama, Shiga. 20-min. bus ride from Nagahama Station.
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Biwa Library びわ図書館
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Title: Lake Biwa Rowing Song - Sing in English! 「琵琶湖周航の歌」英語で歌おう! Entrance to Biwa Library.
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Photo exhibition in Biwa Library, Nagahama, Shiga Pref.
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Photo exhibition in Biwa Library
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Photo exhibition panels at Biwa Library
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Photo exhibition panels
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Photo exhibition panels at Biwa Library
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Do not Enter立入禁止 - Another "entry prohibited" sign or "tachi-iri kinshi" in red kanji characters. On the right, the characters read, "kankei-sha igai" meaning "unauthorized persons."

Place: Lake Biwa at Otsu, Shiga Pref.
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Ueno Hikoma birthplace
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Kuusamo Hall exhibition space ホール内の写真展This nice dedicated space held the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

ホール内の一番いい展示スペース。
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The photos displayed were almost the same as the Imazu exhibition.
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Do Not EnterThis sign is similar to the preceding one. The middle column of characters has the word "kōji" (工事) which means construction. So the sign means, "Danger: No entry except for authorized construction workers."

Place: Mikuni-cho, Fukui Pref.
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Ueno Hikoma birthplace
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Kuusamo Hall exhibition space フォトコンの展示Photo contest winners displayed in the hall's lobby.

フォトコン受賞者の作品も展示された。
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Omi-Hachiman One-Day Exhibition, Oct. 29, 2006 at Shima Kominkan Public Hall, Omi-Hachiman, Shiga. 島公民館文化祭
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Opening ceremony for the Culture Festival (Bunka-sai) at this public hall near Chomeiji temple in Omi-Hachiman.
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Entrance to my photo exhibition in Shima Kominkan Public Hall during their day-long Bunka-sai Culture Festival.
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Title: Lake Biwa Rowing Song in English 「琵琶湖周航の歌」英語版
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Center exhibition panel with song location images
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Two panels on left wall
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Two panels on right wall
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Introduction to the song and newspaper articles
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Explanation of English lyrics for the six verses.
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Photos of song monuments.
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Under Construction - Do Not Enter工事中 - Another variation of "Do not Enter." The red characters read "Kōji-chū shinnyū kinshi" meaning no entry during construction operations. The "No entry" traffic symbol is also a tell-tale sign. You usually see this symbol at the entrance of a one-way road (if you face the wrong direction).
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Site of Ueno Hikoma residence and studioHikoma opened Japan's first portrait studio here in 1862. The site is now occupied by a parking structure.
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Kuusamo Hall 2nd floor lobby 2階のロビーThe balcony on the 2nd floor also served as an exhibition space and booth space for sponsors and the sale of photo books.
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Photos of Kyoto University Rowing Club's Lake Biwa rowing trip, including a picture of them posing with the Chomeiji song monument.
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Under Construction工事中 - The sign reads "Kōji-chū" meaning "under construction." You see this often at Japanese Web sites as well.

Place: Near Mt. Fugendake, Nagasaki Pref. (Note that the year stated in the image indicates the year the photo was first published, not the year when the picture was taken.)
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Site of Ueno Hikoma residence and studio
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Opening ceremony 写真まつりの開会式An opening ceremony was held on September 9, 2005, the first day of the Kuusamo Nature Photo festival. Speaking is Lassi Rautiainen who headed the festival committee. Since the beginning 10 years ago, he has been the main man behind this annual nature photo festival.

実行委員長であるラッシー・ラウティアイネン氏(Lassi Rautiainen)の挨拶。この写真祭りの創業者でもある。今年で10年目。
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Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography
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Okaya One-Day Exhibition, Mar. 4, 2007 at Canora Hall, Okaya, Nagano.
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Title: Lake Biwa Rowing Song in English 「琵琶湖周航の歌」英語版
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Exhibition during the Okaya International Exchange Association's 15th anniversary festival.
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My photo exhibition with two panels showing photos of places mentioned in the song and song monuments.
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Entrance
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Left panel.
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Front view. On the left, there is a small lens in the wall for a camera obscura.
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Right panel.
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Below the photos were explanation of the song and English lyrics.
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Inside one of the galleries.
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Some English explanations also provided.
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View of Mt. Daisen.
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Yokaichi Exhibition, May 9-27, 2007 at Yokaichi Public Library, HigashiOmi, Shiga. Photo exhibition poster.
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View of Mt. Daisen.
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Yokaichi Public Library, near Yokaichi Station. 東近江市 八日市図書館
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2nd floor gallery in Yokaichi Public Library. This floor is also like a coffee shop.
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Go Slow徐行 - The sign on the right says "Jokō" meaning go slow (when boarding or disembarking from the ferry). You may see this at construction sites as well.

Place: Onomichi, Hiroshima Pref.
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Description of Ueno Hikoma residence and studioIt says that Hikoma opened Japan's first photo studio here in 1862.
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First panel explaining Verses 1 and 2, Yokaichi Public Library 2nd floor gallery
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Second panel explaining Verses 3 and 4.
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Third panel explaining Verses 5 and 6.
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Fourth panel showing all the song monuments in Shiga and Okaya, Nagano.
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Fifth and final panel showing photos of our song-related activities.
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2nd Imazu Exhibition, May 30 - July 1, 2007 at Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan, Takashima, Shiga. This was the second time to have an exhibition here. Photo exhibition poster.
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One half of the exhibition. It is similar to the exhibition held here a year before, but many new photos have been added. They include photos of the Kyoto Univ. Rowing Club and our activities in the past year.
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1st panel explaining about the exhibition and English song. This exhibition coincides with the June 16, 2007 release of our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD.
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2nd panel showing Verse 1 (Otsu)
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3rd panel showing Verse 2 (Omatsu or Omi-Maiko)
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Danger! Do not Jump in River危険!川へ飛び込まないでください。- The red characters read "Kiken!" (Danger!), and the black characters say "Kawa e tobi komanaide kudasai." "Kawa" is river, "tobi komi" is to jump or dive in.

This at the famous Dotonbori canal in central Osaka where it is a popular place for fanatical baseball fans to jump in whenever the local baseball team (Hanshin Tigers) wins big. The river is quite polluted and littered with trash (though recently cleaned up by the city). During the Soccer World Cup in 2002, several hundred people jumped in the water when the Japan team won a crucial game.

Place: Dotonbori, Osaka.
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Site of Ueno Hikoma residence and studio
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4th panel showing Verse 3 (Imazu)
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5th panel showing Verse 4 (Chikubushima)
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6th panel showing Verse 5 (Hikone)
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7th panel showing Verse 6 (Chomeiji)
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8th panel showing song monuments for Verses 1-3
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9th panel showing song monuments for Verses 4-6
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10th panel showing Oguchi Taro song monument and his grave and house in Okaya, Nagano.
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11th panel showing photos of our song-related activities. Our first public performance, appearance on NHK Nodo Jiman, CD recording, etc.
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12th panel showing photos of our song-related activities.
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13th panel showing photos of Kyoto University Rowing Club rowing around Lake Biwa in Aug. 2006.
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No Swimming遊泳禁止 - By now you must be getting sick of seeing this word "kinshi." Well, it's certainly not a pleasant word since it limits your freedom. But it also serves to keep you safe. The kanji in red reads "yūei kinshi" meaning "swimming (and playing in the water) prohibited." Below in black reads, "Koko wa suieijō dewa arimasen." This is not a place for swimming.

Place: Lake Biwa at Otsu, Shiga Pref.
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Grave of Ueno Hikoma
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Last panel showing news articles and Web pages and people singing the song.
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Sumo Photo Museum 相撲写真資料館
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Next to a portrait studio is a small garage with sumo photos on the walls.
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Maibara Exhibition, July 19 - Aug. 3, 2007 at Lucci Plaza, Maibara, Shiga. Near Omi-Nagaoka Station. Photo exhibition poster.
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Inside Sumo Photo Museum
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Sumo Photo Museum
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Eight exhibition panels in the spacious lobby.
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1st panel for Verse 1 and explanation about the exhibition and English song.
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2nd panel showing Verse 2 (Omatsu or Omi-Maiko)
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3rd panel showing Verse 3 (Imazu)
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5th panel showing Verse 4 (Chikubushima)
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5th panel showing Verse 5 (Hikone)
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6th panel showing Verse 6 (Chomeiji)
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Do not Go Beyond the Buoysブイの外 危険 - It reads "Bui no soto kiken" which means "Dangerous to go beyond the buoy." The buoys in this case are the brightly-colored floating balls that mark the outer boundary of the safe swimming area. The water is usually too deep or the waves are too dangerous beyond this boundary. Almost all swimming beaches in Japan have some kind of outer boundary.

Place: Northern Lake Biwa, Shiga Pref.
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Grave of Ueno Hikoma
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7th panel showing photos of our song-related activities. Our first public performance, appearance on NHK Nodo Jiman, CD recording, etc. Also newspaper articles.
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8th panel showing more newspaper articles, and guest book messages.
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Exhibition title even on the rear side of the exhibition panels.
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Shiga JET Art Show, March 20-23, 2008 at Biwako Bunkakan, Otsu, Shiga. Shiga's JET teachers held an art show and I provided photos for Jamie Thompson, a Shiga JET.
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Biwako Bunkakan is the lakeside building that looks like a castle. Used to be an aquarium before it was converted into an art museum. Now closed.
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Imazu Jr. High Lake Biwa Rowing Exhibition, July 1-30, 2008 at Imazu Public Library, Takashima, Shiga. I showed mainly photos of Imazu Jr. High's rowing club rowing across Lake Biwa from Nagahama to Imazu.
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The exhibition was at the library entrance with a wall and three showcases.
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On the wall, I had ten frames containing two A4-size photos each.
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No BBQバーベキューは禁止です - The characters in red say, "barbecue wa kinshi desu." Having a barbecue is prohibited.

Place: Ohara beach, Chiba Pref.
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Grave of Ueno Hikoma
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Also see my photos of the Imazu Jr. High School Rowing Club rowing across Lake Biwa.
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Center showcase
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The center showcase introduced the Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
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Center showcase (right part).
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Left showcase
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Right showcase
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The left showcase introduced the traditional-style, wooden fixed-seat boat used to row across the lake.
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Take Off Your Shoes土足厳禁 - It says "Dosoku genkin" or footware prohibited. "Dosoku" literally means dirty feet, and "genkin" is like "kinshi," meaning prohibited. So we have to take off our footwear before going up the stairs to see the second floor of this museum.

In most places, it will be obvious that you have to take off your shoes before entering the castle, museum, temple, etc. At the entrance hall, you will see a shelf to store shoes and indoor slippers lined up on the floor.

Place: Azuchi, Shiga Pref.
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Grave of Ueno Hikoma
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The right showcase showed photos of our activities.
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Beware of Habu Snakesハブに注意 - "Habu ni chūi." Finally we see the third most common word on warning signs: Chui, meaning "beware of" or "watch out for." Habu is a species of poisonous snake common in Okinawa where this picture was taken.

Place: Okinawa
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Photo museum
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Announcement of photo contest winners フォトコンの授賞式The Kuusamo Nature Photo festival opened with the awards ceremony for the winners of the nature photo contest. Pictured here is one of the winning photos.

写真まつりの一つの事業はネイチャー写真のフォトコン。主に青年とアマ用。
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Beware of Jellyfishハブクラゲに注意しよう! - "Habu kurage ni chūi shiyō." Beware of jellyfish. In Okinawa, "habu kurage" (Chiropsalmus quadrigatus) is a type of poisonous jellyfish whose venomous sting can cause death.

Place: Taketomi island, Okinawa.
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Photo museum
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Kuusamo Nature Photo contest winners フォトコンの授賞式Lassi speaks with the winners of the nature photo contest. It's good to see both men and women photographers.

最優秀の作品は女性のアマでした。
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Beware of Wild Monkeys野生の猿にご注意 - "Yasei no saru ni go-chūi." "Yasei" means wild, and "saru" is monkey. Japan has a substantial population of wild monkeys which can be very aggressive in foraging for food, especially at tourist spots. They often steal food (sweets, etc.) from tourist shops and commonly grab any paper or plastic bag that you are carrying. If you see wild monkeys, you should not feed them nor carry any bags with your hands.

The sign also says "We cannot be responsible for any accidents caused by wild monkeys."

Place: Mt. Hiei Driveway, Kyoto.
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Sept. 9, 2005: My first slide show. For my first slide show, titled "Nature in Japan," I gave a basic introduction to Japan (first with a map shown here), and showed my pictures of mountains (Mt. Fuji, Kamikochi, Mt. Fugendake), Lake Biwa... For my first slide show, titled "Nature in Japan," I gave a basic introduction to Japan (first with a map shown here), and showed my pictures of mountains (Mt. Fuji, Kamikochi, Mt. Fugendake), Lake Biwa, coastlines, popular nature spots, wildlife such as snow monkeys, and the four seasons, especially flowers.

9月9日〜11日の三日間の毎日に1回の一時間弱のスライドショーをあげました。初日は私の写真を使って日本の自然(山、湖、海、四季など)を紹介しました。
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Sept. 10, 2005: My second slide show was titled, "Nature Photography in Japan." It was a mixed bag of slides introducing a very basic history of landscape photography in Japan, photo galleries in Japan, and nature photo books and magazines... My second slide show was titled, "Nature Photography in Japan." It was a mixed bag of slides introducing a very basic history of landscape photography in Japan, photo galleries in Japan, and nature photo books and magazines in Japan (with a closeup on a book called Invisible Power by blind photographers in Japan).

With the slide pictured here (of Kameido Tenjin Shrine's wisterias in Tokyo), I was giving an example of how early Japanese landscape photographers were influenced by woodblock prints. They tried to photograph the scenes and compositions made famous by woodblock artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige.

2回目のスライドショーは、日本の写真史、自然と宗教(神道)との関係や写真集・雑誌など写真業界を紹介しました。このスライドは、初期の日本人風景写真家が北斎などの浮世絵から影響を受けたことを説明している。
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Beware of Flashers!エッチマン注意! - Besides watching out for poisonous snakes, jellyfish, and wild monkeys as you saw in the previous images, there's one last wild animal to watch out for: the flasher. Apparently, this country neighborhood has had a flasher (a person who shows his genitals) so often that they put up this sign to warn female passers by.

The sign reads "H man chūi!" "H" is for "hentai" meaning pervert. "Man" is man, and you know what "chūi" means.

Place: Country road, northern Shiga Pref.
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Sept. 10, 2005: My second slide show 僕のスライドショーその2I also mentioned a few important names in Japanese photography history such as Hikoma Ueno in Nagasaki who was one of Japan's first professional photographers.

日本の写真史も簡単に紹介しました。これは、上野彦馬。
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Aug. 2005 - Fukagawa Hachiman Festival, TokyoWhat a hot summer it was this year. Aug. 14 was a scorcher as well, but at this "water-throwing festival," we received temporary relief by getting sprayed (fire hose) and splashed (buckets) with water.

The full-scale version (hon-matsuri) of this festival is held every three years, and this year was it. We saw 56 mikoshi (portable shrines) paraded along the streets near Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm for the festival's climax. If you missed it, you'll have to wait until 2008.

What you see above is a bunch of people in a pool of water on a flatbed truck using plastic buckets to splash water on each portable shrine that passed by.

A lot of water was expended this day, and I cringed a little when I thought about places like Shikoku where they were having a serious water shortage. Fortunately, Tokyo did not have a water shortage this year.

Since I live near Fukagawa, it's easy for me to see this festival held since the 17th century. It is one of Tokyo's Big Three Festivals. I already have a detailed photo essay here. Sorry, but I have not yet uploaded pictures of this year's one (nor the one in 2002). Maybe later.

Cover photo and page design:
© Philbert Ono

JAPANESE:

深川八幡祭り

今年が3年に一度の本祭りで大変の盛り上がりでした。暑い日に水が掛けられるといい気持ち。

僕は、これで4回目の本祭りの撮影。毎回に必ず違う場面を撮ろうとします。今年は、早く起きて初めて朝7:30の56基の町神輿の連合渡御のスタート時を撮りました。あんな早い時間も既に大勢の人がいて驚きました。

天気にも恵まれて理想的な祭り日和だった。今年の本祭りの写真をいつかアップするつもりです。(2002年の本祭りの写真もまだアップしていません。)1996年の本祭り写真はここ。

写真と表紙デザイン:
© Philbert Ono
200511.jpg
Nov. 2005 - Tokyo Jidai MatsuriTokyo's Festival of the Ages is held annually in Asakusa on Nov. 3, Culture Day, a national holiday. It is one of Asakusa's three biggest festivals (the other two being the Sanja Matsuri in May and the Samba Carnival in Aug.) It attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

Asakusa is well-loved by all. It is perhaps the most popular remnant of Tokyo's past. It has a very long history, beginning in 628 when two fishermen brothers snagged a golden Kannon statue in their fishing net in nearby Sumida River. A wealthy landowner told them about the statue's religious value and built a small temple for it. That temple grew into today's Sensoji, the heart and soul of Asakusa.

The Jidai Matsuri is essentially a costume parade depicting various periods in Tokyo's history. It includes dramatic performances such as the Golden Dragon Dance, White Heron Dance, and fireman acrobatics. My personal favorite is the Oiran Dochu courtesan procession that you see above.

Only the oiran, an elite courtesan, was permitted to hold a courtesan procession during the old days of the Yoshiwara licensed quarters. She is dressed in her finest and escorted by a good number of people, including these two young attendants in front of her called "kamuro." In the old days, the kamuro were about 7 or 8 years old and sold into a brothel to assist the courtesan and learn the trade.

I have uploaded over 140 pictures of this festival, showing all the historical periods and characters that appear in the parade. It's a complete photo guide to the festival. Most photos were taken in 2004 and 2005, with a few taken in earlier years. See Tokyo Jidai Festival.

東京時代祭

京都にも時代祭りがありますが、やはり江戸は平安京と違う歴史を歩んできたので東京版の時代祭りはそれなりの特色がある。金龍の舞、江戸町火消、徳川家康、歌舞伎、水戸黄門、黒船来航、とこの表紙写真の吉原おいらん道中。

ただ今、この祭りの140枚余の写真をアップしました。完全版で行列に現われる全ての組を写真で案内しております。勿論、英語で。参加者は30組で合計1600名。

掲載されている写真はほとんど2004年と2005年に撮ったもの。その前の年の写真も多少にあります。どうぞご覧ください。
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Jan 2006 - Sapporo Snow FestivalAnybody from Hawai'i would recognize the giant snow sculpture above: It's a replica of the Iolani Palace (complete with coconut trees and a statue of King Kamehameha), Hawai'i's most famous and historic building in Honolulu.

Held during early February, the Sapporo Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido is Japan's biggest festival in winter with 2 million visitors. At the main venue in Odori Park in central Sapporo, giant sculptures of snow are built by the local Self-Defense Force personnel, taking about a month with countless truckloads of snow hauled to the site.

Years ago, I spent a memorable winter in Sapporo and photographed the snow festival before, during, and after it was held. Not many people see how they construct (and later destroy) these frosty works of art, so I've uploaded some of the pictures I took.

By an incredible coincidence, one of the giant snow sculptures turned out to be the Iolani Palace. Being from Hawai'i, I was just totally thrilled. It was to commemorate direct flights from Sapporo (Chitose) to Hawai'i.

Thus, every year, one or more of the giant snow sculptures depict a famous building outside Japan. In Feb. 2006, a few famous buildings in Australia will be featured. International and local organizations are also invited to build smaller snow sculptures.

It's cold, but quite fun. We learned the hard way that it's important to use a wooden frame within the sculpture (like the metal rods in concrete) to prevent the sculpture from collapsing. (Nobody told us that until our snowy work of art broke and we had to build it again.)

In 2006, the festival will be held during Feb. 6-12.

I have uploaded over 80 pictures of this festival. See them here.

Cover photo and page design:
© Philbert Ono

-- Japanese --
札幌雪まつり

日本の最大の冬まつりは、やはり札幌雪まつりである。2月上旬の開催期間中になんと2百万人も訪れるそうです。

僕も何年前に札幌に滞在して巨大雪像の作り、展示、と破壊をカメラで収めた。大変印象的でした。

ちょうど僕がいたとき、ハワイにあるイオラニ宮殿の巨大雪像も作られて大変ラッキーでした(僕はハワイ出身)。上の写真がその宮殿です。

80点以上の雪まつりの写真をアップしました。どうぞご覧ください。

写真と表紙デザイン:
© Philbert Ono
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Jan. 2006 - PHOTOGUIDE.JPSymbols of Japan

The Japanese flag, Mt. Fuji, a geisha in Kyoto, a torii gate, and cherry blossoms.

Cover photo and page design:
© Philbert Ono

Project in Progress

WELCOME to PHOTOGUIDE.JP! You are witnessing the start of a new and ambitious project initiated by me, Philbert Ono. This project aims to introduce Japan in pictures and in English. This site will expand greatly over the coming months and years.
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April 2006 - Kagurazaka GeishaLiving dolls, that's what they are. The makeup, hairstyle, kimono, and song & dance all combine to make the geisha Japan's ultimate artisans and entertainers.

Every spring, we are treated to public dance performances by real geisha in Tokyo. Yes, Tokyo. Kyoto is not the only place in Japan where you can see geisha. We also have some in Tokyo. Not as many as before, but just as beautiful, elegant, and spellbinding.

I know they are just normal women underneath it all. But still, all that makeup and costumes really overwhelm you, especially when you see them up close.

Kagurazaka is a neighborhood in central Tokyo built on a gentle slope, and it happens to be one of Tokyo's geisha districts. (The others being Shimbashi and Asakusa.) There's a busy main drag of shops and restaurants, and when you step into one of the small side streets, suddenly you're in a quiet and different world with high-class, Japanese-style ryotei restaurants where the geisha work.

Kyoto is well-known for geisha dances in spring. But Tokyo also has its geisha gem in Kagurazaka. For the 8th time this year, they performed their annual "Hana no Kai" geisha dance on April 8. This year, they gave three shows instead of the usual two. And all three shows sold out. Kagurazaka has been receiving quite a bit of media attention lately, increasing its popularity.

The cover photo above is a scene from their first number called "Fuji Murasaki" (Wisteria Purple). Wisteria is a purple flower that hangs down from a vine or branch. It is another symbol of spring, especially the month of May when they bloom.

As you can see, they don't use sophisticated background sets like their Kyoto counterparts. But they don't need it anyway. The plain background actually makes the geisha stand out even more. And the relatively small size of the hall (about 400 seats) makes it more personal and friendly. For a mere 2,000 yen, you can sit anywhere in the hall, even on the front row and feast your eyes on the colorful, wish-it-were-longer, eye-candy spectacle. (It lasts for only about an hour.)

The geisha in Shimbashi also hold their annual dance performance called "Azuma Odori" in late May at the Shimbashi Embujo Theater. However, that hall is too large (over 1,400 seats) and the tickets cost between 1,500 yen and over 7,000 yen. I saw that show once, from the cheap seats way up on the 3rd floor. I was almost the only one on that floor. There were too many empty seats and the geisha were too far away. They need to advertise more. Not too many people know about these spring geisha dances in Tokyo.

After the performance, the Kagurazaka geisha came out into the lobby to thank us for coming. Posing with them was a great photo op. Photos here.

Cover photo and page design:
© Philbert Ono

--Japanese--
神楽坂芸者「華の会」をどり

生きているお人形さんである。神楽坂の芸者さんが今年も恒例の「華の会」をどり(弟8回)を4月8日に開催されました。写真は、「藤むらさき」という奇麗なをどりからのシーンです。

昨年までは、2部(一日に)の公演しかなかったけど、今年は、初めて3部の公演にして3部とも券が売り切れたそうです。400席しかないホールではちょっと小さいかもしれないが、僕はちょうどいいと思う。ホールがあまり大き過ぎると(例えば、新橋演舞場)、親しみ感が失われる。でも明らかに見たい人がもっといる。来年からは、できれば二日間以上で一日に2〜3部をやったら嬉しがる人が沢山いる。

写真を見れば分かると思いますが、実に優雅な芸者さんとをどりでした。京都の芸者をどりは有名ですが、東京にも本物の芸者をどりを毎年の春に楽しめるのはとても嬉しい。京都へ行かなくても見れる。京都と比べると神楽坂のをどり舞台の背景は地味だけど、全然気にすることではない。かえって地味なバックが芸者さんの姿をよく引き立てる効果もある。意外に奇麗です。

一時間のをどりはちょっと短いと観客として思うけど、たったの2000円で見れるので大バーゲンだと思う。むしろ自由席で、一番前にも座れる。公演のあとにも芸者さんがロビーに出てきて観客の見送りをする。これも嬉しいサービスです。芸者さんと一緒に写真を撮ったりできる。芸者さんが目の前にいると圧倒されますね。

僕は今年でこのをどりが3回目です。毎回外国人の友人を連れて行ってます。"Very beautiful!"といつも言うんです。僕は、桜と同じく、芸者さんのをどりを見ないと春の気分になれません。東京の無形文化財に指定してもいいぐらいです。写真はここ

写真と表紙デザイン:
© Philbert Ono
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Oct. 2006 - Fall Colors, Shiga Pref.Autumn might be a depressing time for some people as the temperature gets colder and the trees go bare. However, like the other three seasons, autumn in Japan has its own unique attractions to look forward to.

Autumn colors are the obvious. Many mountains and temples have trees which turn red or yellow in fall. Huge crowds flock to see the dainty, red momiji maple leaves. In Kyoto, autumn is the busiest tourist season of the year. Many of its famed temples are ablaze in colorful leaves in Nov. And traffic is gridlocked.

Just a stone's throw away from Kyoto is neighboring Shiga Prefecture. After Kyoto and Nara, Shiga has the third highest number of buildings (temples & shrines) designated as National Treasures. Many temples and shrines in Shiga are also well-known for fall colors.

On the east side of Lake Biwa, there is Koto Sanzan, or the East Lake Temple Trio, consisting of Saimyoji, Kongorinji, and Hyakusaiji temples all noted for fall leaves and National Treasures. The photo above was taken at Kongorinji temple.

Have you ever seen autumn leaves when they are lit up at night? Shiga also has a few gardens where you can see autumn colors looking brilliant against the dark sky. Almost like fireworks. Very different from daytime. Check out Genkyu-en Garden next to Hikone Castle, Hyozu Taisha Shrine in Yasu, and Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine to see what I mean.

Cover photo and page design:
© Philbert Ono

10 YEARS ONLINE!!

PhotoGuide Japan has been online for 10 years. It's been a blast and we look forward to the next 10 years. We thank all of you for your support and encouragement in making us the world's highest-ranked site for photography + Japan (at least at Google).

What sets us apart is our comprehensive and unique content found nowhere else. Our information is drawn from original, first-hand sources in Japan. We also take our own pictures, write our own articles, and state our own opinions.

We are content creators, and we own the content we create. Content is our most valuable asset and we plan to keep creating it for the benefit of all. It is the most important element of the Internet. Content is definitely King.

滋賀の紅葉
紅葉の時期になると京都は大変混みます。交通渋滞も凄い。ところで、隣の滋賀県も紅葉の名所があって多分もっとゆっくり楽しむことができる。

京都と奈良に次いで3番目に多くある国宝の建物は滋賀にあります。それらのお寺や神社に紅葉も奇麗。

例えば、琵琶湖の東にある湖東三山(コトウサンザン)と永源寺が特に有名。湖東三山は、西明寺・金剛輪寺・百済寺を総称している天台宗の寺院。国宝と紅葉はよく似合います。上記の表紙写真は金剛輪寺です。

夜に紅葉をライトアップする庭園もあります。真っ黒の空のキャンバスに色とりどりの葉っぱがとても奇麗。日中と全く違う美しさ。ライトアップするところは、彦根城の隣にある玄宮園、 野洲市の兵主大社、と大津市の日吉大社とか。夜には混んでいないし、癒されます。

写真と表紙デザイン:
© Philbert Ono

PhotoGuide Japan 10周年!

おかげさまで当HPが10周年を迎えました。インターネットって本当に面白かった。emailとホームページ、e コマース、ADSL ブロードバンド、オークション、携帯のiモード、CSSデザイン、PHP+MySQL、ブログ、Wiki、写真と動画の共有サイト、SNSなど凄まじい展開ばかりでした。僕もこれらのトレンドとテクノロジーにほとんど乗りました。

デジカメの普及もホームページのコンテンツに大きく貢献しています。僕もデジタルに夢中で3年前からフィルムは全然使っておりません。

PhotoGuide Japanのコンテンツもこつこつと追加したり更新したりしてきました。まだまだ不足している部分もありますが、現状のままでも比較すべきものがない。

今後も皆さんのご支援、応援、ご指導をよろしくお願いします。10年前にHPを立ち上げて本当によかった。これからの10年間にもとても楽しみにしております。
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Watch Out for Pickpockets!スリに御用心 - Another human animal to watch out for. "Suri ni go-yōjin!" means watch out for pickpockets! "Suri" means pickpocket, and "go-yōjin" is like "chūi."

Place: Takayama Festival, Gifu Pref.
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Sept. 11, 2005: My third slide show introduced the works of three famous Japanese nature photographers. I devoted about 20 min. to each photographer. 僕のスライドショーその3My third slide show introduced the works of three famous Japanese nature photographers. I devoted about 20 min. to each photographer.

The first one was Mitsuhiko Imamori who takes pictures of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture where he lives. Since Finland has so many lakes, I wanted to show pictures of Japan's largest lake called Lake Biwa. I showed pictures from his photo book titled "Water's Edge."

I explained about how the lake was not just a container of water. It was actually very dynamic with the warm and cold water constantly circulating inside the lake. Many rivers and streams also are connected to the lake, which in turn supports much nature and wildlife in and around the lake nicknamed "Mother Lake." Imamori also focuses on how people co-exist with nature and respect it.
Web site: imamori-world.jp

3回目のスライドショーは、いよいよ3人の有名日本人写真家(今森光彦、中村郁夫、栗林慧)の作品を紹介しました。最初は今森先生で、「水辺」という写真集から二十数点の写真を上映しながら琵琶湖を紹介して 「生きている湖」、「里山」などの話をしました。フィンランドは、湖がとても多い国で日本の代表的な湖も紹介したかったのです。
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The first one was Mitsuhiko Imamori who takes pictures of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture where he lives. Since Finland has so many lakes, I wanted to show pictures of Japan's largest lake called Lake Biwa.(寄贈図The pictures by Mitsuhiko Imamori which I showed in the slide show came from this book titled "Mizube" (Water's Edge). See book review here.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Mitsuhiko Imamori as recommended by Philbert Ono.
ISBN: 4418049118

今森光彦先生のスライド作品は、この写真集から使用しました。私の推薦で今森先生がこの写真集をクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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No Bicycle/Motorcycle Parking駐輪禁止 - "Chūrin kinshi" in red characters mean two-wheeled vehicles cannot park here. In blue characters, it says "jitensha" (bicycles) and "ōtobai" (motorcycles and motor scooters).

Place: Street corner near a train station in Tokyo.
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Sept. 11, 2005: The second photographer I introduced was Ikuo Nakamura, one of Japan's most well-known underwater photographers. I explained about how soil erosion and runoff killed a lot of coral in Okinawa together with the starfish... 僕のスThe second photographer I introduced was Ikuo Nakamura, one of Japan's most well-known underwater photographers. I explained about how soil erosion and runoff killed a lot of coral in Okinawa together with the starfish, a natural enemy of coral. Then I showed 20 of his pictures of coral and marine life in Okinawa.

It was an automatic slide show with Hawaiian music in the background. (A lot of people liked the Hawaiian music which was by Kealii Reichel, a very famous singer in Hawaii.) This was the only slide show of underwater photos at the Kuusamo Nature Photo festival.
Web site: squall.co.jp

次に中村郁夫先生の沖縄の美しい水中写真を20点上映して、珊瑚礁の絶滅とか天敵などの説明をして作品をBGMと一緒に自動スライドショーを。(BGMには、沖縄の音楽にしたかったけど、それが忘れまして手元にあったハワイの曲にしました。そのハワイの曲もとても好評でした。)北欧に見れない熱帯の生き物を見せたくて写真祭りの唯一の水中写真のスライドショーでした。
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Book by Ikuo Nakamura (寄贈図書)The pictures by Ikuo Nakamura which I showed in the slide show came from this book titled "The Coral way Around Okinawa Islands." See book review here.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Ikuo Nakamura as recommended by Philbert Ono.
ISBN: 4757207824

上映した中村郁夫先生の作品はこの写真集のものでした。私の推薦で中村先生がこの写真集をクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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No Smoking on Street路上喫煙はやめましょう - This is "Rojō kitsuen wa yamemashō." It means please don't smoke while walking on the street.

Place: Street corner near a train station in Tokyo.
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Sept. 11, 2005: The third photographer I introduced was insect photographer Satoshi Kuribayashi who lives in Nagasaki Prefecture. He is an award-winning photographer who has published numerous photo books in Japan. 僕のスライドショーその3The third photographer I introduced was insect photographer Satoshi Kuribayashi who lives in Nagasaki Prefecture. He is an award-winning photographer who has published numerous photo books for the public and children in Japan.

I knew that insect photography was not so popular in Finland, but I believed that this photographer's work and technique would be very interesting to people in Finland, so I asked him to send some pictures and books to me. He happily obliged.

As I expected, his pictures (and DVD movie) were very well received by the audience in Kuusamo. First I showed some of his extreme closeup pictures of insects, then a few pictures of his custom-made cameras and him at work (as you see here). For the remaining 9 minutes of the slide show, I showed his fantastic DVD movie of insects.

Sample photos:
Migratory locust
Melon fly
Camponotus japonicus ant
Tiger beetle
Beetle in flight

His Web site: http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~kuriken/

最後に、栗林 慧先生の昆虫写真作品と興味深い手作りのカメラやその仕事ぶりを紹介してDVDの動画も一部上映しました。これもとても好評でした。北欧では昆虫写真はあまり人気ではないが、栗林先生の作品を見たら皆さんの関心が集めました。予想とおりでした。やはり昆虫も面白い。
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Book by Satoshi Kuribayashi (寄贈図書)Some of the pictures by Satoshi Kuribayashi which I showed in the slide show came from this award-winning book titled "The World of Kuribayashi Satoshi." See book review here.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Satoshi Kuribayashi as recommended by Philbert Ono.
ISBN: 4054012507

上映した写真は、この写真集からも選びました。私の推薦で栗林先生がこの写真集をクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Book by Satoshi KuribayashiThis book explains some of his shooting techniques and custom-made cameras. Notice his self-portrait with a real praying mantis. The book's title is, "The Cameraman Who Became an Ant."

こので栗林先生が手作りのカメラや撮影方法を紹介して参考になった。
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DVD by Satoshi Kuribayashi (寄贈図書)During the slide show, I showed about 9 min. of this 18-min. DVD movie showing super closeups of various insects eating, fighting, or killing (another insect). Everyone thought it was quite amazing. See DVD review here.

This DVD has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Satoshi Kuribayashi as recommended by Philbert Ono.

Sample clips (Quicktime):
Locust eating
Praying mantis

スライドショー中にこのDVDの動画も一部上映しました。これもとても好評でした。
私の推薦で栗林先生がこのDVDをクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Slide show さまざまなスライドショーOver 30 nature photographers, both men and women, from eight countries gave slide shows during two consecutive weekends in September 2005. It was a great pleasure meeting the photographers and making new friends. Photos of birds were very popular, but there were also photos of the aurora borealis, Arctic landscapes, bats, and even live music.

8カ国から30人以上のネイチャーフォト写真家が集まりまして素晴らしいイベントでした。野鳥の写真が多かったけど、他にも北欧らしいオーロラの写真や北極地方の風景と野生生物の写真も発表された。
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Northern lights slide show by Jorma Luhta オーロラの写真What would a nature photo festival in Finland be without photos of the aurora borealis? Wisely, they included some northern lights pictures. This Finnish photographer showed spectacular images of northern lights. Looks really surreal or like in a dream. Wish there was an English translation of his Finnish narration.
Web site: Jorma Luhta

とても美しいオーロラの写真もフィンランド人の写真家が紹介した。
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Venue for exhibition by Estonian photographers エストニア人の写真展Besides Kuusamo Hall, other venues in Kuusamo were used for exhibitions like this one called Porkkatörmä. It has exhibition rooms on the first floor where Estonian photographers exhibited their works. The 2nd floor had a small museum introducing Kuusamo's local history.

別の会場でエストニア人の写真展が開催された。エストニアは、フィンランドの隣国と言える直ぐそばの国。ヘルシンキからフェリーで簡単に行ける。
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Exhibition by Estonian photographers エストニア人の写真展In this room at Porkkatörmä gallery, pictures by Tõnu Ling and Tan Silliskaar.
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Slide show by Estonian photographers エストニア人のスライドショーThe evening of September 12 was devoted to works by six Estonian photographers. Pictured is woman photographer Kaari Saarma.

The Estonian night climaxed with Tõnu Ling's live harmonica performance during an automated slide show of his beautiful pictures of his native Saaremaa and Muhumaa islands in Estonia.

6人のエストニア人の写真家がスライドショーをやりました。一人は女性。とてもフレンドリーな連中でした。エストニアは、ヘルシンキから簡単に行ける国。
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Film of Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏On Friday September 16, it was Hannu Hautala night. It started with a film of Hannu at work in the wilderness. The film was beautifully accompanied by Heikki Sarmanto whose piano-playing reacted spontaneously to the film as he watched it.

ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏は、フィンランドの一番有名なネィチャー写真家。クーサモ在住。まず、ハウタラ氏の仕事ぶりを紹介する短い映画が上映した。BGMはライブのピアノ。
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Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏Hannu Hautala speaks.

ハウタラ氏の出番。
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Slide show by Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏He showed pictures from his upcoming photo book, "Onnen maa" (Land of Fortune) to be published in Oct. 2005 (see next image).

新しい写真集を紹介した。
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New book by Hannu Hautala, "Onnen maa" (Land of Fortune) ハンヌ・ハウタラの新写真集Cover of his new book published in Oct. 2005. The text is in Finnish, English, and German.

Sample photos and order at Articmedia.
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Bird with firey eyes, by Rob Jordan ロブ・ジョーダン氏Yes, that's firey, not fiery. This bird has bright red eyes and also bright feather strands emanating from the eyes, making it look like fire. Rob's photo was also used on the program booklet (see next image). He is from the UK.
Web site: robjordan.co.uk

この鳥の目が真っ赤で目の周りも炎と見える羽がある。プログラムの表紙写真にもなった(次の写真を参考)。
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Kuusamo Nature Photo 2005 Program プログラムCover of the program distributed free. It has the schedule of all the slide shows and introduces the photographers. Cover photo (bird with firey eyes) by Rob Jordan from the UK.

Below is the complete program schedule taken from this program (in Finnish only):

Friday, September 9
KUUSAMOTALO
Musiikkiesitys klo 18 8 €
Muu ohjelma 19.15 alkaen 6 €
Alle 12 v. vapaa pääsy
Viikonloppukortti 9.-11.9. 35 €
Viikkokortti 9.-18.9. 70 €
Juontaja: Markku Heikkilä

17.00 Näyttelyjen avaus (vapaa pääsy)
Kuusamon kaupunginvaltuuston pj Matti Heikkilä
18.00 Ankaruusindeksi
musaa ja luontokuvia, DVD + live
Työryhmä: Käsmä-Harju-Salmirinne
Luontokuvat: Lassi Rautiainen
18.30 TAUKO (Intermission)
19.10 Nature Photo valokuvakisan tulokset 30’
Metsähallituksen puheenvuoro
Japanin luonnon esittelyä
Introduction to Nature in Japan Philbert "Phil" Ono, Japan 45’,
20.30 Tauko
21.00 Terra Borealis 50’, slides
Andy Horner, Ahvenanmaa
Yellowstone 20’ slides 6x4,5
Mara Fuhrmann, Saksa
22.15 Tauko
22.30 Päin seiniä
Jorma Luhta (ulkona, sateella sisällä)

Sat., September 10
Juontaja: Hannele Pappila
10.00 Avaus Hannele Pappila
10.15 Maisemakuvan traditioita
Ismo Luukkonen
11.00 Myyttinen maisema - kuvia saamelaisten
pyhistä paikoista
Arvid Sveen, Norja
11.45 Tunturi ja Meri – maisemakuvia Finnmarkista
Sonja Siltala, Norja
12.30 TAUKO
13.30 Luontomuseo
Ilkka Halso
14.15 Lost in between - pakolaisena pohjoisessa
Minna Kurjenluoma
15.30 Fields Studies
Martina Motzbächel
16.15 TAUKO
16.45 Maan ja taivaan välillä
Tauno Kohonen
17.30 Maisemakuvaajan ylä- ja alamäkiä
Kalervo Ojutkangas
18.00 TAUKO
18.15 - Japanilaisen luontokuvan traditioita
19.15 Nature Photography in Japan Philbert "Phil" Ono, Japan

Sun., September 11
Juontaja: Markku Heikkilä
10.00 Japanilaisten luontokuvaajien esittelyä 50’
Three Japanese Nature Photographers Philbert "Phil" Ono, Japan
Luontokuvii Turust - ei virallissi mut torellissi 20’
Markku Heikkilä
11.15 Tauko
11.30 Pohjoisen luontokuvaajat ry 50’
Luontoa läheltä - Erkki Toppinen
Mullan tuoksua ja purojen solinaa -
Markku Välitalo
Evoluutiota vai sattumaa? - Jari Wilenius
Digiuutisia, Canon 10’
12.30 Tauko
13.30 Saamenmaa, DVD-esitys Lapista 28’
Pekka Antikainen
Iceland, slides 6x4,5 35’
Mara Fuhrmann, Saksa
14.40 Tauko
15.00 Den extrema naturbilden 20’
Andy Horner, Ahvenanmaa, slides
Siipiveikot - tilannekuvia linnuista 30’, flap top
Tomi Muukkonen, Jari Peltomäki,
Markus Varesvuo
16.00 Päätös

Mon., September 12
Juontaja ja tulkki: Kaari Saarma
18.00-21.30 VIRON LUONTOA
Viron vuoden luontokuvat 10’
Eestimaa energiad: retk läbi aasta / Viron
energiat: retki läpi vuoden, 30’ Arne Ader
Precious moments with Estonian birds and
landscapes / Lintuja ja maisemia, 30’
Mati Kose
Tauko 15’
Mielikuvia ja mielitekoja – abstrakteja kuvia
luonnosta, 20’ Kaari Saarma
Luonto kaupunkilaisen silmissä, 20’
Heiko Kruusi
Tauko 15’
Tiny diversity / Hyönteisten maailmasta, 30’
Urmas Tartes
Maalaispojan maisemat 15’, Tõnu Ling

(September 13-14, optional photo safari trips)

Thu., September 15
Juontaja: Jaakko Heikkinen
18.00-21.30 SAKSAN KUVAAJIEN ILTA
Lepakot, Dietmar Nill 60’
Tauko 15’
Revontulet 30’ ja Kaakkuri 30’,
Hinrich Basemann
Tauko 15’
Paradise in Packice / Huippuvuorilla 50’
Karl-Heinz Georgi

Fri., September 16
Juontaja: Jaakko Heikkinen
18.00 Sävystä sävyyn - erämaan hengessä
Kuvanauhalle leikattu valokuvaesitys luonnon
väreistä livenä soitetun pianon säestyksellä
Kuvat: Hannu Hautala
Piano: Heikki Sarmanto
Kuvanauhan leikkaus: Lauri Kettunen
18.45 Tauko
19.00 Onnen Maa 40’
Hannu Hautala
Kaksi taivasta 20’
Fabrizio Carbone, Italia
20.00 Tauko
20.30 Safareilla
Annelie Utter, Ruotsi
21.30 Tauko
21.45 Kotkia ja muita lintuja
Der wilde Osten – von Schreiadler, Seeadler und
vielen andere fliegende Vögel
Dietmar Nill, Saksa

Sat., September 17
Juontaja: Juha Säkkinen
10.00 Digimaailma
Sakari Nenye
11.15 Tauko
11.30 Digimaailma jatkuu
12.45 Safareilla 20’
Annelie Utter
13.10 Tauko
14.00 Namibian Farytale / Namibiassa 35’
Karl-Heinz Georgi, Saksa
Arktis 30’
Hinrich Basemann, Saksa
15.10 Tauko
15.20 The secret lake of the firey eyes / Palavien
silmien salaperäinen järvi
Rob Jordan, Englanti
16.30 Tauko
17.00 Luontolyriikkaa
Heikki Sarmannon sävellyksiä suomalaiseen
lyriikkaan (mm. Leino ja Hellaakoski)
Piano: Heikki Sarmanto
Solisti: Maija Hapuoja
Kuvitus: Kaamoskamera:
Paavo Hamunen, Mika Jaakkola, Matti Jääskö, Heikki Ketola, Ritva Larikka, Janne Moilanen, Verner Nivala, Marketta Tornberg ja Petteri Törmänen

Sun., September 18
Juontaja: Juha Säkkinen
Teema: luontofilmit
10.00 Paimen ja kitara, musavideo 4’
Johannes Lehmuskallio
Paimen-filmi 60’
Markku ja Johannes Lehmuskallio
11.15 Tauko
11.30 Digivideo, Lauri Kettunen
12.30 Tauko
13.00 Nenetsien kulttuuria 10’
Seitsemän laulun matkassa, filmi 25’
(Pekka Martevo)
Uhri, filmi 52’
Anastasia Lapsui, Johannes ja Markku Lehmuskallio
14.40 Tauko
15.00 Korpi – legenda Ludvig Löppösestä
video 30’
Pekka Koskinen ja työryhmä
15.40 Päätös
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Canon booth スポンサーのブースCanon was one of the festival sponsors and had a booth in Kuusamo Hall where they proudly displayed the new EOS 5D full-frame digital SLR camera. It was here where I held this new camera for the first time and salivated. First thing you notice is the huge viewfinder picture. And it's only slightly larger than the EOS 20D.

キヤノンが一つのスポンサーであった。出たばかりのEOS 5Dも展示された。
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Photo books for sale フィンランドの写真集の即売Nature photo books published in Finland and by some of the photographers featured at the festival were also displayed for sale. The next few images show a few of the books that were available (and which I bought).

フィンランドの写真集も即売されていた。何冊も買って次に紹介する。
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Kuusamo Luontokaupunki, by Paavo Hamunen, Hannu Hautala, and Lassi Rautiainen クーサモの写真集I first saw this book at the Finnish Tourist Board's office in Tokyo (Imperial Hotel) which I visited before going to Finland. I think it is the only nature photo book about Kuusamo with Japanese text. It also has text in Finnish, Russian, and Italian (but no English!).

It shows pictures of the best nature spots in and around Kuusamo such as Julma Ölkky, Kitkajoki River, and Näränkä, the three places I visited (or experienced) while in Kuusamo (click on links to see my pictures). Published by Articmedia in 2000.
ISBN: 951-98612-0-3

唯一の日本語も含むクーサモの自然を紹介するの写真集。東京にあるフィンランドの観光局(帝国ホテル内)にもこの本が置いてあった。
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To Everything a Season, by Hannu Hautala and Markku Lappalainen 写真家ハンヌ・ハウタラHannu Hautala is Finland's most well-known nature photographer. Even in Helsinki's biggest bookstore, you can find a "Hannu Hautala" postcard rack.

I also had the pleasure of meeting him and visiting his home/office. He has been to Japan twice where he photographed Japanese cranes in Hokkaido and snow monkeys in Nagano. He also has a substantial collection of Japanese nature photo books. He is very warm-hearted and well-liked by everyone.

This book is in English (that's why I bought it), and it shows pictures of Finland's nature, wildlife, and landscapes for each month of the year from January to December. The text is also interesting as it explains the daily and seasonal lives of the wildlife. Published by Otava in Finland. ISBN: 951-1-14888-5

フィンランドの一番有名なネイチャー写真家であるハンヌ・ハウタラ氏(Hannu Hautala)の写真集。英語版で1月から12月のフィンランドの自然を紹介している。野鳥や風景が多い。クーサモ在住のハウタラ氏は、とても優しい人。
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My Bears, by Lassi Rautiainen フィンランドのヒグマの写真集Lassi is the main man behind the Kuusamo Nature Photo festival. He is also a well-known nature photographer in Europe and his special passion is bears ("karhu" in Finnish).

This is his photo book of "his" bears in the Finnish (and maybe Russian) wilderness photographed from his bear hides (wildlife observation huts). The text is in four languages including English. One of the first things he says in the book is that bears are not dangerous. They do not attack people. Well, that's not true in Japan. Bears do attack and kill people in Japan. People picking mushrooms in the mountains or even in their backyard near a mountain can be vulnerable.

Bear attacks are often widely reported in Japan's news media. So I was surprised to hear that bears in Finland are afraid of people and run away when they see humans. Finland has about 1,000 brown bears. Happily, I saw two of them during a bear-watching trip conducted by Lassi.

The book is quite interesting. Lassi gives colorful names to all the bears he has seen. There's Flathead, Ruffled-head, Little Boy, Beefcake, and Split-ear, Finland's most photographed bear. Split-ear's right ear has a little V-notch on the tip. He got it by tearing off the tag that a bear researcher had tacked on.

Lassi also tells interesting stories about the mating practices of the bears (occurring in May-June), and about his own encounters with the bears. The book also shows pictures of wolverines which look like badgers. I was lucky to observe and film a wolverine at a bear hide. There are only a few hundred of them in the Nordic region.

Lassi is a great nature storyteller and often humorous. And I read this book from cover to cover with great interest. Published by his company, Articmedia. ISBN: 951-95376-6-X

「僕のヒグマ」という写真集で、フィンランドで撮ったヒグマの写真。写真家のラッシー・ラウティアイネン氏(Lassi Rautiainen)は長年のヒグマのオタク。クーサモのネィチャーフォト祭りの実行委員長でもある。面白い方です。
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Kuusamo Hall lobby ホールのロビーHanging on the 2nd floor balconey on the right is a teepee made of reindeer skin. Reindeer skin is very strong and can last many years. It also keeps the teepee warm.

This teepee exhibit was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui. They brought a whole load of other things (see following images) and photos to display at Kuusamo Hall.

ホールのロビーに写真以外にもいろいろの展示物があった。
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Native clothing of Nenets tribe ネネッツ族の衣類The Nenets tribe live in the polar region of northwestern Siberia in Russia. They are Arctic reindeer pastoralists with huge herds of reindeer. Their faces look Asian or Mongoloid.

This exhibit of Nenets clothing (made of reindeer skin/fur) was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui who studied and filmed the Nenets and other tribes.

They brought a whole load of other exhibits (see next image) to Kuusamo Hall.

ホールのロビーに写真以外にもいろいろの展示物があった。これは、シベリアにいるネネッツ族の衣類。ほとんどトナカイの毛皮で作られている。
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Instruments and implements of the Nenets tribe ネネッツ族の展示Drum and other implements.

This exhibit was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui who studied and filmed the Nenets and other tribes.
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Pipe made of mammoth bone ネネッツ族の展示This exhibit was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui who studied and filmed the Nenets and other tribes.
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Kuusamo newspaper "Koillis sanomat" 地元の新聞Since it was one of the sponsors, the local newspaper wrote about the nature photo festival daily. I even got interviewed for a story. They asked me questions like how they can attract more Japanese tourists to Kuusamo. I replied that we need more direct flights from Tokyo to Helsinki. (There are only two a week via Finnair as of this writing.)

一つのスポンサーである地元の新聞紙もこの写真まつりを大きく取り上げてくれました。私のインタービューも掲載された。
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Lunch (reindeer meat) 肉はトナカイKuusamo Hall also has a restaurant serving good food.

ホール内はレストランもある。
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Finnish sauna tent サウナOn September 10, they took us all to dinner to a place near a lake. After dinner (reindeer meat), we went to this sauna in a large tent.

食後にサウナへ。
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Inside Finnish sauna サウナの中This is what it looked like (before we all entered stark naked).
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Inside Finnish sauna サウナの中It got very foggy inside as they kept splashing water on the hot rocks. It didn't get very hot, but it was interesting. Lots of steam and only a single light illuminated inside the sauna.

蒸気で中ではなにも見えなくなった。見えないけど皆は全裸。
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Path to lake サウナの後は冷たい湖へA Finnish sauna is always near a lake. After the sauna, you supposed to take a dip in the freezing lake. I went to the lake but declined to go in.

湖に入りませんでした。
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Aurora! オーロラ!We were very lucky to see the northern lights that evening too. September is usually still too early for the northern lights to appear, but there it was.

It was a greenish veil of light floating in the black sky and ever-changing in shape. It doesn't make any sound. It was my first time to see northern lights. In Finnish, they call it "fox tail."

The orange stream on the lower left is actually steam (or smoke) coming out of the sauna tent. It's not part of the aurora. I don't think I could've taken this picture with a film camera. It was too dark.

オーロラも見えて超ラッキー!ちょっと早い時期だけど、珍しく現れた。
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Aurora over the lake オーロラと湖Seeing the aurora in the sky and reflected on the lake was simply awesome.

湖に反映されて奇麗だった。なにも音もしない。形が常に変わる。
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Photo books from Japan donated to Kuusamo Public Library. 日本からの写真集を現地の図書館へ寄贈。This was our backstage lounge at Kuusamo Hall. Before donating a bunch of Japanese nature photo books to the Kuusamo public library, I left them in this lounge where the other participating photographers could look at them during slide show breaks. Three of the books (and one DVD) were donated by the three photographers I introduced in my third slide show. The rest were bought and donated by me. The images following show what books I donated.

日本から持ってきた写真集をホールの控室に置いて他の参加者の写真家が拝見した。写真祭りが終わってからこれらの写真集をすべてクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Invisible Power, by blind photographers (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)I showed some pages in this book during my 2nd slide show in Kuusamo. The pictures in the book were taken by blind photographers. It includes a few pictures which are embossed so that the blind can touch and feel the pictures. This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この写真集もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。

Here is my book review:

For most of us, going blind is one of our worst fears. Especially for a photographer. After all, how can you take pictures and look at pictures if you're blind?

Ask a blind photographer to answer such questions. Yes, there are blind photographers. How do they do it? Well, imagine how you would take pictures if you were blind. First, your ears would serve as a guide. By listening carefully, you can tell where the subject is and how far away. If you want to photograph a person, take the picture when you hear laughter. Your ears can serve well as a guide to when to take the shot.

For still-life subjects, you can touch the object (flowers, etc.) and decide which angle to photograph it from. If you're waiting for a sunrise, feel the heat of the sun on your skin before taking the picture. You can also discern which direction the sun is in. Besides using your other four senses, a major boon is having a seeing person tell you what's going on and when to take the picture.

And that's how they do it. It's truly amazing how adaptive and strong humans can be to overcome any kind of handicap. The same applies to the blind. In Tokyo, sometimes I see a blind person taking a subway or train. You know how difficult it is even for seeing people to navigate through all those crowds in the train/subway stations? There are pimpled tiles on the ground to guide the blind, but still, the blind are truly awesome to venture out by themselves. It is the "unseen or invisible power." Of course, we all have it, but most of us don't really know how to tap into it.

As for the question of how a blind person can "see" photographs, this book gives the answer. Besides regular color photographs, it includes nine pictures that you can touch and feel. They are embossed images (that smell like rubber), and each one is captioned in Braille. The book claims to be the first photo book in Japan to include such images for the blind. All the pictures are of typical subjects that most amateurs in Japan pursue: Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, festivals, flowers, family and friends, children, and even fireworks. You can't help but be impressed by the quality of the photos while knowing that they were all taken by a blind person.

The book says that photography by blind people started with the invention of fully automatic cameras and embossed printing technology. There is a special copying machine (rittai kopii-ki) that can produce an embossed image of the copied photograph.

The photographs in the book come from the best ones that have been shown at the annual blind photographers exhibition held annually in the past 15 years in Tokyo. The common reaction of most visitors to these exhibitions is, "Blind people taking pictures? I don't believe it!" Their disbelief soon turns into admiration, and the common notion that blind people cannot take pictures is totally dispelled. Such is the power of the blind, not only in being able to take pictures, but in also affecting normal seeing people in positive ways.

The National Blind Photographers Exhibition (Zenkoku Mojin Shashin-ten) was first held in 1985 in Tokyo. Over 200 pictures by blind people all over Japan are submitted and a panel of judges select about 60 pictures for the exhibition held every Dec. in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The exhibition displays each photograph in two ways. There's the normal photograph, and then there's an embossed version (made by the special copying machine) of the same picture that the blind can touch and feel with their fingers.

The exhibition is not only about the photographs themselves, but also about the determination and effort by the blind and the loving support of family members. It's about the people behind the camera and about tapping that "power" that lies within (usually dormant for most of us). The exhibition is supported by corporations (like Minolta which developed the special copying machine), organizations, and prominent pro photographers. The honorary chairman of the panel of judges is Prince Mikasa, a relative of the Emperor. Personally, I think it's just fantastic that blind people are able to take pictures and look at them. Having a means of self-expression is so important to all humans. (Reviewed by Philbert Ono)
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Birds of Hokkaido, by Tadashi Shimada (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)Great collection of various birds photographed in Hokkaido, Japan's northern-most island. See book review here.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この写真集もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Northland Japanese Cranes, by Masahiro Wada (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)Beautiful pictures of this favorite bird of Japan in very scenic locations, mainly Hokkaido. In Japanese, this bird is called "tancho." See book review here.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この写真集もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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All Scenic Spots of Mt. Fuji, by T. Watanabe (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)Mt. Fuji is of course Japan's symbol and most beautiful mountain. It is a favorite subject among many photographers because it affords an infinite variety of angles and views from which you can photograph it. Not to mention the different times of day and the different seasons when you can capture the mountain. Of course, you can also climb it.

This little book contains an excellent variety of beautiful Mt. Fuji photos.

This book has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この写真集もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Shiki no Shashin (Four Seasons Photo) magazine (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)This is a magazine dedicated to nature photography in Japan. It is published every two months.

This Aug./Sept. 2005 issue has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この雑誌もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Fukei Shashin (Landscape Photo) magazine (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)This is a magazine dedicated to landscape and nature photography in Japan. It is published every two months.

This July/Aug. 2005 issue has been donated to the Kuusamo public library by Philbert Ono.

この雑誌もPhotoGuide Japanがクーサモ町の図書館へ寄贈しました。
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Kuusamo Library クーサモ図書館This is the public library in Kuusamo to which I donated a bunch of Japanese nature photo books, magazines, and a DVD (see the previous images).

Before leaving for Finland, I requested and received a photo book from the three Japanese photographers I featured in my third slide show. I also went to a large bookstore in Tokyo and scoured all the Japanese nature photo books. I bought some books I thought would be of interest in Finland. I packed all the books in my suitcase, and when I checked in at Finnair at Narita Airport (Tokyo), they told me that my suitcase was overweight by 6 kg or so and I would have to pay extra. I asked how much, and she said 40,000 yen (about $300).

I couldn't believe it. I almost went ballistic. First I made sure that I heard correctly: "You mean 4,000 yen ($30) right?" No, it was 40,000 yen. I panicked inside, but tried to remain calm. Then I dropped down and opened my suitcase on the spot and took out 6 kg worth of books and stuffed them in a large plastic bag which they kindly provided.

Now I had two pieces of carry-on luggage and one lighter suitcase weighing right below the 25kg limit. "Fine" she said, and I was happy even though I was slightly weighed down.

It was worth the trouble because I later found out that the Kuusamo library had no photo books from Japan. But now they do.
Library Web site: http://www.kuusamo.fi/Resource.phx/sivut/sivut-kuusamo/kirjasto/index.htx

フィンランドへ行く前に都内の大手本屋さんへ行って日本の面白そうなネイチャー写真集を何冊も買って持って行きました。今森光彦、中村郁夫、栗林慧先生から頂いた写真集と合わせてスーツケースに入れた。そして成田でFinnairでチェックインすると重さ制限(25kg)がオーバーで追加料金がなんと4万円!!とんでもない話で、その場でスーツケースを開けて6kg分の重い本を手持ちにした。それでOKだった。

これらの寄贈写真集は、スライドショー中にも紹介して「図書館で借りられる」と皆さんに知らせました。来場者からも写真集やDVDの注文も何件か受付ました。
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Kuusamon Kansanopisto 宿泊先This is where most of us stayed in Kuusamo during the nature photo festival. It was almost right across the street from Kuusamo Hall, making it very convenient and economical. It's near a supermarket and restaurants. It's like a hostel with communal showers, toilets, and kitchen. Breakfast was good too. Normally open during summer.
Web site: http://edu.kuusamo.fi/kansanopisto/

クーサモの宿。外国から来た写真祭りの参加者はほとんどここに泊まった。とても便利な所でした。シングル部屋もあるけど、シャワーとトイレは共有。夏樹だけ営業。安い。
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Shower, toilet, and rubber broom シャワーとトイレThe floor of the shower area is the same as the toilet's. After taking a shower, we have to use a rubber broom (upper right corner) to sweep the water to the drain. I still don't understand why we have to do this and why the shower does not have a separate floor. Apparently this is common in Finland especially in older buildings.

シャワーとトイレの床は共有でシャワーの後にゴムぞうきん(右上)で水を排水に。面倒と思うけど、フィンランドの古い家にこうなっている。
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Manga display in Kuusamo bookstore クーサモにもマンガApparently, manga (comics from Japan) is popular even in Kuusamo. In English, we call this character Astro Boy. In Japanese, "Tetsuwan Atom."

クーサモの本屋さんにもマンガあり。
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The 2nd CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show was held during a cold winter of Feb. 9-13, 2011.
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Canon booth
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Canon booth in a central location.
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The Canon booth employed a few pretty girls to introduce their latest D-SLRs (EOS Kiss X5 and X50) and Ivis video camera.
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Canon girl
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Canon girl showing off the latest consumer camcorder.
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Canon girl poses for camera-toting gawkers.
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Canon also held a talk show featuring actress Takeshita Keiko.
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Canon booth's talk show featuring actress Takeshita Keiko. The talk show had two young photographers whom Takeshita interviewed. The show was later televised on NTV on Feb. 11.
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Panasonic Lumix girl at CP+ 2011 Camera Show.
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Lumix girl
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