Last updated: Aug. 2, 2011
I'm an American citizen of Japanese ancestry born and raised in Hawaii, USA. Graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I now live and work in Tokyo, Japan. I am fluent in Japanese--reading, writing, and speaking. For taking pictures of Japan, I specialize in Tokyo and Shiga Prefecture (next to Kyoto). My favorite subjects are festivals, women in kimono, castles, temples, shrines, sumo, and other traditional Japanese things.
Besides shooting still photos, I also enjoy shooting and editing videos and uploading them to YouTube for all to see. I am a Festival Freak or Matsuri Maniac. I aim to see and shoot as many festivals in Japan as I can during the rest of my life.
I also like to promote tourism in Japan. I want more people from overseas to visit Japan, and want them to know that there's much more than just Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara. The first step to understanding Japan is to visit this country, even as a tourist. I am most active within the Tokyo to Osaka corridor.
Learning about Japan and explaining Japan to English-speaking, non-Japanese people is my life work.
On rainy days, I sometimes scan/digitize my old photos shot with film and home movies. I have been digitizing my most important and favorite baby photos and old photos/movies of family, relatives, and friends. Consequently, I have been giving my relatives and friends my digitized photos/movie clips in which they appear.
Other facts about me:
- Macintosh user. Although I do have Windows 7 installed in my iMac.
- Canon camera user. Used to be a diehard Nikon user during the film days, but switched to Canon for digital photography.
- Non-smoker. (So if you arrange a meeting with me, don't smoke.)
- I have tens of thousands of photos of Japan online which are available for licensing.
To contact me, click here.
- Started PhotoGuide Japan Web site.
- Mar. - PhotoGuide Japan obtains its own domain name at photojpn.org.
- Summer - Article titled Early Showa Photographs co-authored by Philbert Ono and Edward Wright, appears in the summer issue (No. 15) of DARUMA magazine.
- July-Aug. - The 2nd Tokyo International Photo-Biennale is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. One of the 40 finalists (out of 672 entrants), Jennifer Grossblatt from Los Angeles, California, was sponsored by PhotoGuide Japan. Her work was titled "Hollywood's Runaways."
- April - PhotoGuide Japan enters the e-commerce age with the launching of MailOrderZONE to sell Japanese photo books, magazines, videos, and CD-ROMs online.
- May-June - Milan-based Zoom magazine (May-June 1999, No. 32 issue) reviews PhotoGuide Japan in an article called Web Circuit which introduced Japan's best photography Web sites.
- Sep.-Oct. - The Sep.-Oct 1999 issue (No. 34) of Milan-based Zoom magazine runs an article named Vision Japan authored by Philbert who wrote about upcoming photo exhibitions in Japan.
- Oct. 23 - Sponsored and organized by PhotoGuide Japan, the 1st Tokyo International Photo Showcase (TIPS '99) is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography's hall. Consisted of a slide show (with live music) by several Japanese and overseas photographers.
- Oct. 20 - Book Portraits in Sepia is published by Asahi Sonorama and authored by Naomi Izakura and Torin Boyd. PhotoGuide Japan is cited as a reference source.
- Oct. 28 - Sponsored and organized by PhotoGuide Japan, the 2nd Tokyo International Photo Showcase (TIPS 2000) is held at the Yokohama Museum of Art's Lecture Hall. Consisted of a slide show by several Japanese and overseas photographers and sales booths by the photographers.
- June - A Japanese book called Home Page Best 5000 is published by ASCII and lists PhotoGuide Japan as one of Japan's best photography Web sites along with Canon, Minolta, Kodak Japan, and Fuji Film.
- Nov. - A photo book titled Naked Women is published by Thunder's Mouth Press and edited by Philip Braham. The book contains artistic nudes by renown photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Eve Arnold, Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, Eugene Atget, Imogen Cunningham, and Philbert Ono.
- Nov. 13-18 - Sponsored and organized by PhotoGuide Japan, the Kyoto International Photo Showcase (KIPS 2001) is held at the Kyoto International Community House. Consisted of a photo exhibition and slide show talk by several Japanese and overseas photographers. Special guests included IZIMA Kaoru (fashionable corpses) and world-famous Spencer Tunick who was visiting Japan.
- May - An article on Philbert Ono and PhotoGuide Japan appears in Tokyo-based PhotoStage magazine.
- April - PhotoGuide Japan is listed as one of Japan's best photography sites in Nagoya-based Japanzine's the best of Japan on the web 2004 article.
- Nov. - Book Japan: A Self-Portrait : Photographs 1945 - 1964 is published by Paris-based Flammarion. Philbert Ono is cited in the Acknowledgements of the English edition.
- Feb. 20 - PhotoGuide Japan is mentioned in a business article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper in Hawaii.
- April-Aug. - Hiroshima-Nagasaki Photo Exhibition in Genova, Italy is held at the Palazzo Ducale by the city of Genova as part of a large art exhibition. Philbert is co-curator of the photo exhibition.
- June - Photo book and exhibition catalog, Yosuke Yamahata NAGASAKI is published with the collaboration of Philbert.
- Sept. 6 - Invited to give a slide show of Japanese festivals at the Annantalo Arts Centre in Helsinki, Finland.
- Sept. 9-18 - The Kuusamo Nature Photo Festival is held in Kuusamo, Finland. Philbert is invited to give three slide shows featuring works by well-known Japanese nature photographers.
- Nov. 21 - Dec. 4 - Small photo exhibition titled "Lake Biwa Boating Song" is held at Shiga Kaikan in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. It is featured in the local Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
- Jan. 1 - PHOTOGUIDE.JP is officially launched as the sister site of PhotoGuide Japan. Geared for tourists in Japan, it features photos and articles about Japan.
- April 9 - The Japan Day event is held at the Annantalo Arts Centre in Helsinki, Finland. For the photo exhibition, Philbert shows photos of Japanese Costumes. It was well attended.
- May-June - Created the English version of Shiga Prefecture's most famous song called Biwako Shuko no Uta or Lake Biwa Rowing Song and unveiled the English lyrics to the public through a photo exhibition called Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In Pictures and English, in Imazu, Shiga Pref. and a public performance of the song on June 3. Local editions of the Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and Chunichi Shimbun cover the event and exhibition.
- June 19 - Appeared in a telephone interview on Kyoto Broadcasting System (KBS) radio station to introduce the Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
- July 1 - Aug. 10 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In Pictures and English, photo exhibition held at Biwa Public Library in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.
- July 20 - Joined YouTube and began uploading video clips.
- Oct. 29 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In Pictures and English, one-day photo exhibition held at Shima Kominkan Public Hall, Omi-Hachiman, Shiga.
- Mar. 4 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song one-day photo exhibition held at Canora Hall, Okaya, Nagano.
- May 9-27 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In Pictures and English, photo exhibition held at Yokaichi Public Library in Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture.
- May 30-July 1 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In Pictures and English, photo exhibition held at Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan museum in Takashima, Shiga Prefecture.
- May-June - Served as one of the judges for a photo contest called Festimage, held by the city of Chaves in Portugal.
- June 3 - Contributed Japanese festival photos for a Japanese festival video shown at the Japan Day@Central Park," a Japanese cultural festival held in Central Park, New York City that included dance, music, food, a road race, games, and technology. Organized with the support of the Consulate General of Japan.
- June 16 - Produced and released Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD. Asahi Shimbun prints an article about the CD in the Shiga Edition.
- June 17 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song performed by Jamie and Megan Thompson at the annual Biwako Shuko no Uta Choir Contest in Imazu, Shiga Pref.
- July 19-Aug. 3 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song, In English, photo exhibition held at Lucci Plaza in Maibara, Shiga Prefecture.
- July 29 - Donated Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs as prizes for the Biwako Shimin Regatta on Seta River in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.
- Sept. 2 - Presented a slide show of Shiga Prefecture to incoming fall semester students at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone. Included an introduction to Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
- Sept. 16 - Donated Lake Biwa Rowing Song CDs as prizes for the Biwako Kaitsuburi Regatta 2007 Lake Biwa Rowing Course (Biwako Sotei-jo) in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.
- Jan. - New book called The Companies We Keep 2 by Bob Sigall is published. It contains many articles about Hawaii's people, companies, and places, filled with interesting tidbits. One article titled An Iolani Palace Outside Hawaii??? is based on my photos of Iolani Palace made of snow at the Sapporo Snow Festival. The book becomes a bestseller like its predecessor book.
- Jan. 8 - Presented a slide show of Shiga Prefecture to incoming spring semester students at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone. Included an introduction to Lake Biwa Rowing Song.
- July 1-30 - "Imazu Jr. High Lake Biwa Rowing Exhibition, photo exhibition at Imazu Public Library, Takashima, Shiga Prefecture. Mainly photos of Imazu Jr. High's rowing club rowing across Lake Biwa from Nagahama to Imazu.
- Oct. 18 - Lake Biwa Rowing Song performed by Jamie and Megan Thompson at Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 festival held at Kibogaoka Park in Yasu, Shiga Pref.
- Feb 1 - PhotoGuide Japan (photojpn.org) is selected by Japanzine magazine as one of the "Best of Japan On the Web 2009" sites under the Photo Gallery category.
- Feb. 24 - Started a new blog called Shiga News to cover major news of Shiga Prefecture, Japan and site updates for shiga-ken.com.
- Aug. - The number of Japan photos online at PHOTOGUIDE.JP reaches 30,000.