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Geisha chocolate ゲイシャ チョコ2021 viewsSome years ago, when a Finnish friend visited Japan and gave me this Geisha chocolate from Finland, I was very amused. Why in the world did they name it "geisha??" It's milk chocolate with a soft hazelnut filling.

Then when I went to Finland, I was surprised to see this chocolate brand almost everywhere. It's made by a company called Fazer, and when you look at their Web site, they explain in Finnish why they named it "geisha." (Wish I could read it.) The logo on the packaging uses a nice drawing of a geisha. But at the company's Web site, they have a wallpaper gallery showing a real human modeling as an obviously fake geisha.

No offense to the company, the model, makeup artist, and chocolate, but she is one of the worse-looking geisha models I've ever seen. Egad!! She might even be a man.

Take a look: http://www.fazermakeiset.fi/ Click on the Geisha button, then click on the fourth candy from the top to see the wallpaper.

After careful analysis, I know why Fazer's geisha looks so awful: Her fake wig is way too high above her ears. It's too small or too short for her (or his) head. The wig was probably for a young girl. See this photo and compare. They should stick to the cartoon logo instead.


HP: http://www.fazermakeiset.fi/
Nagasaki photos by Yosuke Yamahata 山端庸介が原爆投下翌日の写真を撮った1643 viewsYosuke Yamahata was an Imperial Army photographer who was ordered to go to Nagasaki to photograph the after effects of the atomic bomb. He and two others, a writer and an artist, arrived in Nagasaki the morning after the bomb was dropped. Yamahata went on to capture over 100 extraordinary images of the devastation, people who survived, people helping the wounded, and the inevitable corpses.

Japanese gun at Suomenlinna 明治時代の日本海軍の大砲1588 viewsWe were surprised to hear that Suomenlinna had a cannon from Japan. The Suomenlinna Visitor Center had a map in English called "The Guns of Suomenlinna" with all the cannons and guns listed (over 100), including the Japanese gun.

However, there was no explanation of the Japanese gun, and no one at the Visitor Center knew the history behind the Japanese gun. And I could not find any books in the Visitor Center gift shop that explained about the gun, like how in the world it got to Finland and Suomenlinna from faraway Japan.

But after returning to Japan, I did some reading and found out interesting things about it. On the Web, I found a few Japanese sites (but none in English) that mention this gun, and I found only one Web site with a picture of the gun. So I'm happy to show better pictures of the gun as well as an explanation in English.

This is what I found out so far:

The gun was made at Kure Naval Arsenal in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1898. (This can be confirmed by the inscription on the gun.) Kure was a major navy base.

After the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-05, Japan exported this gun to Russia. Before World War I broke out in 1914, Russia placed this 120mm-caliber gun on the coast to help defend the Gulf of Finland and St. Petersburg (or Petrograd as it was known during WWI) from possible attack by Germany. (Finland during this time was part of the Russian empire.)

After the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Finland seized the opportunity and declared itself as an independent country which was approved by Russia. It thereby inherited this Japanese gun positioned in the former Russian territory now under Finnish control. For coastal defense, Finland used this gun as left by the Russians.

On Nov. 30, 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland with the intent to conquer it by the end of the year and make it a buffer state against hostile Nazi Germany. This started the Winter War with Finland which lasted until March 1940.

Although Finland's forces were greatly outnumbered by the Soviets, their guerrilla tactics and the severe winter inflicted heavy Soviet casualties. One major battlefront was near a small Finnish town called Taipale on the northwestern shore of Lake Ladoga near St. Petersburg. Taipale had two Finnish batteries, one of which was at Järisevä on the lakeshore, where the Japanese gun was stationed. (I'm not sure how the gun got to Taipale, whether the Russians had put it there from the beginning or whether the Finns moved it there from Finland's coast.)

Taipale was not too far from the border with the Soviet Union and was at the mouth of a small river called Taipaleenjoki. By Dec. 6, the Soviets from the southwest advanced far enough to reach the river on the side opposite of Taipale. What looked to be a piece of cake for the Soviets turned out to be a bloody battle lasting 3 months. The Finns proved to be ferocious fighters.

By Feb. 19, 1940, the Soviets finally started to make headway into the Finnish line of defense, called the Mannerheim Line that partially straddled along the Taipaleenjoki River, with heavy air and ground attacks. It was also the day when they attacked Taipale from both the east and west.

The west flank faced the ice on Lake Lagoda over which the Soviets marched, only to meet with artillery fire from the Järisevä battery on the lake shore. With the help of the damaged Japanese gun, the Finns destroyed two Soviet tanks and kept firing until they ran out of ammunition. The Soviet attack on Taipale from the west thus ended in failure, and the attack from the eastern flank was also futile. The lake ice was littered with dead Soviet soldiers. At the end of the war, the Finns carried their beloved Japanese gun back to Finnish territory even though it was damaged beyond repair.

Although Taipale never fell to the Soviets during battle, Finland was forced to cede the town and the entire region around northern Lake Ladoga (plus some territory in northeast Finland) to the Soviets in accordance with the Moscow Peace Treaty that ended the Winter War on March 12, 1940. These concessions understandably upset many Finns. Thousands of Finnish lives had been lost fighting for territory that was later handed over to the Soviets in peace. The ceded area was also Finland's industrial center and cradle of Finnish (Karelian) culture. The peace lasted only for about a year until both countries again fought each other during the Continuation War during June 1941 to September 1944.

Here's a little more background info about the gun researched by my friend Ronny Rönnqvist and edited by me:

The gun is a derivative of the British 4.7 inch/40 (120mm/12cm) Amstrong-Elswick Naval/Coastal Gun, developed in the 1880s. The gun was manufactured under license in Japan by the Kure Naval Arsenal and used on Japanese cruisers of the late 1800s / early 1900s and later as a coastal defence gun.

In Japan the gun is known as Meiji 31st Year Type (120/41A) Kaigun Ho. (As inscribed on the gun in Japanese.) Some guns might have been taken by the Russians already during the Russo-Japanese war, but Japan also later on sold a quantity of these guns to Russia.

This particular gun in Suomenlinna is very famous in Finland. It belonged to 8 guns of this type left by the Russian Army in Finland after the War of liberation in 1917-18 when Finland won its independence. These guns were then used as coastal defence guns in various locations.

During the final days of the Winter War in 1940, the Fort of Järisevä in the Finnish town of Taipale on the western shore of Lake Ladoga (now in Russian territory near St. Petersburg) was defended by two such guns. In February only this gun was working when a Russian batallion approached over the lake ice on Feb. 19, 1940.

The gun had been hit and damaged (see the crack on the side of the barrel), but could be barely repaired in time in order to fire at the approaching enemy. By direct aiming and firing the gun with a hammer and although the barrel was badly damaged, the crew succeeded in hitting the tank leading the attack by the 6th shot. Thereby the Russian battalion withdrew and Taipale was saved.

The gun therefore became very famous and was taken to Finland and eventually moved to Suomenlinna to have a place of honour in front of the Coastal Artillery Museum where it is located today.

There were many more Japanese guns used by Finland, all left by the Russian Army in 1918:

- 75 mm mountain gun type 75 VK 98
- light 47mm coastal gun type 47/30
- heavy 150 mm hoowitzer type 150H 14 J ( J for Japan ! )
- a large quantity of Arisaka rifles

But none got as famous as this gun at Suomenlinna!


Native clothing of Nenets tribe ネネッツ族の衣類1549 viewsThe 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.

Film of Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏1496 viewsOn 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.

Kamogawa Odori Geisha Dance, Kyoto1431 viewsA scene from the annual Kamogawa Odori dance held in May in Kyoto. She wears a multi-layer kimono whose colors contrast well with each other. This type of kimono was worn by the nobility.
See more photos of this dance here.
Okinawan Kimono1430 viewsOkinawa is a chain of subtropical islands in southern Japan between Kyushu and Taiwan. It developed its own language and culture while it was an independent kingdom centuries ago. Okinawan kimono, hairstyles, and dances therefore look quite different from the rest of Japan.

On the left is an Okinawan dancer wearing a kimono with her right arm exposed outside the sleeve. The dance is called "Nuchibana" (flower lei) featuring a string of red and white flowers. The dance expresses the feelings of a young woman in love.

The dancer on the right is wearing an Okinawan kimono called the bingata, perhaps Okinawa's most famous kimono. The design is made by applying dyes through a stencil. It was originally worn by Okinawa's royal family members. It is now the costume of a slow-moving Okinawan dance called "Yotsudake."
Costume Player1406 viewsPurin from Pokemon.
See more photos of cosplayers here.
Finnish Museum of Photography フィンランド写真美術館の展示室1333 viewsLarge, impressive space. The bookshop also had a good collection of photo books.

Finnish Museum of Photography フィンランド写真美術館1321 viewsIt is in a complex called the Cable Factory since it used to be a cable factory. The photo museum is housed in the large building on the left. The museum even once held a Japanese photography exhibition in 2001 which had traveled from Sweden. They still had the exhibition catalog in stock so I bought one.

The complex also houses other cultural facilities like dance theaters and art galleries.
Web site: fmp.fi

Näränkä farmhouse for rent 元牧場の家1132 viewsA farming family used to live here from 1841 to 1970. This was their house. The living conditions were quite severe during winter, but they were self-sufficient. The children had to walk for hours to attend school.

This house has been renovated and it is available for short-term rental. It can accommodate maybe 10-15 people. A sauna is also within the property. It's quite isolated so you have a lot of privacy.

For reservations and more info: http://www.kuusamobirds.net/en/tourism44.php

Costume Player984 viewsA vampiress.
See more photos of cosplayers here.
Back of a Maiko, Kyoto896 viewsThe maiko is an apprentice geisha (or geiko). She can be easily identified by the long length of her kimono sleeves and the long length of her obi sash on her back.
See more photos of Kyoto geisha here.
Costume Player826 viewsIn Tokyo, large anime and manga fairs are held at convention halls such as Tokyo Big Sight and Makuhari Messe. Many cosplayers also attend these events and pose for photographers. You can see many anime, manga, and video game characters come to life in an incredible array of costumes.
See more photos of cosplayers here.
Geisha and Maiko in Kyoto746 viewsThis is in Pontocho, one of Kyoto's geisha districts. The woman on the left is a geisha (called "geiko" in Kyoto), the woman in the middle is a helper, and the woman on the right is a maiko or apprentice geisha. They are on their way to see the Kamogawa Odori dance performed by the Pontocho geisha in May.
Costume Player717 viewsCosplay costumes are sometimes based on Japanese kimono and Japanese elements such as the cherry blossom. She's Sakura Shinguuji from a video game called Sakura Wars (Sakura Taisen).
See more photos of cosplayers here.
Aoi Festival, Kyoto641 viewsHeld in May, the Aoi (Hollyhock) Festival is one of Kyoto's Big Three festivals. It is a long parade of people dressed in historical costumes from the Heian Period (794-1185) when Kyoto was Japan's capital. Each participant also wears a small branch of hollyhock.
See more photos of this festival here.
Letter of Thanks from Phil627 viewsI 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.
Maker's inscription on Japanese gun 大砲の日本語表示616 viewsIt says the gun was made by Kure Naval Arsenal in the 31st year of the Meiji Period (1898). Kure was a large naval base in Hiroshima Prefecture.

砲尾の上に「呉海軍造兵廠、明治参拾壱年」 が刻まれていた。
Pesto noodles, a specialty of Genova ペスト、ジェノバの名物594 views
Aoi Festival, Kyoto588 viewsThe parade proceeds through a long route in Kyoto, taking a few hours.
See more photos of this festival here.
Bus in front of Railway Station 駅前のバス566 viewsFinnish design perhaps. Definitely better looking than buses in Japan.
Birds of Hokkaido, by Tadashi Shimada (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)553 viewsGreat 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。
Finland: Land of Lakes 湖だらけの国520 viewsWhen you look at a map of Finland or see it from the air, the first thing you notice is that it has a lot of lakes. Ten percent of the country is covered by lakes, but from the air over the southern half, it looks like least 30%-40% of the land is water.

It looked like a field of giant puddles or one giant marshland. It was like the country was sinking into ocean. I had never seen so many lakes in my life. Incredible. And if it's not water, it's forests. Some 70% of Finland is covered by forests.

I think Finland will someday become a popular tourist destination, especially for people who need to escape the urban hustle-bustle and stressful lifestyle. There are nothing like trees and lakes which can pacify humans.

Basic intro to Finland: http://virtual.finland.fi/
Finland map: Virtual Finland map

HP: フィンランド政府観光局(日本語)
Tekomai Geisha, Fukagawa Hachiman Festival, Tokyo516 viewsTomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Fukagawa, Tokyo holds the full-scale Fukagawa Hachiman Festival every three years in August. It is a parade of over 50 portable shrines preceded by a troupe of tekomai geisha.

Their colorful costume is partially masculine with trousers instead of skirts. Their right shoulder is "exposed" to show a peony flower design. They carry a red paper lantern imprinted with their names and use their right hand to drag along a metal wand. As they walk, they only sing traditional chant-like songs. They do not dance.
See more photos of this festival here.
Awa Odori Dance, Koenji, Tokyo498 viewsIn late August, Koenji in Tokyo holds one of the largest Awa Odori dances outside Tokushima Prefecture. This woman is a different type of Awa dancer. She wears a head band, a happi coat imprinted with the name of her dance troupe, a pair of white shorts, and a pair of white sock-like shoes called tabi.
Hanagasa Festival, Yamagata412 viewsDuring early August, northern Japan holds several large-scale summer festivals. One of them is the Hanagasa (Flower Hat) Festival in Yamagata city. Held in the evening, it is a long parade of women dancing while wearing a flowered hat.
See more photos of this festival here.
Luggage storage room ヴェネツィアの駅の荷物預かり所397 viewsCoin-operated lockers were out of order in the station. In the morning at 9:30 am, the line can be long for people wanting to store their baggage.
Awa Odori Dance, Yamato, Kanagawa397 viewsAwa Odori dancers are characterized by their straw hats, a thin kimono called the yukata, and geta clogs. Their heels don't touch the ground, so they dance on their toes. They hop along while shaking their hands above their heads. Since the dance is performed in the summer, often the yukata gets soaked with perspiration.
Mushroom364 viewsProbably not edible.1 comments
Annantalo Arts Centre, Helsinki. Their Japan Day event was held on April 9, 2006.360 viewsA former primary school built in 1886, this distinguished-looking building is now an arts center for children and young people. They held a Japan Day event on April 9, 2006 when they presented Budo demonstrations, kimono show, workshops, Japanese food, lectures, and a photo exhibition featuring my pictures of Japanese costumes. My friend Elina Moriya also showed a few of her pictures of temples.

Annantalo Web site: [url=http://www.kulttuuri.hel.fi/annantalo/index_en.html[/url]
About Genova ジェノバの紹介340 viewsGenova (or Genoa) is a port city on the west coast of Italy. It is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. For 2004, it was designated as the European City of Culture. From Milan, it takes about 90 min. to reach Genova.


Closeup of cracked barrel 割れた砲331 views
Hikiyama Festival, Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture330 viewsHeld in mid-April, the Hikiyama Festival features authentic kabuki plays performed by young boys. Several ornate floats on wheels move around the city to serve as portable stages for these well-trained actors. The boys play both the male and female roles and wear gorgeous kimono. They undergo rigorous practice sessions during the months before the festival.
See more photos of this festival here.
Kuusamo Library クーサモ図書館319 viewsThis 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


Tekomai Children, Hie Shrine, Tokyo286 viewsHie Shrine in Tokyo holds the annual Sanno Festival in June. It consists of a parade and ceremony at the shrine. These children are dressed as tekomai geisha who originally provided side entertainment at festivals.
DVD by Satoshi Kuribayashi (寄贈図書)283 viewsDuring 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

Finnair: Tokyo to Helsinki283 viewsThe food wasn't so bad.
Nagasaki photos by Yosuke Yamahata. 写っている人物の当時の状況が詳しく語っています。273 viewsIn 1995, NHK, Japan's leadning TV station, successfully identified some of the survivors pictured in Yamahata's photographs. They even interviewed some of them who were still living. They aired a special TV program and published a book about the extraordinary stories of the survivors.

Those stories have been summarized into Italian for the photo captions in this exhibition.

写っている人物の当時の状況が詳しく語っています。10年前にNHKの取材班が山端庸介の原爆写真に写っている人物の名前とか所在を調べてまだ生きている何人かとインタービューが成功。それが、テレビ番組と本「NHKスペシャル 長崎 よみがえる原爆写真」になって大変感動しました。(テレビ番組も昨年8月に再放送された。)

そのNHK Special番組と本を参考してこの新しい写真集の写真説明文を書きました。イタリア語になっていますが、それぞれの写真を今まで外国語で詳しく説明されたことないのです。被爆者の感動的の話しをもっと海外にも伝いたいのです。
Japanese gun at Suomenlinna 日本海軍製の大砲263 viewsRight view of gun where you can see the cracked barrel.
Stuffed reindeer トナカイ263 viewsAt Helsinki Airport, a gift shop was selling reindeer furs for about 60 eur. I was tempted to buy one. The gift shop also sold canned reindeer meat (as well as bear and elk meat) and reindeer salami. In Finnish, reindeer is called "poro," and in Japanese, "tonakai."

Until I visited Finland, I thought reindeer were fictional animals since I knew that there couldn't be any animals which could pull a sled and fly in the air. I was delighted to find that reindeer were real animals and they looked just like the ones that pull Santa Claus. They just cannot fly. And none have a red nose. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Here's a picture of a real reindeer I took in Finland.

ヘルシンキ空港でトナカイの毛皮を売っていた。着る用ではなく、布団でも使えるもの。約60 eur。フィンランドではトナカイがよく見かけた。
Nagasaki exhibition catalog: Yosuke Yamahata-Nagasaki 山端庸介の新しい写真集兼図録260 viewsThis book shows all of Yosuke Yamahata's photos of Nagasaki, including the the 100+ photos of Nagasaki taken on the day after the bomb was dropped. The book includes a photo which has never been published in a book. Many detailed captions about the people identified in the photos are also included. Language is Italian. Order from PhotoGuide Japan's iStore.



そしてもう一つの大きな特徴は、説明文。写っている人物の当時の状況が結構詳しく語っています。10年前にNHKの取材班が山端庸介の原爆写真に写っている人物の名前とか所在を調べてまだ生きている何人かとインタービューが成功。それが、テレビ番組と本「NHKスペシャル 長崎 よみがえる原爆写真」になって大変感動しました。(テレビ番組も昨年8月に再放送された。)

そのNHK Special番組と本を参考してこの新しい写真集の写真説明文を書きました。イタリア語になっていますが、それぞれの写真を今まで外国語で詳しく説明されたことないのです。被爆者の感動的の話しをもっと海外にも伝いたいのです。
Kuusamo Nature Photo 2005 Program プログラム259 viewsCover 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
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
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
Oiran Courtesan Procession, Tokyo258 viewsOn Nov. 3, Japan's Culture Day holiday, the Tokyo Festival of the Ages (Jidai Matsuri) is held in Asakusa, Tokyo. It is a long parade of people dressed in historical costumes tracing the history of Tokyo. One highlight is the Oiran Dochu, a procession for a high-ranking courtesan called "oiran." One of the trademarks of the oiran was her very high and heavy platform clogs. She walks in a very stylized figure 8 pattern. Her hair also has many ornaments.
See more photos of this festival here.
Wolverine movie clip (High-speed) クズリのムービー257 viewsI used my digital video camera to film this wolverine grabbing a huge piece of pig carcass and carrying it for some distance until he dumped it out of fear. But it shows how strong these animals are. They can carry a carcass three times their own weight. Wolverines belong to the same family as weasels. They have sharp teeth and claws. The picture is not very sharp, maybe because of the rain. The sound has been erased. The movie clip is 1 min. 36 sec.

Shinto Shrine Maidens, Taga Taisha Shrine, Shiga Prefecture251 viewsMany Shinto shrines in Japan employ female attendants called "miko." They perform ceremonial dances, clean the shrine grounds, and sell charms at the shrine's gift shop. The shrine maiden's standard costume consists of a short, white kimono worn over a scarlet-red hakama (skirt-trousers). They usually wear their hair long, bundled on the back.

This picture was taken on New Year's Day when many people in Japan visit shrines to pray for a happy and safe new year. They perform a dance on the shrine's outdoor stage.
See more photos of this shrine here.
Kodak Hula Show at Waikiki Shell248 views
Kagurazaka Geisha Dance, Tokyo243 viewsMost people associate the geisha with Kyoto. However, Tokyo also has authentic geisha. Kagurazaka is one of the few remaining geisha districts in Tokyo. The Kagurazaka geisha give public dance performances in spring called "Hana no Kai" (Glamorous Gathering). They have proven to be very popular with sold-out performances every year. The geisha change into different kimono as they perform graceful dances and musical plays.
See more photos of this dance here.
Manga display in Kuusamo bookstore クーサモにもマンガ235 viewsApparently, manga (comics from Japan) is popular even in Kuusamo. In English, we call this character Astro Boy. In Japanese, "Tetsuwan Atom."

Palazzo Ducale, site of the Japan art exhibition in 2005 (Giappone - L'Arte del mutamento). (展覧会の会場)232 viewsFrom April to Aug. 2005, a huge Japanese art exhibition was held at this former palace. It exhibited ukiyoe, posters, textiles, and photographs. The photo exhibition, curated by Rossella Menegazzo and myself (Philbert Ono), showed images of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb aftermath.

2005年4月〜8月にイタリアのジェノバ市で日本の美術展覧会が開催され、浮世絵、着物、アートポスターと写真が展示されました。 写真展は、60周年のため広島・長崎原爆関係の写真が紹介されました。会場は、立派なドゥカーレ宮殿でした。
Slide show notice スライドショーのお知らせ230 viewsPosted in Annantalo for my slide show held on September 6, 2005, from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. The slide show was titled "Japan's Sights and Sounds" to show my pictures and movie clips of Japanese festivals. It was planned almost at the last minute. A small announcement also appeared in Helsinki's leading newspaper called "Helsingin Sanomat (English version)."

A total of 10 local Finnish women modeled the kimono.230 views
Dessert looking like the Japanese flag 日の丸のデザート225 viewsA Japanese chef was working at this Italian trattoria which was excellent.
Suomenlinna fortress スオメンリンナ224 viewsComprising several small islands, Suomenlinna was a sea fortress originally built in 1748 by the Swedish empire (when Finland was part of Sweden) to fend off attack by Russia in the east.

Today, it is Helsinki's biggest tourist attraction. Besides being a World Heritage Site, it is a pleasant island for picnics (in warmer months) and picture-taking. It's quite big, so you cannot see everything on a day trip.

The fortress has museums, restaurants, and over 100 old cannons and guns still remaining.
Web site: suomenlinna.fi
Another: Virtual Finland

HP: スオメンリンナ要塞(日本語)
Aurora! オーロラ!222 viewsWe 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.

Costume Players218 viewsJapan has long been home to anime cartoons, manga comics, and video games. But it was only from the mid-1990s when it became very popular for teenagers and young women to dress up as characters from their favorite anime, manga, or video game. They congregate at manga, video game, and anime fairs where they pose for hordes of photographers.

They either buy or make their costumes. They depict so many characters that it's impossible to recognize all of them unless you ask them who they are costumed as. The girl on the left is dressed as Felicia from Vampire Savior.
See more photos of cosplayers here.
Venice ヴェネツィアは、どこへ行っても絵はがきの風景216 viewsEverywhere you go in Venice looks like a picture postcard. A photographer's paradise. It's an impossible place. Too many things to see, and you can never see them all.
Lanterna Magica bookshop and exhibition space216 viewsThe bookshop also has small exhibition rooms.

Outdoor photo exhibition at Glass Palace 野外の大型写真展214 viewsIn September 2005, there happened to be an outdoor photo exhibition at the Glass Palace inner yard. They were poster-size photos of the "Earth from Above" by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Train bridge to Venice210 views
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3204 viewsThe 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。
Finnair: Helsinki to Tokyo204 viewsMeatballs and mashed potato.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport ヘルシンキ・ヴァンター空港199 viewsIt takes about 9 to 9 1/2 hours from Tokyo to Helsinki via Finnair. Only one country lies between Japan and Finland: Russia. Both countries actually share a border with Russia. As of this writing, Finnair flies direct from Tokyo only twice a week. Narita is so congested with only two runways, they cannot offer more flights. Finnair has more direct flights from Kansai Airport in Osaka.

Näränkä map ナェラェンカェの地図195 viewsNäränkä is southeast of Kuusamo near the Russian border (purple line on map). There's a hill called Närängänvaara from which there are scenic lookouts. It's an easy drive from Kuusamo if you know which way to go. The roads are unpaved.

Once Russia allows tourists in Finland to cross over to Russia, this area will probably become quite popular.

More info: http://www.luontoon.fi/
Japan Pavilion showing Miyako Ishiuchi 日本館は、30年ぶりに写真家が出品:石内都194 viewsThe last time a Japanese photographer held a solo show at the Venice Biennale's Japan Pavilion was in 1976 with Kishin Shinoyama. Almost 30 years later, we finally have a photographer as Japan's featured artist. She is Miyako Ishiuchi.

Her exhibition was titled: mother's 2000-2005--traces of the future. This is a series of photos of her deceased mother's personal effects--clothing, lipstick, kimono, etc.

A catalog of the same name was also published and sold in the pavilion. They also had sample copies of her other photo books (all in Japanese), but only the catalog was for sale.

Manga display in bookstore194 viewsManga and anime have taken Europe by storm. It was surprising to see bookstores even in Finland having prominent displays of manga and anime books and magazines.

Kuusamon Kansanopisto 宿泊先191 viewsThis 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/

King Kalakaua in Japan190 views
Shower, toilet, and rubber broom シャワーとトイレ189 viewsThe 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.

Annantalo Arts Centre (my slide show venue) スライドショーの会場187 viewsA former primary school built in 1886, this distinguished-looking building is now an arts center for children and young people. It also has a small auditorium where I gave a slide show on Japanese festivals on Sept. 6, 2005. It's centrally located and convenient.
Annantalo Web site: kulttuuri.hel.fi/annantalo/esittely_en.html

Tram in downtown Helsinki187 viewsTrams and buses are the city's main means of public transportation.

Nagasaki photos by Yosuke Yamahata186 views
Textile exhibition catalog: Avvolti Nel Mito 織物展図録184 viewsThe textiles exhibited are shown in this catalog called "Avvolti Nel Mito" (Wrapped in the Myth) published by Ideart. Language is Italian. Order from PhotoGuide Japan's iStore.
Senate Square and Cathedral ヘリシンキ大聖堂183 viewsOne of the symbols of the city, called Tuomiokirkko. This Lutheran church was completed in 1852.
More Helsinki sights: Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau

HP: フィンランド政府観光局(日本語)
Nagasaki photos by Yosuke Yamahata182 views
Book by Satoshi Kuribayashi (寄贈図書)182 viewsSome 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

Bear cave クマのほら穴182 viewsSmall bear cave for hibernation. This was a short walk from the road.
Japan Pavilion showing Miyako Ishiuchi 日本館内181 viewsMost of the photos showed the personal effects of her deceased mother. Sticks of lipstick, clothing, kimono, etc. A video monitor on the floor showed her photos of Yokosuka.
30-min. delay from Helsinki to Kuusamo... 出発30分の遅れ181 viewsKuusamo, 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.

Northern lights slide show by Jorma Luhta オーロラの写真181 viewsWhat 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

View from Sokos Hotel Torni ホテルの展望台181 viewsHelsinki has no real tall buildings so the skyline is low. In this picture, you can see the famous white cathedral in the background and Stockmann department store (brown building) in the foreground.

Helsinki also has many islands off shore. Helsinki's sister city in Japan is Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. It's easy to guess why. Sendai is also a coastal city and near Matsushima, famous for many pine tree islands in the bay.

This terrace atop the Sokos Hotel Torni afforded a terrific, 360-degree panoramic view of Helsinki. The terrace also has chairs and tables since it is part of Ateljee Bar.

Kimono demonstration181 views
Poster exhibition 日本のポスター展180 viewsIn the huge, cavernous basement of the Palazzo Ducale, over 600 artistic Japanese posters were on display.

Home-cooked meal180 viewsI forgot the name of this pea soup, but it was good.
Slide show in Annantalo auditorium スライドショー179 viewsFor about 80 min., I showed my pictures and movie clips of Japanese festivals in English: Kiba Kakunori square log rolling, Tokyo Jidai Festival, Yamato Awa Odori Dance, Onbashira Festival in Nagano, Yotsukaido Hadaka (Mud) Festival, Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival in Shiga Pref., Imperial Palace visit on the Emperor's Birthday, and more.

The slide show was held as an event by the Friends of Japanese Culture Society in Helsinki. It was a good crowd, perhaps 30 or more people attended. Special thanks to the Society's chairman, Ronny Rönnqvist, who arranged everything on very short notice, and to the Annantalo staff. Annantalo is also the venue used by the Society for its annual Japan Day event in April.
Annantalo Web site: kulttuuri.hel.fi/annantalo/esittely_en.html

80分ほど日本のお祭りをスライドショーで英語で紹介しました。木場角乗り、東京時代祭り、大和市の阿波踊り、滋賀県八日市大凧祭り、皇居の一般参賀など。約30人が来場した。ヘリシンキにある「フィンランド・日本文化友の会」のイベントとして開催されました。その会長(Ronny Rönnqvist)が私の友人でお世話になりました。

Ehime Maru Memorial in Kakaako Waterfront Park, Honolulu えひめ丸慰霊之碑179 viewsThe memorial is on a slope with a good view of the ocean. It was indeed a suitable place for such a memorial.
Serial No. on Japanese gun178 viewsThis looks like a serial No. for this gun. It reads 2143.

Japanese gun on left 沿岸砲兵博物館にて178 viewsThe gun is in front of the Coastal Artillery Museum at Suomenlinna. You can find it on the "Guns of Suomenlinna" map available free at the Visitor Center.

Helsinki Railway Station ヘリシンキ中央駅176 viewsIn Finnish, "Rautatieasema" (or "Rautatientori" for the railway square where the bus stops in front of the rail station). A good word to know when you want to catch a bus to the railway station. Compared to English (and Japanese), the Finnish language has many long words with so many syllables. I had much difficulty trying to pronounce and spell words in Finnish.

The terminal building was designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950). Not to be confused with his famous son Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) also an architect who designed Dulles Airport near Washington, DC and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. (I didn't know he was Finnish.)

Even this side entrance of the train station looked so impressive that I thought it was the front side of the station. The front side is much wider and grander.

Old tree bark176 views1 comments
Japan Pavilion showing Miyako Ishiuchi 日本館内175 viewsThe pavilion was well attended.
Valiant service of Japanese gun175 viewsThis plaque next to the gun describes how it fired its last shot during the Winter War on Feb. 19, 1940 despite being badly damaged. It destroyed a Russian tank and thus repelled a Russian battalion.

Taipale was a small Finnish town on the northwestern shore of Lake Ladoga which is now part of Russia. It was one of Finland's front-line defenses against the advancing Soviet army. Although Taipale never fell to the Russians, it was later ceded to Russia along with the entire surrounding area in accordance with a peace treaty.
Outdoor toilet 野外のトイレ172 views1 comments
Awa Odori Dance, Koenji, Tokyo171 viewsThe Awa Odori is a summer dance festival originally from Tokushima Prefecture in Shikoku. It has spread to other cities such as Koenji, Tokyo and Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is a simple dance accompanied by an infectious drum beat. The hands are raised above the head and shaken. It is the same gesture as saying, "I'm a fool." Hence, it is nicknamed the "Fool's Dance." It is originally a Buddhist bon dance held in August to welcome back the souls of the deceased returning to visit Earth. The crescent moon-shaped straw hat is one symbol of the dance.
Railway Station platforms 駅のホーム169 viewsNever rode a train in Finland. Can't see it in this picture, but there was a fruit stand on the right.
Another trattoria in Genova (for dinner)168 views
Kuusamo Luontokaupunki, by Paavo Hamunen, Hannu Hautala, and Lassi Rautiainen クーサモの写真集168 viewsI 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

Nagasaki photos and origami corner 折り紙コーナー167 viewsVisitors were encouraged to fold a paper crane.
Panel for exhibition credits クレジット167 viewsRossella Menegazzo and Philbert Ono were co-curators of the photo exhibition.

イタリア側でこの展覧会と図録のコーディネートをしているRossella Menegazzoさんは、ちょっと古い友人です。彼女は素晴らしい頑張りやさん。まだベネチア大学の学生のとき、夏休みに来日して僕と会いたいと言われて都内のピザ屋(彼女のバイト先)で初めて会ってあげた。


で、話しがまだ続く。彼女の草分けの論文のおかげで大学の後輩も二人、三人が日本の写真家の論文を書いたりしているの。その後輩たちにも僕ができる限り参考書など送っています。(向こうは喜ぶね。)でも、その学生さんが日本人の写真家を論文のためにインタービューしようとすると拒否されることがある(例えば奈良原 一高)。それを聞くと僕はとても恥ずかしい気持した。一方、森山大道の論文を書いた学生が本人とのインタービューが成功した。彼女がとても喜んでいたそうです。(大道さん、ありがとう。)
Hiroshima panorama photos by Shigeo Hayashi166 viewsThe exhibition room was divided in half by this panel. The right side was for Hiroshima, and the left side for Nagasaki.
Bicycles next to Railway Station 駅前の自転車165 viewsYou see this only during the warmer months.

Inside San Lorenzo Cathedral163 views
Inside Malpensa Express163 viewsLuggage rack provided.
Lanterna Magica bookshop 古本屋162 viewsSomewhat out of the way (difficult to find parking), but a nice shop to find some old books, including photography.

Lanterna Magica antiquarian bookshop158 views
Japan Pavilion 日本館156 viewsThe Japan Pavilion is also in the Giardini site.

Helsinki waterfront from ferry156 viewsThe Cathedral floats nicely above the waterfront buildings. Now I understand why it was built on a hill and painted white.

Helsinki waterfront market place and seagull マーケット広場156 viewsThe waterfront and market square is one of the city's most picturesque areas.

Inside bear hide ヒグマ観察小屋の中156 viewsBelow the slit window are holes for camera lenses. Tripod heads are also provided. There is enough sitting room for four to six people. The bench on the right can also be folded up to make enough floor room for four people to sleep in sleeping bags. The floor was made of cushion material.

Compared to the outside temperature, it was quite warm inside. I thought this hide was very well-designed. The best hours for watching wildlife was a few hours before dark and after daybreak. During midday, we drove back to our real lodge for hot meals and a shower. Then we returned to the hide a few hours before dark.

At night, it is too dark to photograph anything. During my one night and two days in the hide, I was lucky enough to see a wolverine (see movie clip) and two bears.

Our guide, Lassi Rautiainen, offers wildlife photo safaris in Finland at hides like this one.
Web site: Articmedia




Instruments and implements of the Nenets tribe ネネッツ族の展示156 viewsDrum and other implements.

This exhibit was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui who studied and filmed the Nenets and other tribes.
Railway Station terminal building155 viewsThere are people, but it is never as crowded as a central train station in Japan.
Awa Odori Dance, Yamato, Kanagawa155 viewsThe city of Yamato in Kanagawa Prefecture holds its annual Awa Odori dance during the last weekend in July. Numerous Awa Odori dance troupes (including those from Tokushima) participate in the evening dance parade in the city's main streets.
Japan Pavilion entrance 日本館の入口154 views
Border caution sign153 views
Friends of Japanese Culture Society office152 viewsThe office is actually a small room in this nice building.
Web site: japaninkulttuuri.net

Ferry to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress スオメンリンナへのフェリー151 viewsA boat for Suomenlinna departs often from the market place at the waterfront. Only 15-min. ride. Suomenlinna is a sea fortress designated as a World Heritage Site and Helsinki's biggest tourist attraction.

HP: スオメンリンナ要塞(日本語)
Not a well151 views1 comments
Sadako and her origami cranes150 viewsBased on a story of a girl named Sadako who was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. She was told that if she folded 1,000 paper origami cranes, she would be granted a wish. But she died at age 12 even after folding over 1,000 paper cranes.
Kimono demonstration attracted the most attention. Many people could not enter the auditorium to see this.150 views
Slide show さまざまなスライドショー148 viewsOver 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.

Hiroshima photos 広島原爆写真147 views
St. Mark's Square and Palazzo Ducale seen from the boat147 viewsYou can also take a boat down the canal to go to the Venice Biennale site.
Book by Satoshi Kuribayashi147 viewsThis 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."

Baltic herring バルト海のニシン146 viewsA specialty of Helsinki. This was served at Sea Horse, a well-known restaurant. This one serving must have had about 20 of these herrings stacked up. I ate maybe 10 of these fish. They were excellent, but I could eat no more. Took the rest home in a doggy bag. It took another 3 days to eat the rest.

Pudding dessert146 views
Park bench145 views
Inside bear cave145 views
Close-up of sign above the entrance to Palazzo Ducale144 views
Swiss Pavilion スイス館144 views
Slide show by Estonian photographers エストニア人のスライドショー144 viewsThe 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.

Venice Station train platforms ヴェネツィアの駅のホーム143 views
Canon booth スポンサーのブース143 viewsCanon 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。
Shiatsu demonstration142 viewsThe other courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale had shiatsu demonstrations when we were there in July. During the exhibition, various Japan-related events and demonstrations were held such as taiko drumming and martial arts.
Inside a fortress building 中の石垣142 viewsThe fortress has a lot of nice stonework still intact.

San Lorenzo Cathedral141 viewsNear the Palazzo Ducale is this impressive cathedral. It couldn't fit within my 35mm lens.
Fallen tree141 viewsYou see fallen trees everywhere in the forest. Instead of being cleared away, they are left on the ground where they rot and host new life such as moss and lichens.

Finland has a lot of dead or half-dead trees too with wilted branches and no leaves. This is something we don't see so much in Japan. Most trees are cut down and hauled away for lumber before they die.

Entrance to Venice Biennale at Giardini ヴェネツィア・ビエンナーレの入口140 viewsThe Venice Biennale has two main sites: The lush and garden-like Giardini and the Arsenale, a short walk away. Other venues (mainly country pavilions) are scattered around Venice.

Mariko Mori 中にも入れる140 viewsThree people at a time could go inside and watch some kind of video.

Train to Milan (back end) ヴェネツィアの駅(ミラノへの電車)140 views
Designer toilet?140 views
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3140 viewsMy 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。
Inside the train to Milan ミラノへの電車137 views
Inside the Palazzo Ducale136 viewsAs soon as you enter, this is what you see. The lower left is the entrance to the bookstore, and the stairs go up to the textile and ukiyoe exhibition.
Entrance to Hiroshima-Nagasaki photo exhibition 広島・長崎原爆写真展の入口136 views
Annantalo auditorium 小ホールの中136 viewsNice little venue for my slide show in Helsinki. It seats 45 people.

To Everything a Season, by Hannu Hautala and Markku Lappalainen 写真家ハンヌ・ハウタラ136 viewsHannu 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。
Poster exhibition catalog: Manifesti D'Artista 1955-2005 ポスター展の図録135 viewsAll 600 posters featured in the exhibition is reprinted in this thick catalog called "Manifesti D'Artista 1955-2005," published by Ideart. Language is Italian. Order from PhotoGuide Japan's iStore.
Mariko Mori at the Arsenale 森 万里子のUFO135 viewsHer trademark UFO.
All Scenic Spots of Mt. Fuji, by T. Watanabe (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)135 viewsMt. 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。
University of Venice, Japanese Dept. ヴェネツィア大学の日本語学科134 viewsBuilding housing the Japanese Department. It faces a canal.
Duomo Cathedral134 viewsThe front facade of this symbol of Milan is undergoing restoration.
Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏134 viewsHannu Hautala speaks.

Ponte di Rialto bridge and gondola132 views
Malpensa Express at Cardona132 viewsA good way to get to and from Malpensa Airport. Takes about 40 min. The train is double decker. A lot of Italian trains are double decker, but shorter than Japanese trains.
Poster exhibition131 views
Invisible Power, by blind photographers (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)131 viewsI 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)
Ukiyoe exhibition 浮世絵展130 viewsThe ukiyoe collection came from the Chiossone Museum in Genova. The collection was amassed by Genova native and printing expert Edoardo Chiossone (1833-98 who was dispatched to Japan in 1875 to help Japan modernize its printing technologies (for printing money, etc.). During his 23 years in Japan, he acquired thousands of Japanese art works, especially ukiyoe which numbers 4,000 works. He never returned to Italy and died in Japan.


Museum shop entrance and tanabata display.129 viewsThis was taken on July 9, 2005 which is close to Tanabata.
Dud bomb in San Lorenzo Cathedral129 views
Venetian food ヴェネツィアの料理129 views
Fukei Shashin (Landscape Photo) magazine (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)129 viewsThis 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。
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128 viewsLakes 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

Video monitor showing Hiroshima127 views
New book by Hannu Hautala, "Onnen maa" (Land of Fortune) ハンヌ・ハウタラの新写真集127 viewsCover of his new book published in Oct. 2005. The text is in Finnish, English, and German.

Sample photos and order at Articmedia.
Northland Japanese Cranes, by Masahiro Wada (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)127 viewsBeautiful 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。
Main dish127 viewsAt Kuusamo Sokos Hotel restaurant.
Pipe made of mammoth bone ネネッツ族の展示127 viewsThis exhibit was presented by Markku and Johannes Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui who studied and filmed the Nenets and other tribes.
Genova waterfront 臨海部126 viewsGenova has a picturesque waterfront, but it is cut right across by an elevated highway. This picture was taken from under the highway.

By Mona Hatoum126 viewsThe center bar rotates around as it makes ridges and flattens them.
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125 viewsThe 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

Slide show by Hannu Hautala ハンヌ・ハウタラ氏125 viewsHe showed pictures from his upcoming photo book, "Onnen maa" (Land of Fortune) to be published in Oct. 2005 (see next image).

Kuusamo Hall lobby ホールのロビー125 viewsHanging 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.

Inside Finnish sauna サウナの中124 viewsThis is what it looked like (before we all entered stark naked).
Derek Shimizu at GString Ukulele124 views
Grand Canal and Ponte di Rialto bridge123 viewsThis is the main bridge crossing the Grand Canal. The middle of the bridge has a row of shops.
Malpensa Express window view (graffiti)123 viewsMilan was where I landed, and I took the Malpensa Express from which I saw so much graffiti. My first impression of Italy: There's a lot of graffiti.

I thought it was only along the train tracks, but graffiti is all over the city as well.
Aurora over the lake オーロラと湖123 viewsSeeing the aurora in the sky and reflected on the lake was simply awesome.

Reindeer topping123 viewsMy first dish at Kuusamo. Delicious.
Kimono demonstration123 views
Venetian food ヴェネツィアの料理122 views
Inside the subway122 views
Bird with firey eyes, by Rob Jordan ロブ・ジョーダン氏122 viewsYes, 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

In case you missed the exhibition, you can see most of the pictures on this page. Lion Dance above.122 viewsFrom a kabuki dance called Renjishi, this is one of Japan's most famous and dramatic costumes. The dance is usually performed by a father and son both appearing first as ordinary dancers holding a lion mask. Later, they transform into fierce-looking lions, the father with long white hair and the son with long red hair. The dance climaxes with both father and son spinning their hair furiously in the air accompanied by quick drum beating and music. A similar kabuki dance called Kagamijishi features only the white lion.
University of Venice library ヴェネツィア大学の図書室121 views
Kuusamo newspaper "Koillis sanomat" 地元の新聞121 viewsSince 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.)

Bear hide window のぞき窓121 viewsInside the hide, the narrow window provided a good panoramic view of the area. We were required to whisper and not make any loud noises which would scare the animals away.

There's no guarantee of seeing anything, so it's a waiting game. You might see a bear or you might not. But the more days/nights you spend in the hide, the greater the chances of seeing something.

On the day before, our guide had placed a pig carcass near the hide as bait to attract bears and wolverines. This was standard practice and obviously increases the chances to see wildlife.

Finished feather tops121 views
Hippo in the Arsenale120 views
Path to lake サウナの後は冷たい湖へ120 viewsA 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.

Shiki no Shashin (Four Seasons Photo) magazine (クーサモ図書館への寄贈図書)120 viewsThis 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。
Frontier Zone notice120 views
GString Ukulele factory120 views
Inside the Trattoria119 views
University of Venice classroom ヴェネツィア大学の教室119 views
Venue for exhibition by Estonian photographers エストニア人の写真展119 viewsBesides 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.

Inside Finnish sauna サウナの中119 viewsIt 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.

Russian border: Frontier Zone ロシアとの国境119 viewsThere were no border guards, but it is definitely not a good idea to cross into the Frontier Zone.
Reindeer meat + potatoes119 viewsThe delicious dinner we had when we went to the Finnish sauna and saw the aurora.
Halemaumau119 views
Venice Biennale at Giardini118 viewsThe Giardini site has country pavilions that are permanent buildings. Most of the major countries are represented by their own pavilions. This is the path to the Italian Pavilion, the largest one of all.
US Pavilion アメリカ館118 viewsA few big rooms with white walls and paintings.

Falling Down Laughing118 viewsSculpture seen on the way to the Italian Pavilion.
Line to enter Mariko Mori's UFO UFOに入るために並んでいる118 views
Piazza San Marco or St. Mark's Square ヴェネツィアの中心であるサンマルコ広場118 viewsThe heart of Venice and where all the tourists are. The square is lined with shops and restaurants. Public toilets cost money.
St. Mark's Square and Campanile118 views
Piirakka tarts118 views
Poster exhibition117 views
Posters at Genova Fnac Bookstore 市内のFnac本屋でPR117 viewsThe Fnac Bookstore was generous enough to provide space on their outdoor walls to publicize the exhibition with replicas of the posters and photos.

Trattoria where we had lunch117 views
Venice waterfront117 viewsYou can walk along the waterfront to go to the Venice Biennale site.
Boo! びっくりしたトナカイ117 viewsOn the way to Näränkä, we saw this reindeer feeding right along the roadside. It didn't notice us until some seconds later. That was enough to take out my camera and take photos. Finally, it saw us and got startled. The right photo shows the reindeer's surprised look on his face. This was the closest I ever came to a reindeer.

Log loader 道路の障害117 viewsIn Finland, sometimes you will come across a log loader like this one blocking the road. We waited for about 20 min. until he finished his job and left the scene.

Berries117 viewsAt Market Square.
My Bears, by Lassi Rautiainen フィンランドのヒグマの写真集117 viewsLassi 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。
University of Venice ヴェネツィア大学116 views
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... 116 viewsFor 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.

Near the Arsenale115 viewsAnother picture postcard street.
Japan Day Opening Ceremony with the Japanese ambassador to Finland and his wife sitting front and center.115 viewsOn Ambassador Kondo's left is Mrs. Johanna Lindstedt, the director of Annantalo, and next to her is Ronny Rönnqvist, the chairman of the Friends of Japanese Culture Society which was the co-organizer of the Japan Day event.
Venice Biennale marker114 views
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114 viewsThe 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

Bear-watching hut ヒグマ観察小屋114 viewsThis is one of the bear-watching huts (called hides) in the Kuhmo wilderness operated by our guide Lassi Rautiainen (see Articmedia). It was close to a pond in the wetlands.

Kuhmo is near the Russian border near the town of Kajaani. It took about 4 hours to drive from Kuusamo.

Entrance to ukiyoe exhibition113 viewsThis is the second floor (in Italy, it's called the first floor). And what we in Japan and the US call the 1st floor is the zero floor in Italy.
View from Campanile 鐘楼の展望台からの風景113 viewsThe tower provided magnificent views of the square and the entire island of Venice.
Kuusamo Hall 写真まつりのメイン会場、クーサモ・ホール113 viewsKuusamo 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。
Poster exhibition112 views
Poster exhibition112 views
Pay phones housed by birds, by Sergio Vega112 viewsOutside the Arsenale there were these pay phones.
Gondola station112 viewsA gondola ride is not exactly cheap, but affordable with 5 or 6 people.
Finnish sauna tent サウナ111 viewsOn 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.

Bear hide ヒグマ観察小屋111 viewsIt's a cross between a tent and mountain hut, but perfect for watching and photographing bears and wolverines. The exhaust pipe on the right is made tall so that the wildlife don't smell the humans inside and get frightened away.

St. Mark's Square and entrance to the Campanile110 viewsIt doesn't take long to go up the elevator to the top of the tower. It was surprisingly uncrowded, unlike St. Mark's Basilica where there was a long line at all times.
Dessert: Cloudberry pudding110 viewsCloudberry is a delicacy from Lapland. I bought some cloudberry jam at Helsinki Airport. Someone should import it to Japan.
View from Campanile - San Giorgio island 鐘楼からの風景109 views
Inside Venice station ヴェネツィアの駅109 views
Milan Central Station109 viewsThis was after the train ride from Venice.
Statue of Juliette109 viewsPeople lined up to pose with the statue with one hand covering her right breast.
Sept. 10, 2005: My second slide show 僕のスライドショーその2109 viewsI 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.

Lunch (reindeer meat) 肉はトナカイ109 viewsKuusamo Hall also has a restaurant serving good food.

Exhibition catalogs 図録108 viewsOrder from PhotoGuide Japan's iStore.
View from Ponte di Rialto bridge108 views
Venice train station ヴェネツィアの駅108 viewsThe walk between the bus station and train station is a little longer than you would like it to be.
Pay phone108 viewsIt took me 30 min. to figure out how to use the pay phone in Italy. First, I had to find a snack bar (not kiosk) that sold telephone cards. I inserted the card, but it was rejected. I inserted the card in all possible ways, but it was still rejected. Finally, an old Italian lady walking by saw my plight and pointed to a corner of the card where I supposed to tear it off. So I tore it off, and finally the phone accepted my card. (In Japan, telephone cards can be inserted as is.)

So I dial the number and waited for the ring tone. But nothing. So I hang up and dial again several times, but the call still didn't go through. Then I noticed a Select Language button on the phone and set it to English. I read the LCD screen and followed the directions. A-ha, after dialing the number, I supposed to press the OK button (like the Enter key on a computer). Finally, my friend answers my call. (We don't need to press any OK button in the US or Japan.)
Book by Ikuo Nakamura (寄贈図書)108 viewsThe 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

Picnic food (at Suomenlinna)108 views
Flower arrangement lesson108 views
Gondola107 views
Romeo and Juliette balcony107 views
Opening ceremony 写真まつりの開会式107 viewsAn 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。
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... 107 viewsMy 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.

Kuusamo Nature Photo contest winners フォトコンの授賞式107 viewsLassi speaks with the winners of the nature photo contest. It's good to see both men and women photographers.

Tart107 viewsAt Kuusamo Hall.
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