Yokozuna is the top rank in sumo but it is not a title for only one. There can be several Yokozuna or none. One becomes a Yokozuna by their overall performance during the tournaments. On the last day of the tournament, if there are two Yokozuna they will have a bout. This is difficult to see in person because the last day is the most popular and is sold out in advance.
A rare chance to see such a bout is at Shinto shrines when they do an outdoor event. Here two Yokozuna square off.
Japan’s Great Buddha in a Rare Snowfall
To celebrate Walking Dead Season 4 a call for a thousand zombies went out in Tokyo to gather and lurch at Tokyo Tower
Archery event in Kyoto where many young girls in kimono shoot two arrows to celebrate their coming of age.
Archery has long been thought to effective in driving away evil in Japan. In olden days, samurai would pluck bow strings to ward off evil. Arrows are sold as good luck charms around New Year’s. Joma Shinji is an archery ritual where successive hits on the target are believed to ward off evil.
San-San-Ku Tebasami Shiki is a Japanese Archery Ritual performed around New Year’s for peace and prosperity for the coming year. Two groups shoot in turn at a small wooden target.
Through alcohol we try to figure out what was going through the minds of the makers of this bizarre mish-mash of samurai and Lord of the Rings
New Year’s Eve fun in Tokyo at a Japanese temple with chanting monks, bell ringing, and making traditional food then ending up at a cosplay party in Shinjuku.
On July 3rd, 1863 over 12,000 Confederate soldiers marched across an open field near the town of Gettysburg. They marched into deadly cannon and musket fire which ripped through the ranks. This charge would forever be immortalized as Pickett’s Charge. It was the bloody culmination of the Battle of Gettysburg which proved to be a major turning point of the war.
Samurai Girls fight with spear and sword at a samurai festival in Tokyo
Martial Arts Demonstration in Tokyo
Cross marks the mound where supposedly Jesus was buried at the age of 106
Learn how to fight with a rope against a sword
The War to End All Wars - World War I. Over 90 years ago it ended and the world was never the same again even though many today know little of this war in comparison with WWII. We should never forget the dream to end all wars.
In honor of November 11th - Veteran’sDay/Armistice Day this video is a tribute to the airmen of World War I using photographs, paintings, and prints.
Over 90 years ago at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Great War (WWI) came to an end but its consequences live with us to this day.
WWI produced the first fighter pilots and their names live on to this day most notably Manfred von Richthofen - the Red Baron. They were the national celebrities of their day and their deaths could shock a nation.
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This story is a version of the Ogre of Rashomon as the story is named in Yei Theodora Ozaki’s Japanese Fairy Tales. I however refer to the titular creature as a demon based on the Japanese word “oni” which is demon/devil.
Rashomon is a gate that once stood in Kyoto that lapsed into disrepair and became a place of ill repute. According to legend a demon took up residence there and snatched up passer-bys. Eventually it bit off more than it could chew when it tried to grab a samurai.
The photos were taken by me of the temple gate of Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo, a shot of a float from the Nebuta festival of Aomori showing a samurai fighting a demon (Raiko and Shuten-doji), and a depiction of the story on a float at the Neputa Festival in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture. The other images are 19th Century woodblock (ukiyoe) prints.
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Japanese Halloween Parade
Just south of Tokyo, the Kawasaki Halloween Parade is a huge event that has been going on for about 10 years now with 3000 participants. You can see all kind of Halloween costumes that mix East with West from Hollywood films and traditional western monsters to Japanese Anime characters and Yokai (Japanese monsters).
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Tokyo Decadance is a wild eclectic monthly club event which is a mingling of Japanese subcultures like cosplay, goth, lolita, cyber, punk, fetish.
Halloween is one of their biggest events and lots come out in all kinds of crazy sexy outfits.
Photos of Participants
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