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Karatsu (part 4) – Takashima (高島)

Karatsu (part 4) – Takashima (高島)

There is a small oddly shaped island off the coast of Karatsu.  It’s more like a little hill that sticks out of the tree and is aptly named “Takashima” or which means “Tall Island.”  There are only a few dozen people living on it and a few ferries there and back each day.

Karatsu (唐津) part 3

Karatsu (唐津) part 3

Japan likes to look like a modern country, but it still has a lot of the old-world left in it

A slow afternoon in the shop

Karatsu (唐津) part 2

Karatsu (唐津) part 2

I spent a day shooting in Karatsu which is sleepy seaside town in the north-west corner of Kyushu.

The town in home to an amazing festival held at the beginning of November called Karatsu Kunchi.  The festival is hundreds of years old and designated as an intangible cultural treasure.  The town also produces beautiful Japanese-style ceramics.

A gloomy day in Karatsu (part 1)

A gloomy day in Karatsu (part 1)

I spent a rainy day photographing the sleepy seaside town of Karatsu (唐津).

These photos are a combination of a gloomy day, some influence from my favorite Japanese photographer Moriyama Daido, and some of my own style.  When I first saw Daido’s work I didn’t like it because I couldn’t make out a lot of detail in it, it was so dark.  But then I came to understand is aesthetic and technique.  His photos make you look hard at them and that in turn draws you in and lets you imagine and experience the scene.  It’s a somewhat Japanese astetic and one that is being lost with modern, sterile, digital photos which are always sharp and detailed.

I intentionally exposed and processed the negatives to achieve this particular look.  By being committed to a single outcome (ie. not having the endless tweak-ability of digital), I can focus more on recording the feelings of a scene rather than making them up later.

Karatsu Castle

Karatsu Station

Karatsu Station

Lunch (local foods)

Busy doing nothin’

Busy doing nothin’

This photo the perfect metaphor for me as of late…

I’m starting to feel some motivation again however and shot several rolls of film at a local festival.  Once I get a little time I’ll develop and start posting them.  In the meantime this is from a roll I randomly shot around the streets recently.

博多ラーメン (Hakata Ramen)

博多ラーメン (Hakata Ramen)

Every region, every town, every little corner of Japan seems to have some food that it’s “famous” for.  While Japanese food is quite nice, I usually don’t see the differences that make one place’s “special food” different from the rest.

The city of Hakata is known for it’s ramen noodles.  Ramen shops in Hakata don’t simply say “Ramen” on them, but proudly proclaim “Hakata Ramen.”

Down here in Kyushu where I live, Ramen isn’t made with a soy or miso based soup, it’s almost always “tonkotsu” ramen which has a milky soup flavored with pork bone.  It’s quite delicious however also quite dismaying to vegetarians and non-pork-eaters as it’s almost impossible to find ramen without porkbone broth.  This is the case all over Kyushu, so I’m still not sure what makes Hakata different.

Hakata Ramen shop