Wednesday, February 10, 2010

[jules' pics] 2/09/2010 08:22:00 PM

Wakamiyaooji, Kamakura, originally uploaded by julesberry2001.

Just another typical day on the high street in Kamakura. Still, probably better pilgrims than yakuza methodically shaking down the shop proprietors?

I noticed that William the Weasel has had ten comments on his blog. He really shouldn't worry about it so much. Ten comments is infinitely more than jules' pics has received, and adding another one or two to his tally isn't going to change that.

Posted By jules to jules' pics at 2/09/2010 08:22:00 PM


William M. Connolley said...

Ha, you're just jealous. But anyway, I'll leave you a comment: yes I like your pix, I hope you keep up the regular one-a-day posting.

What are these pilgrims doing? Is it some ritualised begging?

I really love the colours here, and in some of your other pix from Japan. Maybe you're selecting only the best, but I can't really think of anything in the UK that would match up to this (it feels very vaguely analogous to some trips I've made through the alps, where you pass valleys with soaring enormous crags any one of which would be by far the best crag in England, if it was, but are totally disregarded there as being nowhere near as good as the one round the corner...).

jules said...

Dear Belette,

That was a comment on James' Empty Blog not jules' pics, which still remains happily pristine and never commented upon. :-) I have no intention of posting one-a-day. I just post sometimes for a bit of a diversion as it is so much more socially acceptable than talking to myself...

I know what the pilgrims were doing, but not what they were doing. They stopped outside each shop down the long straight road through the middle of Kamakura which links the beach and the big shrine (well I don't know if they did every shop, but that seemed to be their intent), and did a chant thing with drumming for a couple of minutes. Then they bowed. And the shop keeper bowed. Sometimes, when they had finished, the proprietor trotted out and gave them some (presumably) money. Now what they were actually doing, or who they were, I have no idea... pilgrims usually dress all in white...

As for colours - yes the UK is miserably dark and grey. Rising depression as you descend through the multiple layers of cloud only to be lifted on the flight home. I particularly notice it as a stitcher. I would have thought that grey places would wear bright clothes to cheer things up a bit, but not so, the colours in the fabric stores in London are so muted compared to here. ...but I also think that if you do take bright Japanese fabric to the UK, it is not as bright once you get it there - wrong kind of photons... Scotland can be nice though - romantic lighting all day long in winter on the few days when the cloud is not actually all the way down to the ground. Midday sun here is pretty difficult to photograph - huge dynamic range, and colours tend to washout.

SCM said...

Hi Jules

I started coming to this blog for the climate stuff but find I also enjoy the japan trivia and the beautiful photos.

I'm normally a terrible lurker and generally too idle to comment, but I just thought I'd let you know that your pix are appreciated - keep them coming.

David B. Benson said...

What SCM just wrote.

David B. Benson said...

A better study of Shintoism, better than the vast majority of Japanese know, will discover the "reason" for this ceremony.

I won't give it away.

jules said...

Dear David,

Could you just share what you know please? I don't know much about Shinto - my impression is that it is a very negative sort of religion - based on fear and superstition.


David B. Benson said...

jules --- Shinto is a form of animism with embellishments and is the traditional state religion. I don't know that makes it more superstitious than either of the testaments of the bible or the Koran as well. As for fear, the old testament has plenty and maybe the Koran does also.

But I doubt that the drummer/chanters were doing anything Buddist, the other possiblity in Japan.

jules said...

Dear David,

I thought you said you knew what the guys dressed as pilgrims were doing, but were not telling. I was encouraging you to tell what you know but your latest response added nothing to what I already know!

Shinto is negative and superstitious because, as a primitive animist religion, it is based around paying money to stop bad things happening to you. If you think that's what the monotheistic religions are about, you need to pay more attention. :-)

There are other religions in Japan too - plenty of churches around for example...and mormons come knocking on the door..etc...

jules said...

Furthermore: Although as Buddhism mixes well with different religions, which it can make it hard to tell, I think the guys in the photo were Buddhist as they were, basically, dressed in Buddhist begging garb..

David B. Benson said...

Jules --- Thanks for the link. And I had already earlier this morning thought Buddists more likly, but I didn't realize the extent of the monkish tradition not ever having seen any Buddist monks during my two weeks in Japan.

I did witness a ceremony by Shinto priests on Miyajima; not put on for my beneifit, but certainly was interesting, different and beautiful in its own way.

David B. Benson said...

Here is the Shinto shrine:
Itsukushima Shrine
I stood outside on the edge of the porch and the Shinto priests came out to do their thing.

I'll opine that this collection of practices seems in many ways superior to those of the Abrahamic tradition. Anyway, stemming from in earliest Jomon, the Japanese have the world's finest pottery tradition. Also, who else does flower arranging as an art form>