April 1, 2013

Behind the lens – April 2013

Japan, Otaue Rice Planting Festival. Free April wallpaper.
1/160th sec, f/5.3, 105mm, ISO 100

The Place
Osaka, Japan. The hometown of takoyaki (octopus balls, much yummier than it sounds).

The Story
I love parades. I think it stems from my memories as a kid of the carnival celebrations in Belgium. People would get dressed in funny costumes, sing, laugh and most importantly, throw candy. We’d all rush and pick up as many as we could. And inevitably the kid with the biggest loot would win respect from all the others – and a trip to the dentist.
Anyway, I’ve never seen another country that loves its parades as much as Japan. This trip coincided with the annual celebration of the Otaue rice planting at the Sumiyoshi Taisha shrine. This tradition blesses the new rice seedlings – and thus ensures good fortune and a nice fat rice crop (hopefully). It involves a lot of dancing and kids dressing up in traditional costumes. All the kids were chattering, laughing and posing for photos. This particular girl didn’t and I moved a bit to my right so I could get her profile behind the hat. It adds a layer of mystery to a silent moment in the midst of all the celebrations.

Full Calendar 2013
This image is part of the 2013 calendar. Follow this link to download the full size version to use as wallpaper on your tablet or desktop.

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