The theme of this photo project was New Year in Japan. It was a collaborative effort. The catalyst for this work was the feeling you get in Japan of old traditions lingering in a highly modernized society.
At the end of the year, we hold what is called a mochi (rice cake) pounding event to make mochi that we later eat.
The first sunrise of the new year has a special meaning: it is a good omen.
Hatsumode is the first shrine visit of the year and on this day one gets an o-mikuji that predicts your fortunes for the year.
The o-mikuji you get is to be fastened in a determined place on the shrine grounds.
New Year traditions also include “first calligraphy of the New Year,” in which Chinese characters are styled with good old-fashioned brushes and ink.
Some of the members of the team apparently usually have the Kannushi (chief Shinto priest) come to the house on New Year to perform purification ritual.
At the end of the New Year holidays, in my area, which is Miyagi prefecture, a special event called “Donto Matsuri” is held to burn last year’s New Year decorations and to pray for the family’s well-being.
The most difficult thing when taking photos of the crowded Donto Matsuri was not bothering people around you with your photography, in other words, being careful of the place you take photos from and skillful use of your unipod.
Blurring is especially an issue for night photos of this festival– one must be careful to place the tripod firmly. In this way the swaying of the fire and wavering flames can best be taken.
We usually do concept projects, however, this particular shoot highlighted for us the importance of photography in capturing and leaving behind an image of the moment, of today, through the type of almost random snaps we took at the festival.
Shibata Agricultural High School Photography Club
Sumire Ando（3rd year）
Mayu Suzuki （2nd year）
Chinatsu Seki （2nd year）
Daichi Takeda （1st year）
Daisuke Kamata （1st year）
Shin-ichi Kitamatsu （1st year）
* it will be a regular feature by the Shibata Agricultural High School Photography Club who have been communicating through twitter since January 2014. Manfrotto equipment will be used in the making of the works.
Shibata Agricultural High School Photography Club:
The photography club is a several-time participant in the National high school cultural festival –Shashin koushien (Photography tournament.)
Whether it is the “oogawa sakura matsuri” (“Oogawa cherry blossom festival”) of the “shibata shashin bu idou shashinkan” (“mobile photo exhibition”)–part of the Sendai Miyagi destination campaign– photo presents activities; Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster relief project related coverage with Saitama Ei High School Photography Club; or participation in Michinoku cheering team for Earthquake Disaster relief calendar creation project, we remain committed to social assistance volunteer work.
Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster relief project by the Photography Club：https://www.facebook.com/yell4japan
Michinoku cheering team for Earthquake Disaster charity calendar creation project：http://www.daishinsha.co.jp/charity/