Jun 062010
 



 
This weekend was the Eco Life Fair 2010 at the Yoyogi park. I expected it to be a big event thanks to the many seminars, workshops, performances and demonstrations aimed at raising awareness of the impact modern lifestyle has on the environment. Thus I was pretty surprised that the festival area was poorly attended with virtually no crowding. While the Japanese love all things natural, environmental concerns seems to be less mainstream than in Western countries. So I guess for all the NGOs/NPOs providing information about volunteering and their projects to protect or improve the environment this much have been a rather disappointing event. However, it was nice to see that some people care, but it will probably take a lot more effort and many more eco fairs like this one to bring some serious change here.

For kids the Eco Life Fair offered many educational experiences. Here young children are taught about how the can recycling process works.
For kids the Eco Life Fair offered many educational experiences. Here young children are taught about how the can recycling process works.
This young girl is being photographed after playing some kind of game
This young girl is being photographed after playing some kind of game
The singer Aeka performing on the Eco Life 2010 Music Tree Stage.²
The singer Aeka performing on the Eco Life 2010 Music Tree Stage.²

 

¹ http://sky.ap.teacup.com/kenchans/
² http://www.aeka-web.com

 Posted by at 15:46
Jun 062010
 



 
Central Shibuya on the weekend is one of the most crowded neighborhoods in Tokyo. The sidewalks are so crammed with people that Japanese parents have resigned to carry their children instead of exposing them to the dangers of pedestrian traffic. And it’s really the fastest way for them to get from point A to point B!

 Posted by at 15:03
Jun 052010
 



 
By accident I walked into the Adidas Sala Festa 2010 at Samurai Blue Park area near the Yoyogi park. It was a rather lightly attended event and I stayed only for a short while watching the futsal game of Japan versus Brazil. I am not sure it was really an official futsal event or just a marketing ploy to raise awareness of the upcoming soccer world cup. Because as I left the Sala Festa 2010 the Japanese team was 3:1 ahead of the Brazilian team…

A reserve player stretches at the Japan-Brazil futsal game.
A reserve player stretches at the Japan-Brazil futsal game.
A friendly confrontation between two opposing players at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010.
A friendly confrontation between two opposing players at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010.
A Japanese futsal player prepares his attack on the Brazilian goal.
A Japanese futsal player prepares his attack on the Brazilian goal.
The Japanese players takes a shot at the Brazilian goal at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010...
The Japanese players takes a shot at the Brazilian goal at the Adidas Sala Festa 2010...
...and scores the 3-1!
...and scores the 3-1!
Aftermath of the successful goal.
Aftermath of the successful goal.
 Posted by at 17:58
May 292010
 

When my friend Nekoi of Psydoll informed me that her band was playing this Saturday at a small venue in Shinjuku, I didn’t need asked twice. The underground rock club Urga was celebrating its 10th anniversary and for about six weeks tons of live acts were performing there almost every evening. Psydoll and some bands they are friends with were among them.

When I arrived the the band Neurotic Doll was already playing. Their music style was quite unique — a blend of industrial and what I call “death metal”. Very unusual for Japan.

Guitar player Tak of Neurotic Doll.
Guitar player Tak of Neurotic Doll.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing in red backlight.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing in red backlight.
Tak of Neurotic Doll playing guitars.
Tak of Neurotic Doll playing guitars.
The singer "Neu!-r-v-verderber" of Neurotic Doll performing.
The singer "Neu!-r-v-verderber" of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll at the Urga club.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll at the Urga club.

 

Next came Psydoll. They were playing a number of classics and some stuff from their latest release 10spyglasses. As always the performance was energetic, loud and very powerful. Unfortunately, they did only play about 30 minutes, but I managed to get a couple of nice pictures.

Ucchi of Psydoll playing guitars with Nekoi in the background.
Ucchi of Psydoll playing guitars with Nekoi in the background.
Nekoi Psydoll singing with Ucchi in the back.
Nekoi Psydoll singing with Ucchi in the back.
Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll playing the Theremin.
Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll playing the Theremin.
Another shot of the Theremin player Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll.
Another shot of the Theremin player Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll.
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll: Uenoyama/Loveless, Nekoi, Ucchi.
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll: Uenoyama/Loveless, Nekoi, Ucchi.
Another shot of Nekoi and her band Psydoll playing at Urga.
Another shot of Nekoi and her band Psydoll playing at Urga.
The singer Nekoi Psydoll raising her hand.
The singer Nekoi Psydoll raising her hand.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Nekoi Psydoll at the mike while carrying her keytar.
Nekoi Psydoll at the mike while carrying her keytar.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll clad in black leather.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll clad in black leather.
Nekoi Psydoll with percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless in the background.
Nekoi Psydoll with percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless in the background.
A stylish Japanese girl with glow-in-the-dark cat's ears I photographed in the break between the performances.
A stylish Japanese girl with glow-in-the-dark cat's ears I photographed in the break between the performances.

 

The last band for the evening was C.H.C.system. The music were not really my cup of tea and visually the performance was not that exciting — just a couple of guys behind their keyboards and turntables with very little singing or movements.

Seki of C.H.C.system in a rare moment of singing.
Seki of C.H.C.system in a rare moment of singing.
Else Seki of C.H.C.system was mostly just standing behind his synths.
Else Seki of C.H.C.system was mostly just standing behind his synths.
The C.H.C.system line-up at the evening consisting of Seki, Joe and Kawahara.
The C.H.C.system line-up at the evening consisting of Seki, Joe and Kawahara.
C.H.C.system's bass player Joe.
C.H.C.system's bass player Joe.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system adjusting his headphones.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system adjusting his headphones.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system working his magic.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system working his magic.
 Posted by at 23:33
May 272010
 



 
I love documenting people on the street. I am a street photographer at heart and I am especially fond of shooting candid portraits of everyday people, showing their style, clothing, and expressions when walking in public. The fashion hub Shibuya with its millions of commuters, shoppers and visitors is my favorite hunting ground for this photographic endeavor where I try to capture my subjects unaware.

Japanese girl with a stylish face mask.
Japanese girl with a stylish face mask.
Conservatively dressed office lady with mobile flip-phone.
Conservatively dressed office lady with mobile flip-phone.
Japanese girl with a mop-top haircut and another one of them ubiquitous cell phones.
Japanese girl with a mop-top haircut and another one of them ubiquitous cell phones.
Japanese guy rubbing his nose next to his girlfriend.
Japanese guy rubbing his nose next to his girlfriend.
Handsome Japanese boy dressed in red.
Handsome Japanese boy dressed in red.
Japanese boy with a fake tan and a fake leather jacket.
Japanese boy with a fake tan and a fake leather jacket.
Stylish Japanese girl with orange hair half-hidden behind a salaryman.
Stylish Japanese girl with orange hair half-hidden behind a salaryman.
Girl with long brown hair and black cap.
Girl with long brown hair and black cap.
Japanese guy with cap and "Where have all the good time gone..." t-shirt.
Japanese guy with cap and "Where have all the good time gone..." t-shirt.
Sad Japanese girl staring at her cell phone.
Sad Japanese girl staring at her cell phone.
Thinking she is unseen in public, this young woman twists her mouth while she walks.
Thinking she is unseen in public, this young woman twists her mouth while she walks.
Japanese lady with cell phone looking for something (or someone).
Japanese lady with cell phone looking for something (or someone).
 Posted by at 18:57
May 152010
 

Having covered the art of the Design Festa vol.31 in my previous post, I present you here a collection of photos of the people I saw at this art event. As with the previous shots it is a random collection of exhibitors, performers and visitors — don’t ask me for details…

I love the bustling creative chaos of the Design Festa. Many people grab the chance to dress up themselves. Stall owners present themselves as their alter egos or creative inventions, trying to impress the visitors so that they may stop and take a look at their artworks and merchandise. Others are performers or cosplayers, just dressed up for the hell of it. So in many ways it is very Japanese — a restrained outlet for one’s individuality and passions in a controlled and acceptable environment.

A Korean illustrator dressed up as the main character of his artworks - some kind of boxy bird.
A Korean illustrator dressed up as the main character of his artworks - some kind of boxy bird.
Two people - one with a tiger suit - promote their booth by walking around.
Two people - one with a tiger suit - promote their booth by walking around.
I think this person in a schoolgirl's uniform with an oversized red bunny head is not only presenting the pictured paintings, but also a band called "Amanda".
I think this person in a schoolgirl's uniform with an oversized red bunny head is not only presenting the pictured paintings, but also a band called "Amanda".
This booth caters to "reenactors" - selling doll masks to male cosplayers who dress up as female manga characters.
This booth caters to "reenactors" - selling doll masks to male cosplayers who dress up as female manga characters.
Some nice paintings of weird situations and the girl who created them.
Some nice paintings of weird situations and the girl who created them.
An old Japanese guy dressed in a dark-blue sailor suit who just walked around on the Design Festa event, getting lots of attention and loving every minute of it.
An old Japanese guy dressed in a dark-blue sailor suit who just walked around on the Design Festa event, getting lots of attention and loving every minute of it.
In contrast to the previous picture here is a real Japanese schoolgirl artist: Akayuki-hime (赤雪姫).⁽¹⁾
In contrast to the previous picture here is a real Japanese schoolgirl artist: Akayuki-hime (赤雪姫).⁽¹⁾
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll performs at the Design Festa live stage.⁽²⁾
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll performs at the Design Festa live stage.⁽²⁾
The beer chicks at the Bar Cherry next to the outdoor stage selling alcoholic refreshments.
The beer chicks at the Bar Cherry next to the outdoor stage selling alcoholic refreshments.
This Japanese guy dressed in a gray jumpsuit and a balaclava was walking around beating a drum and promoting some booth number.
This Japanese guy dressed in a gray jumpsuit and a balaclava was walking around beating a drum and promoting some booth number.
A female cosplayer with a purple wig in her booth selling photos of herself modeling.
A female cosplayer with a purple wig in her booth selling photos of herself modeling.
Three Japanese performers dressed up as some weird kind of Indians.
Three Japanese performers dressed up as some weird kind of Indians.
A group of Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" cosplayers.
A group of Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" cosplayers.
Japanese fetish model Moira Gabriel Coco with her naughty schoolgirl and rubber ducky shtik.⁽³⁾
Japanese fetish model Moira Gabriel Coco with her naughty schoolgirl and rubber ducky shtik.⁽³⁾
No, I have no idea what this is supposed to be...
No, I have no idea what this is supposed to be...
A paper artist wearing two of his creations - a demon mask and a dragon hand puppet.
A paper artist wearing two of his creations - a demon mask and a dragon hand puppet.
Covered in stickers of shoes, I think this guy is promoting a shoe seller.
Covered in stickers of shoes, I think this guy is promoting a shoe seller.
The amazing woodblock printmaker David Bull shows his lasted piece of art.⁽⁴⁾
The amazing woodblock printmaker David Bull shows his lasted piece of art.⁽⁴⁾

 

¹ http://akayuki-hime.com
² http://www.psydoll.com/index_en.html
³ http://www.myspace.com/moira_chan
http://woodblock.com

 Posted by at 23:44
May 092010
 



 
A common fixture at the entrance of the Yoyogi park in Harajuku are the rockabilly groups that gather there on the weekend. For hours they like to party to rock ‘n roll, showing off their dance moves and cool blue jeans and black leather retro fashion. While they apparently don’t mind being photographed, everyone keeps their distance as the tattooed members of these groups are rumored to be possible bōsōzoku, yakuza wannabees.

 Posted by at 18:22