MUNTAKA CHASANT
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Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima Photos

Japan has given so much to the world — from technologies that have made preserving key moments with ever more precision and efficiency to historical events that have changed the course of the modern world. Like Steven Pinker, I have once argued (in an academic context) that we are living through an extended period of […]

December 12, 2019

December 12, 2019

14 Min read time

Street Photography: Dotonbori at Night, Osaka, Japan. © 2017 Muntaka Chasant

Japan has given so much to the world — from technologies that have made preserving key moments with ever more precision and efficiency to historical events that have changed the course of the modern world. Like Steven Pinker, I have once argued (in an academic context) that we are living through an extended period of […]

Japan has given so much to the world — from technologies that have made preserving key moments with ever more precision and efficiency to historical events that have changed the course of the modern world.

Like Steven Pinker, I have once argued (in an academic context) that we are living through an extended period of peace — an era marked by infrequent deaths resulting from large-scale violence and interstate wars.

To me, we can look to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for this long silence.

Steven Pinker believes we are living through the most peaceful period in human history, by far.

For the benefit of those who may not be in the loop about this, camera brands such as Mamiya, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Ricoh, and Pentax, among several other makers are Japanese owned.

It’s always a pleasure to get out and capture a few scenes whenever I visit Japan.

All the photos below were captured with a Samsung S8 smartphone and converted to black and white using its android built-in photo editor. Just cranked the saturation all the way down and played around with the contrast, exposure and brightness sliders to my liking. That’s it!

Dotonbori, Osaka, at Night

Dotonbori — a mecca for street food enthusiasts, izakaya taverns, and towering neon signs photographers — is a bustling commercial district in Osaka, Japan, and a principal destination for revelers and tourists during day and night time.

It is often described as the heart of Osaka.

To get to Dotonbori from Shin-Osaka, use the subway Midosuji Line to Namba station then make your way out through exit No.14.

One quick way to get to Namba station from Kansai International Airport is through Nankai Airport Express.

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival

These are a few from the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival 2017:

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is an unusual city. Its character and drawcards pull you in, and like all great historic cities, it transports you into this big, intense imaginative world, and you remain entangled in it not because you cannot break free but because you don’t want to.

Kyoto was the center of dynastic struggles in Japan starting from the Nara period in the 8th century. Growing up, I read a bit neolithic Japan coming down through to the Azuchi-Momoyama period — around the mid 16th to the early 17th century.

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I’m a big fan of the works of Akira Kurasawa, so seeing Kagemusha in my late teenage years put certain aspects of the Sengoku Jidai (a very brutal era of warlordism in Japan) into a much clearer perspective for me.

Thus I’m familiar with daimyōs (feudal lords) such as Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and a shōgun (military dictators of Japan) such as Tokugawa Ieyasu.

A lot of the power plays were staged from Kyoto, thus the strong character of the city.

Hiroshima, Japan

I think that the cloud over the Genbaku Dome (the only structure left standing in the aftermath of the first nuclear warfare in 1945) below turned out really interesting in monochrome.

Here’s a random capture from Itsukushima (Miyajima Islands) in Hiroshima bay.

Leave your comment below and let me know what you think about these black and white smartphone captures.

© 2019 Muntaka Chasant

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December 12, 2019

14 Min read time

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