Pictures of Ibaraki 2003

We had selected for a photo contest organized by Ibraraki Prefecture but finally they did not accept digital pictures (even if they said they would accept them previously). So here are these pictures and the comments we prepared from them.

Sveta and Nicolas

Kid breaking a ball full of candies

I saw this game at the Kasama pottery fair, a few days before the kids day (Kodomo no hi). The kid can not see anything but he/she must hit the ball to break it. The ball is full of candies so when he/she breaks it the candies fall and all the kids around can get one. For me watching this game was very interesting, especially the outcome. In France during a fair, if there is a game were you can get a prize, the prize is for you. Here the successful player shares his/her prize with all the others. To my opinion, it is a good example of the cooperative spirit that exist among the Japaneses and that we lack in France.

Little holy rock

I drive by this rock everyday one my way to my lab. It is at a Y-shaped intersection in the Karima township in Tsukuba. To me it looks like a remain of another age, a forgotten god from the past in the middle of our modern civilization. The coins at its feet are rusted

I can not understand the writings on this rock as most of the Kanjis are not in my dictionary. I pass near this rock everyday and it looks familiar to me, but as I can not decipher it, it remains mysterious and fascinating to me...

A house's eyes

Every day you are passing by near this house and you look at it the same way like you see the other houses till one day, when you raise your head and you see its eyes. And from that moment you already can't just to pass by and not to look to the eyes of the house and to smile to it. And it will smile to you discreetly cover its windows-teeth by a green fan of a tree.

And in your way back you will again smile to your new friend and it will illuminate your road home with the light in its eyes. And you will feel well that you have such a nice new friend, even if for somebody else it's just an usual house they are passing by.

Archer in Nihari

This archer is ridding to its target followed by many kids of the village of Nihari. Once he reaches it he will shoot three arrows on the target. I saw him during the matsuri (festival) of Nihari's shrine. I had never seen this kind of archery. I had seen some monks training in Nara once and I wanted to see some archery ceremony. This ceremony fulfilled my expectations but also triggered many questions in me about the meaning of the acts performed during that ceremony and about the Shinto religion.

Cherry blossoms

At the end of the winter, Nature wakes up slowly. In Europe I had often seen blooming trees but I did not find that this was a marvellous spectacle. I had never seen Japanese Cherry trees blooming! To me it seemed that the trees on my way from home to work were covered by snow. And when the wind blew in these trees, the falling petals seemed to be so many snow flakes!

The following Sunday, as the weather was good, I decided to go around Tsukuba to take pictures of cherry trees blossoming. I took this one in Kannodai where many families where gathered under the blossoming trees.