Kids in Kimono: Cute Enough to Eat
Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Next Saturday is shichi go san – “7 5 3” – a traditional festival celebrating kids aged 7, 5, and 3 years old. (It's taking a will of steel to refrain from the pun of calling this festival “odd”.) Wikipedia has a short little writeup describing it, how often it's the first time for kids to dress up in fancy kimono (girls) or hakama (boys), and such.

Although it's not until next week, this past weekend found the Heian Shrine filled with kids all dressed up and cute as a button. My friend Thomas, in town just for the weekend, called my attention to the concentrated cuteness, and although we didn't have much time before I had to run him to the train station for his trip back to Korea, I stopped by the shrine for a bit and snapped a few pictures.

Heading to the Heian Shrine Kyoto, Japan ( the out-of-focus guy in the left foreground is a rickshaw driver )  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading to the Heian Shrine
Kyoto, Japan
( the out-of-focus guy in the left foreground is a rickshaw driver )
Kimono and Purse  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Kimono and Purse
Photo Op for a family that has not learned to smile in the last three generations  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
for a family that has not learned to smile in the last three generations
Most Did Have Smiles  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Most Did Have Smiles
Some Were Apprehensive  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm — 1/800 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Some Were Apprehensive
Most Were Not Apprehensive little boy in a hakama  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 170 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Most Were Not Apprehensive
little boy in a hakama
Everyone Took Pictures ( the little boy is pretending his hands are a telescope )  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Everyone Took Pictures
( the little boy is pretending his hands are a telescope )
Kimono of All Styles and Colors but the balance was leaning toward the reds and pinks  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kimono of All Styles and Colors
but the balance was leaning toward the reds and pinks
Hakama Had Fierce Imagery  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Hakama Had Fierce Imagery
Overdone  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Overdone

Generally speaking, the kids were cute because they were dressed up in adult styles, not dressed as if they were adults. Their “kidness” was allowed to remain. I've had Anthony dressed up in a suit and I thought it was cute because he was still a kid.

Some of the people we saw at the shrine didn't quite get the distinction, and way overdid it, piling on accessories and makeup in an apparent attempt to obliterate any last remnants of childhood left showing in their child. You could see it in their style choices, in how they interacted with their kid, and in the lack of joy in the kid. Sad.

I tended to not want to photograph such kids, but the shot above is one, dressed to the nines, sans cuteness, with painted face and all...

Much Nicer everyone dressed up appropriately; everyone happy  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Much Nicer
everyone dressed up appropriately; everyone happy
Complete With Stuffed Hello Kitty  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 116 mm — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Complete With Stuffed Hello Kitty
Shoes  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Shoes
Shoe  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Shoe
No Shoes he's got his tabi socks , but no shoes  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
No Shoes
he's got his tabi socks, but no shoes
Complex and Colorful wonderful mixture of pinks and blues  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 98 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Complex and Colorful
wonderful mixture of pinks and blues
Chinese Paparazzi  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Chinese Paparazzi

There was a large group of Chinese tourists who seemed like any tourists you'd see anywhere, except for the odd habit of running up in mobs to someone, taking dozens of pictures over the course of a minute or three, but never making eye contact or acknowledging that the subject they're photographing is a living object. Thomas and I, being pretty much the only white people around, were the subject of this slightly creepy behavior for a while. I tried to engage them with smiles or eye-contact or the one word of Chinese I know (“thank you”), but it's as if we were on the darkened side of a one-way mirror, and they never even knew we were there. Odd.

“Take the Damn Picture And Let's Go” I've got a PlayStation waiting at home  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
“Take the Damn Picture And Let's Go”
I've got a PlayStation waiting at home

Actually, the little boy was full of smiles posing with his sister, but that one shot caught him with a look that reminded me of how I felt when we were forced to pose for family pictures back in the 70s. The one shot doesn't represent the reality of the scene, so it's totally unfair to pluck this picture out of context like this.... but it's fun. 🙂

(Of course, now as an adult I appreciate that my folks' forced us to pose for Christmas card pictures every year, because now as an adult I can treasure them. But boy, it was painful at the time.)

Back to last Sunday at the Heian Shrine, the cutest of all the kids was this German boy who seemed sort of big for his age...

Thomas Hertel Heian Shrine, Kyoto Japan  --  Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 155 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Thomas Hertel
Heian Shrine, Kyoto Japan

All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

What do you mean..”it was painful” ? More likely just boring. Think how it was for your parents..like trying top herd five belligerant distracted cats and one uninterested dog. Glad to hear you appreciate it now. But this was a delightful post. Love, Mom.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 12th, 2008 at 11:35pm JST (9 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Mine went through that as well: at Kitano Tenmagu, though. Still got the photos of him in his kimono and hakama, which I guess I could threaten to puty up on the Net if he really got out of line 🙂

— comment by Bob on November 13th, 2008 at 1:03am JST (9 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I loved this set. But your mom’s comment really made my day. 🙂

— comment by Sylvia on November 15th, 2008 at 9:05am JST (9 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I feel like that “shoe” picture could win any photo contest.

Thanks. I watched her climb up, and when her shoe fell off, I knew it was going to make for something good. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Andrew S on November 17th, 2008 at 1:13pm JST (9 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I love that named “Shoe”

— comment by hunter on November 24th, 2008 at 1:51am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink

You are right about this non smiling family. They look scary.

— comment by Anne on September 12th, 2012 at 4:39am JST (5 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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