A Bit of Tai Chi at the Heian Shrine
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
“Energy / Spirit” -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
“Energy / Spirit”
“Strength” -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
“Strength”
Lots of Tai Chi at the Heian Shrine Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Tai Chi at the Heian Shrine
Kyoto, Japan

There was a short event at the Heian Shrine the other day that involved some 600 tai chi practitioners from around the country, doing a short routine at the shrine to, as it was told to me, show the gods their performance in the hope that it would please them.

Now that I think about it, I don't know of any other shrine that has a courtyard large enough to handle numbers like this.... it's a lot of people, so first they had to get them all in...

Ducky Crossing long parade from a staging area at a nearby park pauses to let people cross -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ducky Crossing
long parade from a staging area at a nearby park pauses to let people cross

The young girl in kimono has probably just come from a shichi-go-san event, which fill a shrine's autumn weekends with cute kids in kimono (including my own kid last year).

Streaming In the white signs with kanji are to mark each group's location -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 58 mm — 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Streaming In
the white signs with kanji are to mark each group's location
Getting Set Up -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 58 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/11, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Set Up
Inconsiderate these three ladies ruined the wide shots for the entire phalanx of photographers -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Inconsiderate
these three ladies ruined the wide shots for the entire phalanx of photographers

Sigh. At least they didn't decide to wander in through the group!

I was forced to abandon wide-angle shots, so went in for the zoom...

Starting the Routine -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Routine
Free Show I'm sure that most shrine visitors had no idea what was going on ( I didn't know too much what was going on either, but at least I'd had a few minutes forewarning ) -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Free Show
I'm sure that most shrine visitors had no idea what was going on
( I didn't know too much what was going on either, but at least I'd had a few minutes forewarning )
Reverse Angle -- Heian Shrine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 290 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle

After the five-minute routine was done, they filed out and that was that.

I wonder whether there are any other shrines in Japan with courtyards this big? The owners of the shrine use it for all kinds of things, such as music and art performances, a large Setsubun event, which itself includes an intense burn of tens of thousands of wooden wish offerings. Then, of course, there are the innumerable portraits taken, such as my family portrait last year, lots of kids in kimono, and the weddings that fill the weekends.

But my favorite photo here in the courtyard has just one person in it.


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

‘Inconsiderate’ in my opinion, is a prime example of embracing wholeheartedly, the technology of ‘photoshopping’. While the photo unedited is interesting because of your comments, it would be nice to see it without the interlopers. A little rubber stamp; a little clone tool and that would be perfect. Purists be darned.

These photos also show the deep influence that China has had on Japanese culture. Buddhism, tai-chi, kanji, the 1st hints of fall in kyoto, classic chinese/japanese architecture… your inner culture nerd must have been doing somersaults.

— comment by Ron Evans on October 27th, 2010 at 3:23am JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

It may be my perverse (or immature) nature… but the first thing to pop into my head was how it reminded me of scenes from Enter the Dragon. *Sigh* almost certainly my immature side.

— comment by AdelaideBen on October 27th, 2010 at 5:54am JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

About ‘photoshopping’: I gave a try to the new ‘context aware fill’ in CS5 on that picture, and the people are gone in no time, just a rough selection and click. Perfect in this case…

It can be cleaned up just fine using even Lightroom controls alone, but for whatever reason, I wanted to present it with the ladies in it. —Jeffrey

— comment by luc on October 27th, 2010 at 10:19am JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Fantastic shots. I’d like to go to Kyoto and see some of these kinds or events. They just don’t have these kinds of things in Amami. 🙂

— comment by Earnest Barr on October 30th, 2010 at 6:21pm JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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