Archive for the 'Parenthood' Category

Posts relating to parenthood

Milestones: Twenty Five Years Since First Coming to Japan, and More

Today is the 25th anniversary of my first arrival in Japan. 来日25周年になりました!

It was June 19th, 1989 that I flew into Tokyo from California after having finished grad school and then lived with my brothers for several months while waiting for my work visa to be approved. I was met at the airport by Krish Kulkarni, whom I had never met, but had no trouble finding because he's the twin brother of my best friend at grad school, Ram Kulkarni (who later went on to be the best man at my wedding, and I at his).

A day or [...]

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Just a Lighting Test Shot, but it Looks like an Advertisement


Setting up a bunch of flash units in the living room to take pictures of Fumie in her costume for her recent part in her ballet school's production of The Nutcracker, I asked Anthony to step in so that I could take a test shot to gauge the initial flash settings I'd guessed at. He'd just come home from a short day at school and wanted to relax with his ice-cream snack, so he wasn't really in the mood to be a prop.

I was happy that I'd at least landed in the ballpark for the settings (they were [...]

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Shirahama Trip Day 2: Adventure World

After day 1 of our weekend trip to Shirahama Japan we debated on what to do for the second day before making the three-hour drive home to Kyoto that evening. The area is known for having pandas, but I'm not a big fan of zoos so I didn't really want to go. (I've lived a 5-minute walk from the Kyoto City Zoo for 10 years, and have been only twice.) But Anthony wanted to see the pandas, so off to "Adventure World" we went.

Upon walking in it was clear it wasn't a normal zoo, with the entrance hall being [...]

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Weekend in Shirahama, Japan: Day 1


As I mentioned the other day, we took a short weekend trip to Shirahama (白浜), in Wakayama Prefecture a three-hour drive south from Kyoto. We left on Friday after Anthony got home from school, so arrived late in the evening, giving us all of Saturday and most of Sunday to enjoy the area.

We had a nice hybrid Western/Japanese room at Hotel Laforet....

The area is known for its small white-sand beach, and for having pandas (in what I assumed was a zoo, but as we'll see in a later post, the pandas are at an amusement/nature park). It [...]

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Frozen Lake Play from Last Year

Sort of a followup to "Catching Air on a Snow Sled", this is another post of pictures from a year ago.

Playing on the lake behind my folks' place in Ohio, Anthony used an old spade as a hockey stick, and a chunk of ice as the puck....

I liked the shadow and asked Anthony to hold the pose for a few shots...

This last one has had the saturation turned up to exaggerate the blue from the sky showing in his shadow. (The blue is not seen except in the shadows because the direct sun overpowers it elsewhere.)

Back [...]

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Anthony Catching Air on a Snow Sled

The pictures of snow play I posted earlier today of my brother and his family reminded me that there's much from last year's trip here to Ohio that I still have not posted. At the time I'd done one Snow Play post, so I guess today is a followup.

These pictures of Anthony (age 10 at the time) sledding in the back yard are from exactly one year ago today.

He gained confidence as time went... here's a shot from 10 minutes later; he seems much more composed....

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Hand-Picked (Hand-Grilled) Mushrooms in Japan, and a Tarzan Rope

As I mentioned the other day, we made the hour drive from Kyoto to the mountains of Takatsuki to visit a small food/entertainment area where the main attraction for us was picking (then grilling then eating) shiitake mushrooms.

As one might expect, the mushroom area was like an old damp basement, but with more light...

There's a limit of five mushrooms per person, so you have to take care in how you select and pluck a mushroom, to maximize your take. If they were stuck together, they were considered one mushroom, so we tried to find groups.

They sell out [...]

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Sliding Down a Mountain Slide, In Style

We had a fun trip today to a small food/entertainment area in the mountains of northern Takatsuki City (高槻市), an hour or so west of Kyoto. The main objective that I'll post about another time was the picking of (and grilling of and eating) shiitake mushrooms (椎茸), but we also had fun at a play area that included a slide of rollers for 80m (260') down a hill.

It was wet and dirty, but YOLO, so we gave it a go.

I waited to catch Anthony at the bottom for his first run because the slide shoots you at high [...]

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Kicking Around a Soccer Ball with Anthony and his Cousin Josh

The time we spent with family in Washington last week was filled with lots of sports, mostly baseball (both playing and watching), but Anthony's love of soccer was not overlooked. One day before the bulk of the family flew in, we visited the playground at his cousin Josh's elementary school to kick a ball around a bit...

Anthony's cousin Josh is really talented in baseball -- he's seven years old, but holds his own playing against twelve-year olds -- but he has little experience with soccer, so the play today was a bit lopsided.

The soccer was fun, but once [...]

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Slice of Americana: Anthony’s Cousin is Bat Boy at a Local Baseball Game

We're visiting my sister in Bellingham Washington, where all Anthony's American cousins will get together for the first time in four years (this time with one more than last time).

We happen to arrive just in time for cousin Josh (7½) getting to be a bat boy for the first time, at a Bellingham Bells collegiate summer league game. He's attended many games and sat near the dugout, so he knew the players and was super excited at this opportunity (especially since one must normally be at least 11 years old, but they interviewed him and decided he knew enough [...]

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Photoshoot with Yuko at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Part 2

Picking up from yesterday's "Anatomy of a Photoshoot by Someone Who Has No Clue About Them", the rambling story of a photo shoot of first-time model Yuko by clueless photographers (Paul Barr and me), yesterday ended with Yuko sitting in the shade in front of a lake on the grounds of the dazzling Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) in Kyoto...

When it was my turn, I shot a few different looks before I realized that I wasn't really getting any of the background...

The shallow depth of field, which I normally like a lot, made the background completely irrelevant, losing out [...]

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Bento for a Big Boy

Anthony (fifth grade) has a school field trip today for which Fumie had to make a bento lunch. It's been a while since he needed one of these, though when in preschool (five years ago!) he needed a bento every day.

The challenges of bento design are many... food that he'll eat without being fussy, food that will stay fresh without refrigeration until lunch, a presentation that is both pleasing and robust against the bumps and bruises of the inside of a backpack, all while being both healthy and sufficiently nutritious for a long day of hiking. It's perhaps easier [...]

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New-Year Trip Recap: East Finally Meets West

I'd like to share a bit more from my New Year's trip to visit my folks in Ohio. It was notable in particular because it was the first time for my parents to actually meet my wife's parents.

Anthony and I left Kyoto first, having been seen off at the Osaka airport by Fumie's folks...

Anthony had a lot of homework over the break (boo, hiss), so we had to squeeze study in everywhere we could. Here, at the gate while waiting for the plane, he's memorizing Japan's 47 "states" and their capitals...

After a somewhat harrowing flight via Tokyo [...]

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Elementary-School Water Polo

As I mentioned the other day in "Candid Portrait of an Athlete", 10-year-old Anthony has been playing water polo for about a year. His first actual game was last month, during a series of matches over the course of a three-day tournament at the Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム) in Osaka.

Photographically, the situation was pretty bad... spectators we were behind glass and had very limited mobility....

The large windows on the opposite wall made for blinding backlight when the sun was out. One day it was pouring rain, so the light was more even then.

Anthony was apprehensive about participating because [...]

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A Few Better Pics of Anthony

I appreciate that at 10 years old Anthony can still be cute, so I like yesterday's post about LEGO in that sense, but the photographer in me wishes the photos were better, so here are some better shots.

In December when Paul Barr and I were doing the portraiture practice (Paul's shots of me and my shots of Paul), Anthony happened to come by on his way home from school...

A couple of days later he had a concert at school (a small orchestra made up of 4th-6th graders), where he played guitar and various percussion. Here are a couple [...]

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Slice of Kid Heaven: Pick-a-Brick at a LEGO Store

During our recent trip to The States to visit my folks, 10-year-old Anthony and I stopped by a LEGO store that had a "Pick-a-Brick" wall.

With "Pick a Brick", you pay by the bucket, so the goal is to engineer as much stuff to fit as possible...

For example, some large white wall pieces had hollow space when stacked, so we worked on filling that space as much as possible...

It was a fun challenge, perhaps more fun for me than for Anthony.

When we got home to Japan, he opened up his two buckets and we counted how much [...]

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Snow Play

The weather was wonderfully clear for our trip from Japan to my folks' place in Ohio, but we had a nice snow a day or two later, much to Anthony's glee.

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Thank You Anonymous Hero at Chicago O’Hare’s Gate E2a

Anthony and I flew from Japan to America yesterday, and now I'm at my folks' house in Ohio where I grew up. It wasn't as eventful a trip as some horror stories you hear about, but it had its own bit of excitement, and some good travel lessons.

I'll recount the long story here. I don't expect anyone to actually read it... it's mostly for my own memory...

My father-in-law drove us to Osaka Itami airport, leaving from Kyoto at 11:30am and arriving at 12:30 in plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely Starbucks lunch before heading to the [...]

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Last Day on Naoshima

A belated continuation of our recent visit to Naoshima Island and its artsy Benesse House hotel/museum two weeks ago.

While packing the car to go home, I came across a lone piece of tiny colorful vine that had somehow found its way to the sidewalk. Ever since I took this pic six years ago, I've been a fan of vines like this.

I loved the shape of this tiny island (Oozuchi Island) four miles distant (also seen here in my first post). According to Wikipedia, it's less than 30 acres (1/20th of a square mile), but rises to an elevation [...]

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Cute Little Melodrama in Five Photos

A cute little scene unfolded before me at the Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine (Nagaokakyo City, Japan; 長岡京市の長岡天満宮) yesterday while killing time before Fumie's ballet recital. The captions represent what I imagine is being said or thought...

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