Japan

To Stand Out, You Need to Stand High - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

I don’t remember since when i started enjoying observing wild lives. For example, it seems reasonable that one way to stand out from the crowd is to look different. However, look is so skin-deep nowadays, “different” can be uniform all of sudden.

In the natural world of animals, they have a thing or two to teach us. This red-crowned crane utilized its physical features to the fullest, and more. I mean, having long legs help, especially when they can jump.

Red-Crowned-Crane-Jumping-Above-the-Crowd-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Red-Crowned-Crane-Jumping-Above-the-Crowd-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

On a different occasion, when I was marveled by the beautiful and cold Hokkaido sunrise, I met such a character. So, I guess, when you can’t grow anymore, grow a little inside, like a personality would help. :-)

Whooper-Swans-Playing-Lake-Kussharo-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Whooper-Swans-Playing-Lake-Kussharo-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

What are the behaviors that you’ve observed of the animal world lately that has stayed in your mind?

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It's fire, It's Good Fire at Setsubun in Japan - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Don’t panic, this is not what you think and I can explain.

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Remember the last time I shared an experience where praying, burning and bean throwing is involved in Japan? Well, I thought I’d come back to finish what I started, the burning part.

As Setsubun signifies the beginning of a year (end of winter and beginning of spring), it’s customary for people to drive away the evils and wish for good luck for the coming year. Here at the UNESCO heritage site of Shimogamo-Jinja (下鴨神社), offerings and amulets are sent, along with the flames, to the great power above, in the chanting of priests.

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

What other cultures/civilizations does fire have a significant role in rituals/ceremonies? Share in the Facebook box below so we can all learn.

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Happy Valentine's Day, It Takes Two to Tangle - Los Angeles Fine Art Photographer

Let’s face it. Not all relationships start with love. And for the ones that do, it’s not a guarantee that they will end that way. As a French proverb described:

Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out.

(Le mariage est une forteresse assiégée, ceux qui sont dehors veulent y entrer, ceux qui sont dedans veulent en sortir.)

In fact, this proverb gave the inspiration to a well known novel the title Fortress Besieged (圍城). And yet, all that ancient wisdom did not stop any of us from proceeding heels over head into a relationship that’s sealed with a marriage. So, when I saw this couple in the Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) in Kyoto that dates back to the 6th century, I thought that they’ve succeeded in setting the expectations, well, realistic.

It-Takes-Two-to-Tangle-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

It-Takes-Two-to-Tangle-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

When us human showed us what we could do with our self-proclaimed far superior intelligence, e.g., marriage could mean combining the two, in wealth, social influence, political power, etc., something with brains the size of birds showed me what a relationship could look like. Maybe, they have a thing or two to teach us about harmony, passion, and being tangled gracefully.

Red-Crowned-Crane-Tango-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Red-Crowned-Crane-Tango-Kushiro-Hokkaido-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

This Valentine’s Day, I wish you a fun day of tangoing to be tangled.

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