Posts Tagged ‘Nagoya’

Scoring Fame and Fortune

2011年 10月 13日

We had a photo society trip to Ise, Toba and Shima during the summer with another chapter from Nagoya. Both chapters were interested in having a little photo contest, so we submitted photos and let the judges figure it out. Last night at our monthly meeting we heard the results: I was very surprised when I heard that I had taken fourth place.

Both of these chapters are filled with people who have been practicing photography for a long time. Also a lot of them are retired, giving them free time to shoot away. I have never placed better than sixth in our monthly contest – which is just our chapter members – let alone in a bigger contest.

I was further surprised when our teacher came around with a prize envelope for me. I had no idea there were prizes. There was a certificate for 1000 yen inside. Doing a little math, you’ll figure out that a thousand yen is not a lot of money; particularly, if you back out the printing costs. We had a little dinner afterwards and some of our senior members were apologetic that my prize was so small; however, I assured them that I was just happy for the acknowledgement amongst such elite company.

Next month, the winning photos will come to our monthly meeting for a study session. I am looking forward to seeing the others. Contests after photo shoots are always tough because people are generally shooting the same subject. The fanciest lens and the best printing make a difference there; however, I think I got into the top ranks by looking at the world from a different angle: literally. Ironically, the photo is one which I totally overlooked in my first few passes through what I shot; sometimes you need to look again.

After the study session, I think I can upload an image for you. I’ll explain the shot a little at that time.

Thirteen Minutes to Go

2010年 2月 13日

Was it Andy Warhol who said in the future everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame? Well, here we are a whole decade into the 21st Century and I’m getting approximately two minutes. Tuesday, I got a surprise phone call from a friend in Nagoya. He was helping a friend at Nagoya Television (or Meetere, as it is called) find an interviewee.

Initially I was very excited because it sounded like they were looking for a foreigner who was interested in Japanese culture. Studying calligraphy, stone seal carving, wood block etching, bamboo flute, Japanese pottery, rice straw rope making, etc., should qualify me for that; however, there was a small communication error. Really, they were looking for someone interested in Japanese history, and specifically, in Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬).

While I am interested in Japanese history, I don’t pursue it like I do culture. My guess is that, in a world without deadlines, they probably would have preferred someone else; however, they were willing to use me, and I was up for a new experience.

I have been on the TV a number of times, but this is the first time I will actually be mentioned. My other appearances were usually incidental and only a few seconds. Also, this is the first time it won’t be on a local cable access channel.

Sakamoto Ryoma is very popular now because a TV series titled Ryomaden (龍馬伝) came on the air in January. I watched the first episode, but unfortunately have missed all the rest because of my busy schedule. Hopefully they will rebroadcast it.

If you happen to watch the program UP! on Nagoya TV this Thursday from 6:17pm, you should see me. If not, they’ll send me a DVD, so you can drop by and watch. I was pretty nervous, so I might look a little bumbling unless their editors are very kind and good.

Praying Through Travel

2009年 1月 7日

Well, I’m back at full speed in Japan; but, it couldn’t happen without a little prayer. My friends and their kids are moving from Japan to Brazil, but have been spending some time visiting relatives in the Tacoma area (south of Seattle) before heading on. Peculiar logistics kept us from meeting in the middle of my trip, leaving us with only the option of them coming to see me off at the airport. We caught up over coffee and sandwiches after I had checked in. Upon realizing an urgent need, as I was leaving for the gate, the husband asked to pray for me. Never one to turn down prayer, I put the departure time out of my mind for a short while.

From the time I left them, until I arrived home, there was a string of odd, interfering events; however, I stayed calm and just kept stringing together critical connections. Odd, you ask?

Woman at security repeatedly asking where to get a wheelchair and agent calmly chatting with her about options chewed up five minutes… boarded flight to Tokyo about two minutes before closing the door to push back from gate. Strange, meandering flight path got us into Tokyo/Narita late. Flight attendant announced that anyone on our plane making the connection to Nagoya/Chubu should go directly to gate 18. Secondary security check had no line, instead of the hundreds that are usually filing through: boarded Chubu flight with a good five minutes to spare. Pushed back, taxied to runway, found fuel leak, returned to terminal for inspection and repairs. Arrived at Chubu customs about the same time as the last boat to Tsu was leaving. All five of my overweight bags appeared on the carousel just before I arrived at baggage claim. Dropped four bags at parcel delivery to avoid hauling 400 pounds of junk around. Walked to Meitetsu train station, bought ticket to Nagoya station, heard clerk say, “train leaves in 1 minute.” Ran onto train, rode to Nagoya, ran to Kintetsu train station and caught last train to Tsu with about three minutes to spare. Arrived late expecting no taxis, but managed to catch the second to last one.

Update: I almost forgot about the weirdness at the coffee shop. We had to bus our table, then when we got to the front of the line we stepped to the side to choose sandwiches and lost our place in line. Halfway through our discussion a worker came over to tell us that they forgot to charge us for two drinks. I’m thinking all of these troubles were necessary to set-up the need to stay calm and trust in God.

I was fascinated by the string of delays and skin-of-the-teeth connections that were strung together like a pretty necklace. I even found time to stop and help some other folks along the way. I highly recommend having friends see you off with prayer.

While this was all going on, I kept thinking of my friend who was being hunted by angels wanting to help get her out of the Bangkok airport the day of the takeover.