Okinawan Schoolboy Photo, 1967-68   2 comments

School Boy --2 blogOkinawan Schoolboy, 1967-68 — Images by kenne

Recently, Mary Ann sent me one of the many slides I took while stationed on the island of Okinawa for 18 months during 1967-68. While on the island most all my images were taken using Ektachrome slide film, which I preferred over Kodachrome slide film. Most of my images were of places, and things and I felt Ektachrome was more natural. Kodachrome provided warmer images, making it better for portraits.

During my time in Okinawa, I covered most of the island, which is approximately 70 miles long and an average 7 miles wide, on my 90cc Honda. The above image was one of the few portraits I took while there, and it came about strictly by accident. I was in north-central Okinawa at the Fukugawa Falls, which was a great place for school children to go on a field-trip.  Children were playing and enjoying the outing. There was one boy was sitting quietly on a big rock near the falls.  Taken by his solitude, I started watching him and decided to take a photo of him, moving from right to left when he looked at me. I took his picture. Immediately, his body language told me he wasn’t pleased, never smiling once.

For me, the of this schoolboy captured so much of the rural Okinawan culture. At that time, the island of Okinawa was an American territory. The Ryukyuan people, at best just tolerated our presence, reminding me very much of native Americans.

Over the years since taking this image, it has remained etched in my brain. Recently, in a conversation with Mary Ann during our visit to Ft. Collins, CO, she told me she had kept the slide separate from all the other Okinawan slides and would send it to me.

1200px-Canon_FT_QLFor a slide taken in 1967, it was in excellent condition. It helped that Mary Ann had kept the slide separate from all the other Okinawan slides. I had Photographic Works, here in Tucson scan a high-resolution file.

Over the last fifty years, I have taken thousands of images, this one remains my favorite. It was one of those “right place, right time events.” The original image was with a Canon FT QL camera and a 130 mm Canon lens. This camera and lenses were stolen in the early 1970’s and replaced with an FTb QL, which I still have.

School Boy B-W--3 blog 3B/W reproduction of the original slide by kenne

A moment captured
An intrusion of the soul
Now one in our time.

— kenne


2 responses to “Okinawan Schoolboy Photo, 1967-68

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  1. After all these years, I see him. Very good.


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