Archive for the ‘Okinawa’ Tag

Wearing Facemasks In Public   3 comments

School Boy --2-Edit-B&W-72Okinawan School Boy (1967) — Image by kenne

I was stationed on the Japanise island of Okinawa for 18 months, 1967-68. During my stay, it was not uncommon to see some people wearing facemasks. This was something I was not use to seeing, so I asked why?

I was told that the person probably had a cold, and out of respect for others, they were hoping to not spread their germs. “Out of respect for others, ” I thought. How nice and novel. It told me a lot about the people of Okinawa. Since then, I have noticed that when I see someone wearing a facemask in public, they are of Asian descent. 

Now that the world is experiencing a pandemic, it would be nice if we all showed respect for others by wearing a facemask in public. One of the things we have learned about this virus is that we can have it and not experience any systems, yet spread the virus. By showing respect for others, we can stop the spread of COVI-19. Wouldn’t that be novel?

— kenne

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


Velvet Nude, Revisited   2 comments

Valvet NudeVelvet Nude Painting Purchased in Okinawa, 1968 — Reframed for this presentation by kenne

Velvet Nude

In the company of Elvis and Jesus
Sharing the velvet boom years
More than a recognizable profile
Not meant to depict an actual person

Reflections of elegant simplicity
Nude, on blue satin
Classic reclining style
Engagingly staring away

Not a Magritte, Nor a Picasso
A Japanese artist’s
Signature painting
Unfamiliar by name

Swept away by her allure
Taking a prominent place
In our sparsely furnish
Fatima village two flat

Traveling with us
From the China Sea
Always finding a place
Central to our being

Over the years
She never changed
Let, her importance
Began to diminish

A victim of new attractions
And changing attitudes
Her black velvet lost to our
False sense of maturity

Stored away among
The relics of our past
Only to be resurrected
By our aging memories

On display in our gallery
Of  framed memories
Where we leave and return
As neighbors sneak a peep

— kenne

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