Small Pox Isolation Ward Haikyo

MJG Haikyo, Hospitals, Izu 15 Comments

Small Pox was once an incurable killer, claiming around 400 million deaths in the first half of the 20th century before its eradication.  The people who contracted it were likely to die, and had to be removed from the general population lest they spread the infection to others. The Small Pox Isolation Ward Haikyo set into a then-remote Izu cliff-side was one such place they’d be banished to, to endure the agonies of their disease while lying on a straw mattress in a wooden shack, looking out to the sea and waiting to die.

Two Hearts

MJG Stories, Surreal 6 Comments

He held the FridgePak plastic bag close up to his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything special. He saw no spark of life, no memory of love, nor any trace of meaning. He just saw the pulp of a heart. Liquidized. Red and purple, twisted through with fragments of yellow fat, white sinew, the strings and cords that held the organ together. Floating in the melted mushy blur. He squeezed the bag. He felt the texture of ground meat, some gristly chunks remaining. He felt the fluid rush of blood, filling the bag’s vacuum, the indentations of his fingers, his fingerprints transferring to the plastic. He wanted to smile but he couldn’t. He placed the bag into his briefcase, closed …

Put the Shout From a Soul

MJG Japan, Japangrish 4 Comments

I was instantly hooked by this T-shirt, on the train journey back from Izu where I and SY recently went to get sun-burned. This guy was chilling in the most lackadaisical manner, almost as if he knew I was trying to get a shot of his back. Wow, that is cool. Look at his back, what a great message. I cannot count the times I have WANTED to put the shout from a soul on heavy voice, and to send, but because I didn’t know how to do it, I couldn’t. That’s a little bit like when Abraham Lincoln used to write angry letters to his general Grant, but then put them in a drawer and never sent them. To …

Waseda HDRs

MJG Uncategorized 5 Comments

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my recent haikyo explorations, I’m getting interested in the technique of HDR for photography; essentially the process of splicing together several photographs of the same thing (using software that does it all for you) so both light and dark parts of the shot come out even. Here’s one such HDR from my balcony, shot with my Tamron 17-50mm, at 17mm. You may also have gathered that I sold my zoom lens (not useful for haikyo) and invested in an ultra-wide zoom, a Tokina 11-16mm. I haven’t used it for haikyo yet, but decided to take a replica Waseda HDR shot to get an idea of the difference in zoom power.

Step into your Virgin Grave

MJG Japan, Japangrish 2 Comments

I know everybody out there longs for a Virgin Grave. Who would want a used grave, a second-hand grave? Chu-ko Haka, as they say in Japanese. How much better for a Playfull Mind is a brand-new Virgin Grave, sharp-cut, deep, loamy, fresh. Mmmmm. Imagine stepping into your Virgin Grave as a dead person and just KNOWING you were in good and capable grave-hands? I know it’s what my dead body would want.