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Culture, Travel Inspiration  • 

Japanese Rice Terraces are disappearing

October 23, 2014

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Rice terraces (tanada) have long been a symbol of Japan and have a great cultural significance for the Japanese. The paddy fields have been in this country for centuries and some even consider cultivating rice an art. Ancient farmers have carved the platforms into hillsides to make the fields more efficient. The modern technology allows better yields though, and the terraces are being abandoned.

Kit Takenaga spent 10 years photographing tanada in Japan, producing magnificent photos that capture the life and culture of his home country. He said he was stunned by the hard work farmers put into their fields, all day every day. And there’s still hope – people are trying to preserve the terraces as they prevent landslides and are home to variety of wildlife.

Enjoy Takenaga’s pictures below and read his fascinating article here.

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Art, Culture  • 

Cat’s life in Japan

October 17, 2014

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Cats in Japan have a significant cultural meaning, mostly thanks to Maneki Neko, a “good fortune” cat which is supposed to bring good luck and money to the owner. There’s a cat shrine on Tashiro Island, and the locals believe they can predict the future watching feline behaviours. Not to mention the famous cat cafes, where people come to hug, stroke and love those fluffy animals.

Some believe that even the internet’s obsession with cats began in Japan and I actually kinda believe it. As it turns out, there’s quite a lot of cats in this country and French photographer Alexandre Bonnefoy decided to capture some of them. Begging for fish in a port, climbing trees, living a lazy life in their owners home, fighting with others on the streets of Tokyo or being caressed in a cat cafe – the book Neko Land unites all the Japanese kitties.

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More cat pictures in this excerpt from Alexandre Bonnefoy’s book.

Art, Travel Inspiration  • 

Painted with light – photography of Takehito Mitayake

August 30, 2014

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Takehido Miyatake is a Japanese photographer who captures fireflies, volcanos and glowing squids in his amazing long-exposure photography. At first, he photographed classical landscapes, but after watching the 2009 eruption of Sakura-jima volcano, Takehido decided to capture the magical lights of Japanese landscapes. Inspired by Japanese poetry and philosophy, he shows how beautiful, rich, but at the same time fragile this country really is.

Takehito Miyatake

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Miyatake’s photography recently won him a Grand Prize at 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. See more of his photos on his website.takehito-miyatake-11