winter

Japanese speed skater likes to take off clothes in public

kato_joji_speedskater

My biggest complaint with the winter Olympics is the paucity of flesh. Well, Japanese gold medal aspirant Joji Kato (加藤条治) has a knack for getting undressed for the camera. Total nudity should guarantee gold, no?!

kato_joji2_speedskater
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Winter costume, artifice, health, and hair

SONY DSC

In Tokyo, it’s always mask season. I remember how “shocked” the international media was after the Fukushima nuke disaster, to see the multitudes in Tokyo all wearing masks. Nothing special in the facial mask technology for radiation, or at least not yet.

Since the winds started blowing on March 1, everyone’s talking about the start of spring hay fever season. I wonder if the mask adds a certain mystery and allure for the wearer? Seduction through withholding? Could the facial mask be the Japanese unisex niqab? As much as I dislike winter, perhaps there’s something to be appreciated in the layers of costume, artifice, health, and hair.

Thanks to Al for lending me his camera.

Nearly naked men splashing water on eachother to thank gods

I don’t fully understand why, but these men are celebrating their beloved water source and its miraculous return by throwing water on each other in winter. And, as its a sacred ritual, they are wearing almost no clothing. It’s called Yu kake matsuri (湯かけ祭り), which basically means water splashing festival.  Thanks to the hubb for forwarding this video.

Hot cub singer: Hata Motohiro

My husband recently introduced me to this adorable Japanese cub singer, Hata Motohiro (秦基博). This song is called「夏はこれからだ!」(Summer has begun). It’s a perfect song for a cold winter day. I feel like he’s singing directly to me.

Here’s a great fan site. I am going to try to learn the lyrics!

こんなふうに毎日がダラダラと過ぎていく
ああ またフサギ込んでしまうのかい?

そんなときは気持ちばっかクルクルと空回り
ああ まだくすぶっているのかい?

目を閉じて僕といこう
誰もいないとこへ 秘密のあの場所へ

そこで裸足になって fallin’ love
露(あらわ)になった parts and hearts
恥ずかしがってハニかんでるサマーデイズ

そして重なり合ったメロディー
確かめ合ったハーモニー
ちょっと待った ちょっと待った
夏はこれからだ!

散々な結果なんて早々と忘れちまえよ
ああ また悩み込んでしまうから

しくじってしまうことって誰だってあるものさ
そう またやり直せばいいんだよ

手を引いて連れてゆこう
素晴らしい世界へ5秒後の未来へ

僕らどこまでだってゆける
いつまでだって飛べる
その気になって見渡したらパラダイス

だから涙拭って no more cry
そして笑って smile on smile
やっぱそうだ やっぱそうだ
愛は今からだ!

冷たい水の中でゆらゆら揺れる太陽
乾いた風の音にざわざわざわめく胸

hey!! boys & girls
涙の痕を隠せ 砂浜のファンデーション
オテントサマがくれた季節も
暗い顔じゃつまんねえゾ
楽しんだもん勝ち It’s all right
青い空の下じゃみんな同じ
海も山も夏色に染まっていく
サマーオブラブ

気付かせて すぐそこにあるものを
新しい世界を 美しい未来を

僕らどこまでだってゆける
いつまでだって飛べる
その気になってはばたいたらバタフライ

だから涙拭って no more cry
そして笑って smile on smile
きっとそうだ きっとそうだ
僕らこれからだ!
愛は今からだ!!
夏はこれからだ!!!

Winter naked festival

My Japanese tipster, aka “the husband,” pointed me to this news story and these incredible photos about Hokkaido’s “misogi omatsuri” or festival.

I am not sure what the water is about, but it must certainly add to the masochism that Japanese are often fond of. Making this spiritual event all the more “moe,” only four men perform the ritual while everyone else watches them.

Next year in Hokkaido!