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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Osaka Castle Cut Down To Size - Photograph

Being a tad busy today, I have little to write, but instead have a photo to share. This photo shows the base of the Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo) in Osaka, Japan.

It shows a corner of the castle... particularly the stones and how they were placed to form the foundation of the castle. Yes... Osaka-jo was destroyed many centuries ago, and what we see here is a modern rebuild of it... but actually, what was destroyed was the wooden structure we would recognize as the actual Japanese castle.

What survived was the stone base... a small section of which you see in the photo above.

Now... to get a better idea of just how large some of these stones are that were used to build the base of Osaka-jo, take a look to the very right of the photo... right at the edge... and you can see a Japanese person taking a photograph.

Yes... that main corner stone is as large as a Japanese man.

It reminded me of the pyramids in Egypt, to be sure (bucket list), but along with the size and weight of the stone, I am impressed by the overall smoothness of the pieces...

And yet... when you come up to it... which I did... I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I was able to chip away one of those corner stones... would the whole damn castle crumble to the ground (killing myself and hundreds of others in the process), or would the castle merely tilt... or more than likely, would nothing happen because unlike the game of Jenga, this tower was built to withstand powerful enemy attacks by foreign clans...

This is one of my favorite photos...It was one that almost never happened, as I was intent on getting a shot of this corner aspect, and was willing to wait until everyone was out of my camera range... until I realized I needed someone in it to show scale... to give more power to the photograph.

If I was a better photographer, I would have got the entire body of the person to provide a better reference to scale, right?

Ah... but I did... in the original photograph... which I can no longer find... I captured the person completely... but... what you see here is my scan of an enlargement I had done while I lived in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken... whereby the folks making my photo enlargement - who did so by using a film negative - did not position it correctly, and nearly cut out my Japanese scale of reference.


So... in this one case, at least, I am a better photographer than the photograph makes me appear.

For further reference... here's one of my other favorite shots of Japan... Osaka-jo in full bloom, with modern day Osaka in the background. 

Modern Japan intrudes on the medieval world of Osaka Castle.
Pundits will hopefully notice the wonderful dark rain clouds that followed me everywhere when I traveled around Japan for three years..

Oh... and if you click on the photo and look closely... you can see right in the middle of the photo... right atop the moat walls, a person dressed in a red rain coat... so you can just how huge the stones are in that very high moat.

Lastly... for Matthew's sake - he chastised me once about four years ago to get a damn photoshop-type program to make my photo's lighter - I made this photo lighter for my Internet audience. It actually looks fine when I hold the photo in my hand, but darkens on the screen... as such... I have a bright, light grey cloud annoying the fug out of me at the top of this adjusted photo.

Matthew was right, of course... but I always like the way photos used to look when you took them... back before you could change them to the way you want them to look.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Imagine how long the blog would be if I actually had something to write about. ;) 


  1. If you didn't alter 99% of your Nippon pix, all we would ever see is pix of rain drops falling! :-P