An area known as the Twin Megaliths at the Yonaguni Monument -Vincent Lou, Wikimedia // CC BY 2.0
In 1986, a diver looking for a good spot to watch hammerhead sharks off the coast of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan came across an extraordinary underwater landscape.
The area reportedly looked like an ancient submerged village, with steps, holes, and triangles seemingly carved into the rocks.
Ever since it was first discovered, controversy has surrounded the site that’s become known as the Yonaguni Monument, with some researchers—such as marine geologist Masaaki Kimura—arguing it is a clearly manmade environment, perhaps a city thousands of years old and sunk in one of the earthquakes that plagues the region.
Others believe it’s a natural geological phenomenon reflecting the stratigraphy (layers) of sandstone in an area with tectonic activity. The area is open to scuba divers, so the really curious can strap on air tanks and decide for themselves.
These hand-tinted Japanese postcards are part of an exhibit titled “The Traveler’s Eye.” The postcards, produced in the early 20th century as Western visits to Japan increased in volume, show off the skills of Japan’s photo colorists.
The art of hand-tinting photographs, write the curators of a Harvard exhibit on the early photography of Japan, while first introduced in Europe, “became more refined and widespread” on the archipelago.
Many Japanese artists who had been employed by ukiyo-e woodblock studios found new employment with photographers when the popularity of photos pushed woodblocks out of fashion.
Can you believe that these body modifications are created without using any digital editing software?
They are the painted works of a Japanese artist known simply as Chooo-san.
We first came across the unusually realistic body art of the 19-year-old Musashino Art University student this past summer and in a matter of months she has completed six new surreal body art pieces that continue to blow our minds.
Equipped with some acrylic paints and raw talent, Chooo-san has once again proven she is a master manipulator.
There’s even a hint of humor in the new works. On a lean torso of a man, she depicts a series of neatly fastened buttons and the same set of buttons appear to be popped open, unable to close shut, on the belly of a heavier set fellow.
And, yet again, the artist incorporates a modest prop (in this case a cord) to heighten the believability of the skin illustrations.
Photos of Japanese men passed-out on their way home from nomikai social functions, an important part of corporate culture in Japan designed to bring colleagues closer together.
Workers are often paid a specific allowance to make sure they have no excuses for not attending which leads many businessmen to drink to excess. Japanese custom dictates that you must never turn down the offer of a drink from your boss.
My photographs are a record of the people who have reached their limit and exhausted their strength after the daily grind.
Everyone has different burdens, but everyone lives at a frantic pace.
People drink with friends as a reward for the hard day’s work and face a new day’s work like warriors.
A lot of people struggle through such work situations. I took these pictures with a true feeling of respect for the people in them.
I don’t believe the state my subjects are in is shabby in any way.
I can feel they have experienced hardships and fatigue to end up like this.