An Ancient Maritime Mystery, Japan.

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.
Source: 6 Strange Maritime Mysteries | Mental Floss

‘Flowers in Ice’.

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Botanic artist Makoto Azuma has added a completely new spin on the concept of ‘putting it on ice’.
These stunning images depict a range of exotic flowers encapsulated in ice to preserve and present new characteristics, which might have otherwise been overlooked.
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This particular set of works was exhibited in Japan last week, but due to the nature of the material was temporary.
via Putting flowers on ice | Creative Boom.

Japanese Hand-Tinted Postcards, c. 1900.

1JapanesePostcardsThese 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.2JapanesePostcard
See more via History of Japanese tourism: Hand-tinted postcards sold for tourists in the early 20th century.

Snowfall on a Deserted Platform.

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Photograph by Akinori Koseki, National Geographic Your Shot.
Your Shot member Akinori Koseki was the only one on the train platform in the wee hours of the morning during this snowstorm in Fukushima, Japan.
The photographer caught this train conductor checking his watch just moments before the 5:30 a.m. train was due to pull out of Aizu-Kawaguchi Station on the regional Tadami Line.
Despite the heavy snowfall, the train left on time—helped in part by arriving at a station with no customers.
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of February | PROOF

Body Art by Chooo-san.

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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.
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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.
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See more Images via New Non-Photoshopped Body Art by Chooo-san – My Modern Met.

Pikachus on the March in Yokohama.

Performers dressed as Pikachu, a character from the Pokémon media franchise, march during the Pikachu Outbreak event at night in Yokohama, Japan, on 8 August, 2019.
A total of 2,000 Pikachus appeared around the city’s landmarks in the Minato Mirai area, aiming to attract visitors and tourists to the city.
Image Credit: Photograph by Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty
Source: Photos of the Week: Pikachu Outbreak, Dinosaur Crossing, Ducky Derby – The Atlantic

Tokyo Skyline at Dusk from Mori Tower.

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Here the Skyline is seen at dusk from the Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower, Tokyo.
Image Credit: Photograph by Jae C Hong/AP
Source: Thieving magpie and a self-defence class: Monday’s best photos | News | The Guardian

After the Bomb, Hiroshima.

cc552cd1-1550-4f23-8ba2-a15e7a22c405-2060x1619Takeoka Chisaka, Hiroshima, Japan
One morning in August 1945, I was walking home from the night shift at a factory in Hiroshima.
As I reached my door, there was a huge explosion.
When I came to, my head was bleeding and I had been blasted 30m away. The atomic bomb had detonated.
When I found my mother, her eyes were badly burned.
A doctor said they had to come out, but he didn’t have the proper tools so used a knife instead.
It was hellish. I became a peace-worker after the war.
In the 1960s, at a meeting at the UN, I met one of the people who created the atomic bomb.
He apologised.
Read on and see more via ‘The Hiroshima bomb detonated 3km from my house’: veterans around the globe tell their extraordinary war stories | Art and design | The Guardian.

The Sadness of ‘Drunkard’s Heaven.’

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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.
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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.
See and read more via Drunkard’s Heaven: Photos by Kenji Kawamoto – Faith is Torment.

Black & White Images by Jim Mikami.

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Incredible black and white architectural photography bathes Japan in a darker light by Jin Mikami.
by Katy Cowan
There is very little known about Japanese photographer Jin Mikami.
Only that he creates the most stunning black and white architectural photography of his beloved home country, Japan.
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Exploring places such as Tokyo and Osaka – he picks out the symmetrical details and interesting forms of the usually neon-bright, colourful city streets, and bathes them in a darker light.
Playing with light and shadow, these incredible photographs force us to reconsider the shapes and forms that lie before us.
You can discover more of his incredible work over on 500px.com.
23ee2cc0c0bc521ff51fc1fe0374c0de1dc7f20d_800See more Images via Incredible black and white architectural photography bathes Japan in a darker light | Creative Boom.