Friday, October 8, 2010

Sun-Bathing Umbrellas

Sometimes you just see something in a new light. Most of the time we do not get to see umbrellas front on like this. I took these photos in Azabu Juban after the torrential rains ended and the sunshine began. Following days of heavy use, these umbrellas were enjoying a good sun bath. They looked so pretty. And I was so happy that the rain was out of our system.

In part, the appeal of this image is purely visual -- the consistent, round shapes, the different colors and the overall, albeit accidental, composition of three across and one down. This scene also manifests certain aspects of Japanese culture. People here seem to like umbrellas and whip them out at the slightest provocation, be it a soft drizzle or, in the case of those black cloth parasols, scorching rays. Only in Japan would someone take the care to air and dry umbrellas out in the sun before returning them to their appointed place, most likely in a bin next to the front door.

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