Japanese buzzword for 2017: Insta-bae

At the end of each year, a major Japanese publisher of reference books gives an award to the year’s most popular buzzword. The Japanese press gives this wide coverage to reflect the current times. Thirty words have been nominated for this honor in 2017 and one of them is photography-related. It is “Insta-bae” (インスタ映え) which basically means “taking photos to show-off on Instagram.” On the morning of Sept. 16, 2017, NHK TV in Japan aired a very interesting program about the Instagram boom in Japan. It was a discussion among a few celebrities and social media experts. They talked about

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Dawn of Japanese Photography: The Anthology

TOPmuseumDawnPhoto2017

TOKYO PHOTOGRAPHIC ART MUSEUM in Ebisu, Tokyo is holding a major exhibition called “Dawn of Japanese Photography: The Anthology” about vintage/early Japanese photography on March 7–May 7, 2017. On March 26 at 3 pm to 6 pm, a number of Japanese and foreign experts will give a talk for the “International Symposium: Photography in Bakumatsu Japan” in the museum’s 1st floor hall. Free admission. On April 13 (4 pm) and April 14 (6 pm), Japan Times writer Alice Gordenker will give a tour of the above exhibition in English. Free with museum admission, no reservations required. For details, see the official

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Correct pronunciation of bokeh

If you keep up with iPhone news, you might know about the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’s camera with the new bokeh effect for portraits. After watching video reviews of the iPhone 7/Plus on YouTube, I’ve noticed that many people are pronouncing “bokeh” incorrectly. It might be because Phil Schiller (senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc.) pronounced it wrong when he introduced the feature at the Apple Special Event introducing the new iPhone 7 on Sept. 7, 2017 in San Francisco. (Video link here, fast forward to 71:50.) I want people to know that “bokeh” should be pronounced “bo-kay” (“kay” rhymes with

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Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography reopens as Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

After two years of major renovations from Sept. 2014 to Aug. 2016, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography reopened on September 3, 2016 for its 20th anniversary. The building and location are the same, but the English name (nickname) has been changed to “Tokyo Photographic Art Museum” abbreviated as “TOP Museum” as indicated by their new URL (topmuseum.jp) and logo/letterhead. This is the third time that they changed their  URL. The previous URL was syabi.com. When they changed the URL the last time, it was a pain to update links, etc. Now we have to do it again. This has been

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Photobook Diner Megutama

Photobook Diner Megutama

I finally visited Photobook Diner Megutama in Ebisu, Tokyo. Opened two years ago, it’s a diner with 5,000 photobooks that you can freely thumb through before or after you have lunch or coffee. The photobooks come from the collection of Iizawa Kotaro (飯沢耕太郎), Japan’s most prominent and prolific photo critic and author. This entire wall and a smaller wall in the back of the diner is covered from floor to ceiling with photobooks (shashinshu). Quite overwhelming to see inside an eatery. The books are organized according to period. Books from earlier years (including prewar) are on the left. The books get progressively more

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