Last weekend, for the 7th year in a row (possibly 8th), and for Photohoku’s 47th photo-giving activity, we participated in Shinchimachi’s annual local summer festival called the “Yarushikanebe Matsuri” (やるしかねぇべ祭実行委員会）, which in a very local Tohoku dialect roughly translates something like “The ‘Nothing-left-to-do-now-but-have-a-festival’ Festival” which started after the big 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. It’s our annual summer blowout and this year was no exception. It was billed as the last year of the festival (who knows what next year will bring) but that didn’t stop 15 of us caravanning from Tokyo toting 8 adults, 7 kids, 3 big cameras, and one very last box of color FP Film (we still have some black and white left but it’s dying a slow death). We made the most of the end of the film, going out in a true “Photohoku Summer Blaze of Glory”. It was totally awesome! Dave had the 3D camera workshop fired up, Yuko(x2) and Saya and crew were on the album cafe, Madoka and Zoe were on crowd control, Hiroshi was in charge of a mob of boys, Brian and Keiichi worked the studio, and Naoko documented it all. We made an especially awesome team this year. And we saw all the familiar faces, Emi, Sakura-kun, Maya-chan, Meguro san, people whose smile we’ve brightened in photos over and over, year after year, who’ve been coming for their 3rd time, 4th time, 7th time, lost-coun’th time. Our tent neighbors gifted us with yakitori, shaved ice, a cold beer or two. Dancers danced, drummers drummed, flags flew, and our most gracious hosts, with whom we stay every year, the Oosuka’s kept a roof over our heads, cheesecake and summer apple cider in our bellies, and even the local monk blessed us with a prayer after we rang the morning bell. It was indeed an unforgettable trip.
Thank you to everybody who came and visited us, young and old, close and far, first timers or Photohoku besties – your smiles continue to inspire us – you give us more than we could ever give you! Thank you! And thank you to Meguro san who made the festival happen (and who gifted each of us with some outrageous nice cameras as the most friendly and generous act of kindness – Read; Konica Hexar RF, Voightlander Bessa, Pen F, Ricoh GR, and a mess of other goodies!!!) Thank you to the Oosukas for year after year taking such amazing care of us and whose kindest will never be able to repay, to Emi and the kiddos, and all our awesome volunteers who keep coming even though public attention has moved on – you all rawk! Thank you to Shiraishi Family, Yoshikawa Family, and everybody who keeps supporting Photohoku.
Believe it or not, Photohoku is still far finished, in fact, we’re still just getting started See you all around very soon! Keep smiling!