This 144-Year-Old Wisteria In Japan Looks Like A Pink Sky
These stunning photographs, which look like a glorious late evening sky with dashes of pink and purple, are actually pictures of Japan’s largest wisteria (or wistaria, depending on whom you ask) plant.
This plant, located in Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan, is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still comes in at an impressive 1,990 square meters (or half an acre) and dates back to around 1870 (the largest, at about 4,000 square meters, is the wisteria vine in Sierra Madre, California). Although wisterias can look like trees, they’re actually vines. Because its vines have the potential to get very heavy, this plant’s entire structure is held up on steel supports, allowing visitors to walk below its canopy and bask in the pink and purple light cast by its beautiful hanging blossoms.
Image credits: Takao Tsushima
↳ The Little Mermaid set in JapanNothing gave the youngest princess such pleasure as to hear about the world of human beings up above them. Her old grandmother had to tell her all she knew about ships and cities, and of people and animals. What seemed nicest of all to her was that up on land the flowers were fragrant, for those at the bottom of the sea had no scent.
As some of you might already have guessed, I’m a fan of Japanese girl idols. One of the many, many idol groups in existence today in Japan is NMB48, a Osaka-based spin-off group of the (in)famous AKB48. NMB has a weekly show that’s surprisingly entertaining as well as educational called NMB to Manabu-kun, in which the members of NMB and a few comedians listen to guest lectures by experts in various fields.
Back on May 15th, the theme of the episode was pataphysics/the science of sci-fi. One of the topics of the lecture held by university professor Yanagita Rikao was the age-old question of "WHY ARE MAGICAL GIRLS NEVER ATTACKED WHILE TRANSFORMING???"
This was his answer, based on the magical girl series Futari wa Pretty Cure.
Question: The transformation scenes in Pretty Cure are very long, so why don’t the bad guys attack the girls in the meantime?
"Even when I was little, I was thinking ‘Hey! Attack them now!’"
"I found this odd as well, so I watched the transformation scene many times. And what I noticed is, when the Pretty Cures yell ‘Dual Aurora Wave!’ and transform, a rainbow-colored column of light shoots up from the ground, going BOOM!"
"And then the Pretty Cures levitate, and go up into the air. Based on this, I believe the protagonists of Pretty Cure are being held up in the air by the power of light.”
"When we think of light, we usually think it heats up things or lights up things. But in reality, light has the power to hold up things as well."
"When the sun is beating down on us in the summer, the human body is being pressed downwards by the sun beams with a force of 2/100,000g.”
"But this is only about a one-hundred of the weight of a mosquito, so no matter how hot it is, we don’t feel that sunlight is heavy."
"So that means the light holding them up must be extremely strong. If we assume that the two Pretty Cures each weigh about 45kg and do some calculations…”
"It means the light during the transformation must have the energy of 2,100,000,000kW per 1m2.”
"While the entirety of power that Japan is capable of generating is only 100,000,000kW.”
"So they’re using 21 TIMES the amount of energy the whole of Japan can generate.”
"So what would happen if a bad guy jumped in to try to sabotage their transformation?"
"He would EVAPORATE INSTANTLY.”
“DEATH AWAITS ANYONE WHO DARES TO DISRUPT A PRETTY CURE TRANSFORMATION.”
"So this means the best thing to do would be to transform close to any bad guys."
"Yes. They are the strongest while they transform, and are practically invincible.”
Items used in Japanese tea ceremony
Chino Otsuka : Imagine Finding Me
Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between the memory, time and photography. At age 10 she moved from Japan to the United Kingdom to attend school. Her experience of becoming familiar with a new place, a different language and new customs while she was developing her adolescent identity has profoundly shaped her work in photography, video and writing. Her series Imagine Finding Me consists of double self-portraits, with images of her present self beside her past self in various places she has visited. As Otsuka says: “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” - via AGO
Japanese artist Sachiko Abe cuts fine strips of paper for hours on end in her performance series titled Cut Papers. Having first discovered the calming effects of shredding paper over 15 years ago while admitted at an insane asylum, the artist now explores the act’s meditative properties as an art form. Abe most recently performed Cut Papers #13 this year at the 18th Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island.Encircling herself in a fortress of tattered slivers of white paper, Abe says, “The act of cutting is a constant exercise through which I organize and structure my random thoughts.” It is through the repetitive, time-consuming process that the artist finds a peaceful state of mind. She goes on to say, “The rhythm of the scissors, the fineness and the length of the paper strip correspond to the process of my thinking, and its effect to the body. While essentially personal, Cut Papers is a necessary practice for me to formulate my relationship to the external world."The act defines and redefines the boundary between the self and the other, and helps to recover a meaningful relationship with one another. Complete silence and neutral white space allow the audience to focus purely on the sound of scissors and slight movement of the cut papers. The closed environment also invites the viewer to synchronize with the tide of emotion and contemplation created by the performance."