Sunday, June 8, 2008

Himeji-jo up close

All those architectural angles and decorative details
were like visual nectar to this shutterbug!

For those who were wondering: Yes, I most definitely will be posting more Japan photos soon. In particular, I hope that you folks won't tire of seeing photos of Himeji-jo as I really did go snap happy when visiting the most spectacular as well as largest castle still in existence in that land. And for those who think the structure looks familiar: Among the films in which it has featured are Akira Kurosawa's Ran and Hollywood's The Last Samurai.

For myself though, have to admit that I saw the magnificent Ran so long ago -- more than 20 years, in fact! -- that, even while I definite still retain memories of that film, I couldn't recognize Himeji-jo as that castle in the cinematic masterwork. As for The Last Samurai: Suffice to say that, like with Memoirs of a Geisha, its trailer put me off wanting to watch that recognizably Orientalist movie.

As a result, one could say that I visited Himeji Castle with eyes unblinded my cinematic memories and (mis)conceptions. All the same, I soon was put in awe for it truly is a magnificent edifice... as I hope that this blog entry gives a sense, and my pictures of it will (continue to) show. :)


alejna said...

That does look like an impressive building. Were you able to go inside as well? And did it also have impressive grounds?

I'll look forward to the next batch of photos.

I should watch Ran sometime. We've had it in our DVD collection for years, but somehow it has never made it to the top of the list to watch. (And I also have no interest in seeing The Last Samurai...)

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Yeah, that is an impressive building and when you consider that it's just the main building in a complex... And yeah, the grounds are impressive too! Also, yeah, did manage to go into the building... all the way up to the top of it, in fact. :)

Re "Ran": It actually was the first Japanese film I ever saw and -- don't want to overhype it but, in truth -- it really changed my world as well as idea of what movies are and can be.

sbk said...

Hi ytsl,

Of course we want to see more pictures of Himeji-jo.

Were photographs allowed inside? Many temples, etc we visited didn't.

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

Cool... as it's definitely a subject that I can devote an entire photo essay to! And yes, photos were allowed inside -- including of a Shinto shrine located right at the top of its main block. (In fact, didn't see any "please don't take any photos" pictures in Japan the way I often do in Hong Kong.)