Discovery (Post#25) : Mabini Historical Marker at Asan Beach Park
In one of the tours I had in Guam, I had a chance to see a marker of a familiar hero back home – Apolinario Mabini. I felt proud when I saw such marker. At least in a small island like Guam, one of patriotic men in my country is recognized in that part of the world. He is one of my country’s extraordinary hero as he lost his both legs because of polio disease, it wasn’t hindered him to give his love and service to the country and he often called as “The Sublime Paralytic”. Aside from that I myself more recognized him as the “Brains of the Revolution” as he became adviser when forming revolutionary government of my country. Mabini was captured by American colonial authorities during Philippine-American war and exiled to Guam. The marker which is Asan Point is where Mabini lived in Guam. These photos are part of Guam Adventure Photo Collection April 2017.
While walking along at Vie Show Square Taipei Hsin Yi, I passed a street entertainment portraying a character. It’s familiar to me and it looks like an anime villain but I can’t remember the name of it, or probably I was wrong in my thoughts. Anyone out there can freely identify who it might be. These photos are part of Taiwan Experimental Travel Adventure Photo Collection January 2017.
While walking towards Sydney Opera House, I saw other people enjoying the scenery in the area, while the others are just chilling with great music. Here is the snapshot of the band that was performing while I was roaming around the place. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.
Walking in Melbourne was really entertaining. Everyone will find something interesting and others will witness cool musicians and artists along the streets. During Open House Melbourne event, I got my curiosity when some people flock at one point and I checked it out. Below is the snapshot that I got. How amazing these people act as if they have chairs on their butt? This photo is part of my Open House Melbourne Collection 2013.
From Tokyo Station, we took JR Yamanote Line to Ueno Station. We got off at Ueno Station to visit Ueno Park. The park entrance is just beside the Ueno Station and because of this no one will ever miss the park by any visitors. We checked the map and search for things we can see around the area. There are lots of places to see in the park and all these places had their own entrance tickets. Because that day was our last day in Tokyo, we wanted to make a wise decision because we wanted to see more places as we can in a limited time that we have.
Tokyo National Museum
Therefore we decided to walk around the park and not to enter to any museums. Near the entrance we passed the The National Museum of Western Art Tokyo. Next, we saw the Grand Fountain wherein at the time of our visit, beside the fountain was the temporary day market. As we walked further we found The Tokyo National Museum. During that walk I used Triposo app to see if we can see interesting areas in the park aside from museums. Facing The Tokyo National Museum main entrance gate, we turned right and found The Ueno Rinnoji Temple (Rinno-ji Ryodaishi-do) which is a Buddhist temple which enshrined two priest. The temple is part of cathedral of Kaneiji temple. Beside Rinnoji temple, the Kaneiji Temple Imperial Cemetery. After taking few photos around the temple we walked back towards The Tokyo National Museum until we were near the Gate of the Inshu-Ikeda Residence known as “Kuromon (Black Gate)”.
The Ueno Rennoji Temple
Kuromon (Black Gate)
Kuroda Mermorial Hall
In the same corner of Kuromon, we saw Kuroda Memorial Hall. The hall was part of the estate of Kuroda Seiki which considered as father of modern western-style painting. Kuroda Seiki offered the part of his estate to be used for furtherment of the art.
From the corner, we turned right and walked until we found the Kaneiji Temple. Kaneiji temple is also a Buddhist temple. I just learned that the whole Ueno Park are grounds of Kaneiji which converted into the park after it was destroyed during civil war and the temple has been relocated to where it is now. We spent time for taking photos in the surroundings of the temple and left to continue our stroll in the park.
Prince Komatsu statue
Ueno Park – Famous in Cherry Blossoms During Spring Season
We walked back to the center of the park by taking the same path we took on the way to Kaneiji Temple. After reaching the Kuroda Memorial Hall again, we walk the pathway where we found the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. We passed the main gate of more than century old Ueno Zoo. Along the way we saw the statue of Prince Komatsu. According to Wikipedia, Prince Komatsu Akihito was a member of Fushimi-no-miya, one branches of shinnoke of imperial family of Japan and eligible to Chrysanthemum Throne if the main line died out.
Some Fish found in Boat Pond
We walked in the middle and main walkway of the park. The said pathway is the famous area for sightseeing during spring season where visitors expecting cherry blossoms. In the nearby area we found the Benten Gate and Benten Hall which surrounded by ponds such as Uno Pond, Boat Pond, Shinobazu Pond and Hasu Pond. Benten Hall was dedicated to Benten a goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge.
The Shitamachi Museum
From Benten Hall we walked towards The Shitamachi Museum (Museum of Down Town Customs). The said museum was dedicated to its traditional culture of Tokyo’s Shitamachi.
After leaving Ueno Park, we walked in the nearby market called Ameyoko (a short name of Ameya Yokocho – candy store alley). Based on history the market was black market before second world war where most of American products were available. But even this time, it seems that if follows the history, because the said market still selling lots of various western products and common store sellers are not local Japanese but foreigners.
At first I had this impression that Sumo Wrestling or just Sumo was kind of violent sport. Yes I am aware that it is the traditional and national sport of Japan, without really knowing stuff about it, I was curious how this sport is being played. I visited sumo site prior to traveling to Japan and found that during our travel in Japan there will be Grand Sumo Tournament. I saw in one site the Sumo ticket sale will be available soon. I booked the ticket at the 1st day of ticket sale. And to be honest booking the ticket was already an experience because the box seat tickets near the center for most of the 15 days tournament were immediately sold out in a matter of hours. And because of that I immediately bought 1 box seat (4 people) to make sure we have seats in one of the days that the sumo tournament is happening while we are in Japan. I was glad that even there’s not much festivals happening during our visit (September is low peak month of visitors) at least we can watch the most ancient Japanese sport – The Sumo.
We watched sumo on our 4th day in Japan and it was Monday. I planned that day to just watch Sumo as I wanted to balance the itinerary that we have for the consideration of my aged parents. That day, I allowed all of us to regain long rest as the main event of the Sumo was scheduled at 2PM in the afternoon that day.
From hotel, we took train from Kayabacho Station and transferred to Akihabara Station and took Chuo Line going to Ryogoku Station and got off at the same station. From that station, we walked few minutes to Ryogoku Kokugikan. We found that a lot of people were at the front gate and noticed that people seems waiting for something or someone as people were lined-up to both sides like there some parade coming, until we realized that some of the Sumo Wrestlers are coming. We felt excited too when we saw them. I got excited because our activity that day is uniquely a Japan culture.
I brought the printed order ticket at Ryogoku. Before passing the entrance, we saw the booth beside it which designated for tickets bought online. And then, I requested for help from assistant which just standing by at the booth. With the printed document I have in my hand, we were able to retrieved the tickets after verifying the credit card I used to order the ticket online. Before entering the gate, there’s a big announcement that the ticket was sold out for that day. It was a good relief that I bought ticket online. It secured us that day for guaranteed seat to be able to watch Sumo comfortably.
When we entered The Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, we felt good, we saw the human board of famous Rikishi (wrestler) at the entrance and even though we don’t know them, we stand beside them and took our photos. When we were inside the stadium before entering the sumo arenas, people are going back and forth and most of them are buying food in the surrounding stores inside the stadium. We did the same thing, we bought lunch boxes for all of us. When were done buying and looking around, we went to the door nearest to our seat.
Sumo arena are divided into two, the lower ground is called box seats while the balcony or upper level are called arena seats. The ticket that we bought were in the box seats and the unique experience we had in box seats was were going to seat in the floor with cushion and we will sit in Lotus position where we cross our legs.
At the center of the stadium we found the Dohyo, a stage with circular ring on it and with suspended roof similar to the Shinto shrine with four giant tassels hanging to each corner that signifies the seasons of the year (information from Sumo official website).
Rikishi’s (Wrestlers) Bouts (preparation time during warm-up period)
Rikishi In Action
We waited for almost an hour before the tournament started. And then the sumo arena were filled with people. When we enter the stadium and went to our assigned box seats, there were some Rikishi that are fighting in the Dohyo. I got a paper for the Torikumi or Sumo Bouts for 2nd Day. From the paper that I got there were two bouts, one is Juryo and one is Makuuchi. Based on my understanding in Banzuke (Banzuke-hyo – offical document of rankings of professional sumo wrestlers) Sumo rankings, the upper division of Rikishi is called Maku-uchi which includes the five positions of Rikishi order from highest to lowest rank: Yokuzana, Ozeki, Sekiwake, Komusubi, and Maegashira. The lower division includes Juryo, Makushita, Sandame, Jonidan, and Jonokuchi. As per Sumo official site, below Makushita ranks does not get to wrestle on each day of tournament. The tournament for day actually started in the morning and low ranking Rikishi bouts happen on that time. The main event of bout starts in the afternoon which includes Juryo and Makuuchi bout.
Juryo Dohyo-iri Ceremony
Juryo Dohyo-iri Ceremony
Past 2PM that day, the main event started when Juryo Grade did their entrance both from East and West teams (please take note that Rikishi from different team does not fight for team, the fight does not have any relations which ever team the Rikishi belong) did their colorful dohyo-iri or “entering the ring” ceremony. I saw all Rikishi in queue wearing their kesho-mawashi (ceremonial aprons) and climbed to the dohyo. Each Rikishi, when they were all in the Dohyo did their short ritual ancient in sumo tradition wherein they raise their hands. That ritual is very unique which I really enjoyed watching.
After the Juryo Dohyo-iri ceremony, it followed by Juryo Bouts. We witness their bouts and my family enjoys the ancient sports of Japan.
Juryo Grade In Action
I also observed that the Dohyo was frequently swept after the bouts and after Rikishi’s entrance ceremony, it was mentioned that Dohyo was made of special kind of clay and covers some think layer of sands, this is the reason why few people assigned to swept it.
Gyoji (Referee) at the center
My curiosities were not only focus to the Rikishi who fough inside Dohyo. Other people were also noticeable such as the judges of sumo which called as Shimpan and the referee whose inside the sumo stables are called Gyoji. As I watch the fight of Rikishi, I learned that sumo is a sport where the wrestler aims their opponent to be out of the ring or their opponent parts of the body touch the ground aside their feet to be able to win the game.
After the Juryo Bouts, it followed the Makuuchi Dohyo-iri Ceremony. The whole stadium was jam pack of people which signifies that people are more curious of the Makuuchi’s fight as I understand that being included in Makuuchi ranking is really important in this sports.
Makuuchi Dohyo-iri Ceremony
Makuuchi Dohyo-iri Ceremony
Yokuzana Dohyo-iri Ceremony
During the tournament, we were able to watch as well a Yokuzana which is the highest rank of grand sumo wrestlers and represent all sumo’s participants entered the Dohyo and did his Dohyo-iri ceremony with greatest dignity.
After the entrance of Yokuzana in Dohyo, it followed by Makuuchi Bouts. And we felt the heat of Makuuchi fight as people reacted more in every action seen inside the ring.
Makuuchi Bout In Action
Before the tournament of the day ended, there was a bow dance which done by Makushita Rikishi, which shows the expression of satisfaction on behalf of the victorious Rikishi of the day.
Bow Dance – A Makushita Rikishi performs Yumitori-Shiki
I observed the whole tournament while enjoying the Rikishi wrestled with their opponents. By watching the sumo, I learned that the sumo sport is not really violent sport, it’s very traditional and cultural sports which strictly following the sumo ancient rules. All my bad impressions regarding this sport was gone, it was replaced with utmost respect with this ancient sport and to all Rikishi.
I can truly say that we had a such great time discovering and watching sumo tournament.
Enriching Viewpoint (Post#3) : Replica of The Royal Throne of Perak
“This Royal Throne has been used during the installation of His Royal Highness Sultan Iskandar Shah (the 30th Sultan of Perak) in 1918. Since then it was used during the installation of His Royal Highness Sultan Abdul Aziz Al-Mustasim Billah Shah in 1938, His Royal Highness Sultan Yussuff Izzudin Shah in 1948 and his Royal Highness Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Allalahi Shah II in 1963 in Iskandariah Palace, Kuala Kangsar, Perak.” – excerpt found near the Royal Throne of Perak.
As per history, Sultan of Perak is one of the oldest hereditary seats among the Malaysian states. The Sultanate is a combination of dynasty and the land supervised by Sultan (person) which came from Arabic word which has a lot of meanings and one of them were “authority”, “strength” or “power”. Sultanate of Perak was established by one of the two princes left by the Sultan of Malacca which fell to Portugal in 1511 named Sultan Mahmud Syah I. The first Sultan of Perak and the one who establish the Sultanate was Muzaffar Syah while the other prince named Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II whom established the Sultanate of Johor. After learning the information, I was fascinated because there a little bit clarity why Malaysia has Johor states though I haven’t been to Perak states during my travel adventure in Malaysia last December 2012 to January 2013. Snapshot captured while strolling around in Muzium Negara (The National Museum) located in the city.
Still Expression (Post#3) : Puffing Billy Railway – Queuing and Waiting
Snapshot above portrays people on queuing and waiting mode. These two combined activities honestly frustrates me in real life but at the same time it test my patients longevity. It frustrates because it is time-consuming and exhausting specifically if the line is indescribable. I capture this moment last June 2013 during our family oriented adventure in Puffing Billy.
Juncture With Folk(s) (Post#1) : At Enchanted Adventure Garden – Hedge Maze
I usually travel alone specially when its outside my country. When I was in abroad I have this thoughts that whether I am with someone or alone, I will see the world as much as I can. I knew it is better to travel with someone but in my case as I work abroad and usually I am alone in my assignment and working with different races. And most of the time the people in my working environment are just acquaintances and got a chance to get close with few people. The photo above shows the friends that I made outside work while living in Melbourne for more than 1.5 years. And this trip was far more memorable than my other trips because of the ambiance of having family since I was thousand miles away from home. Photo snapshot at the side of Hedge Maze garden inside Enchanted Adventure Garden in Arthurs Seat at Mornington Peninsula last March 2014.
Enriching Viewpoint (Post#2) : Camp John Hay – Historical Figures Totem Pole
The Totem Pole consist of historical figures which has influence or roles for Philippines and US military relations which happened during the first half of 20th Century. We found this totem just beside the Bell House which was a historical site within Camp John Hay in Baguio City. Photo snapshots last May 2010.
From the excerpts beside the totem the following information are found regarding the faces in the totem from top to bottom:
1. Admiral George Dewey whom led Battle of Manila Bay
2. General Emilio Aguinaldo was the first President of Republic of the Philippines
3. President William Howard Taft whom the first governor-general of the Philippines and later the Secretary of War who took great interest in the development of Baguio City and Camp John Hay
4. Secretary John Hay was Secretary of State when the Philippines became of colony of the United States. He died as the construction of the camp named in his honour went into full gear.
5. William Cameron Forbes was a governor-general of the Philippines who is credited with the development of Baguio City
6. President Theodore Roosevelt signed the order that designed 535 acres as the military reservation that became Camp John Hay.
7. Major General Franklin Bell was commander of the Philippine department and designer of Italian Garden as well as Bell House and Amphitheater.
8. Lt Col Lyman W. Kennon oversaw the completion of the road that facilitated the construction and development of Baguio City and Camp John Hay which just so happens to be named Kennon Road.
9. Mayor James Halsema was the last American mayor of Baguio City.
10. General Douglas MacAuthur was the famous liberator of the Philippines during WWII.
I selected the photo above to showcase the expression of smile and hand wave as it describes the emotion at the moment of the people. This photo is in the same collection of the first post for this theme which all came from Disney Adventure in Hong Kong last January 2012 during parade at the height of celebrating the Chinese New Year.
Blissful Second (Post#1) : Chinese New Year Parade Drummer and Performer
Festival and parades usually compliment with each other, when there is festival there is definitely a parade. When we visited Hong Kong it was the season of Chinese New Year in 2012, during that time, we tried to see the parade in Kowloon. At first, we were just strolling around in the city until the time arrived that the parade started. We really don’t know where the parade is happening but since we were there already and we noticed where the barricades had been placed, it gave us a chance to know where the parade will took place. We had a great time seeing the parade itself. Snapshot captured last January 2012.
Still Expression (Post #1): Undisclosed Reflection
As I am most interested in taking photos of places and scenery, I am not really that good in taking photos of people, but I cannot avoid to get one. One thing that I am probably interested is taking snapshots of moments where people are in random movement rather than taking post of their selves for a camera shot to really capture the moment of second and its surprising what is the outcome. Photo captured during holiday season in Hong Kong Disneyland last January 2012 where the afternoon parade started in Disneyland.