Read About Van Gogh's Secret Visit to Japan



APT WITH TATAMI MATS, a special time in my lifetime in Japan...

APT WITH TATAMI MATS, a special time in my lifetime in Japan...
Watercolor by R.L.Huffstutter




Shot with my Petri in Yokohama 1962


I took this with my PETRI in Kanagawa Prefecture

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Decorative Hexagonal Origami Gift Boxs with Lids

am selling some origami gift boxes by auction to help survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

This message is being sent to all those people who have indicated a possible interest in the subject, through their comments or "favourites" to photographs in my flickr photostream which have documented various fundraising efforts in Brighton in support of victims of the disaster.

Publicity is everything. If you would like to help market the auction, a "cut and paste" message - which explains everything - has been appended to this email.

Thank you.

Best Regards, Dominic
Subject: Origami Gift Box Auction to Help Japan Tsunami and Earthquake Survivors

From flickr.com/photos/dominicspics to lots of people...

Some Decorative Hexagonal Origami Gift Boxes are for sale by auction.

All proceeds - after some eBay and PayPal fees have been deducted - will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The boxes - and links to each of their auctions - can be seen in better detail here:

Or go directly to the auctions here:

The auctions close from midnight after 2nd June 2011 British Summer Time (UTC + 1)

Postage to most parts of the world is free.

Please consider promoting these auctions to your contacts and via groups that you know may be interested in participating in, or publicising, the auctions - including via facebook or twitter.

We are all cousins.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Krap Kawasaki

Krap Kawasaki by PoPBunka! 英会話 浜松市

Shortly after arriving in Japan, I bought a motorcycle for $25 U.S. Dollars from a Navy buddy. I kept it a few months until I had to start getting off of the bike in order to get it to go up hills. The day the school bus of children went by and looked out the window at me like I was crazy was the limit. I got rid of the bike the next day--I sold it for $25 to somebody who said they knew how to fix the bike. The next time I saw them, they were pushing the bike up a hill, not at all happy. It was a "Krap Cycle" for sure.

Monday, May 16, 2011


ChinaShopAshiaJapan1953 by wa7oec
ChinaShopAshiaJapan1953, a photo by wa7oec on Flickr.

When my friends found out I had a set of orders to Japan, they were quite envious of my new duty station and many asked me if I could send them home a set of Noritake China. I found myself way too busy having fun to go shopping for certain or specific floral patterns of China.
Another excellent photo by Wilbert Bregar, taken during his tour in Japan while in the USAF. Thanks to Wilbert for the permission to exhibit his copyrighted photos in my BLOGABOUTJAPAN.


FredsPixAT6JapanAF53 by wa7oec
FredsPixAT6JapanAF53, a photo by wa7oec on Flickr.

FRED WAS STATIONED IN JAPAN IN THE EARLY 1950S and has more than 50 photos of his tour in Japan while he was in the USAF. To see his photos on FLICKR, follow the link below:



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Bars' Doors

Two Bars' Doors by lioil
Two Bars' Doors, a photo by lioil on Flickr.

Why do I like this photo is the question after telling you about my experiences, etc. Sorry to be so self-absorbed and fail to comment on the qualities of your work.

The above photo has terrfic contrast, mystery, intrique and textures in materials. It is a photo that I would reckognize being in no other country but Japan.

There is just something about the Japanase spatial talents and ability to compress that makes for interesting subject matter.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

sunset (Explored 12 May 11)

Hello, Chief..........this is one of the best. Don't believe I have ever seen both Enoshima and Mt Fuji in same frame or image. This is very rare--and very beautiful.

This is the kind of photo some will wait years to get just right. You got it. Time, air, everything about it is perfect. I especially like the way the lights twinkle in the sea air. I am presuming this is sunset or twilight time?

Photo by Brad, Photostream: i_love_japan_27


KIRIN BEER EMPTIES IN ALLEY by roberthuffstutter

a photo by roberthuffstutter on Flickr.

Imagine my surprise when I saw Bun Oshita's photo of a case of empty Kirin bottles outside of a Yakitori restaurant in Yokohama. Immediately, I was reminded of the photo I took of a case of empty Kirin beer bottles 50 years ago in the same area of Yokohama. I had just purchased a new Petri 35 MM camera and began shooting photos in B/W and color slides. The year was 1961. I am thrilled to have found Mr. Oshita's Flickr Photostream. It is full of many great photos.

Yakitori restaurant

Yakitori restaurant by lioil
Yakitori restaurant, a photo by lioil on Flickr.

Photograph of a Yakitori Restaurant by Bun Oshita, a Yokohama gentleman whose photos I admire very much. There are many great photos of Yokohama in his Flickr Photostream. It is a personal joy to see such great photography of the Yokohama I loved so very much 50 years ago.

Alley in old Yokohama

Alley in old Yokohama by lioil
Alley in old Yokohama, a photo by lioil on Flickr.

AN ALLEY IN OLD YOKOHAMA...Isezakicho Street
Photograph by Bun Oshita

I recall this street when it was decorated with beautiful paper lanterns and real cherry blossoms during Sakura Season. It was a time of great celebration; sake and Sapporo beer, Asahi beer, Suntory whisky and sushi were free to all who chose to wander down this street of wonders,old Isezakicho Street. Hopefully, I will be able to walk down this most famous street again before I leave this earth.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Chitose6404 by asachitose
Chitose6404, a photo by asachitose on Flickr.

LOOKING THROUGH YOUR PHOTOSTREAM...makes me so sad that I did not visit Hokkaido while I was in Japan. But I shall, if it is possible, visit this beautiful island of Japan when I visit Japan once more sometime in the next year or so. Yes, it appeared so rural and natural from the 60s photos. I know I would have fallen in love with Hokkaido as I did the main island. You have a most fantastic collection of photos. Robert

Thank you for your permission to place a few of them in my BLOGABOUTJAPAN

Streetcar in Tokyo near Shinbashi Station, circa 1955

Streetcar in Tokyo near Shinbashi Station, circa 1955
Mid 1950s Tokyo. A horde of pedestrians crosses in front of a 6000-series Tokyo metropolitan streetcar.

The sign in the foreground says that this is A Avenue and 10th Street. The US military imposed a system of street names on the major thoroughfares in Tokyo after the end of World War Two. Lettered avenues radiated from the Imperial Palace clockwise. "A Avenue" ran south from the southeast corner of the Imperial palace, on Hibiya Boulevard (Hibiya Doori). The numbered streets were basically major roads essentially ringing the palace. 10th is Outer Moat Boulevard (Sotobori Doori). So this is the Nishi-shinbashi Crossing, just south of Hibiya Park. At the time the neighborhood - and the streetcar stop - was called Tamuramachi (田村町). We must be looking east, because the sun is hitting the face of the building on the right.

It pre-dates 1957, when Tokyo's streetcars were repainted yellow. The lines which ran on Hibiya Doori through this intersection were 1, 5, 35 and 37.

Here's a zoom on a part of the map published by the US military in 1948 with the street names.

And here's the neighborhood on an interactive 1956 map of Tokyo.

Found in an antique store's photo bins.

One of the joys of having been stationed in Japan for over two years was that the dollar was worth 360 yen at that time, but it was the people, always polite, nice and helpful. Not once in 28 months did I ever have a bad experience and I wandered off into the depths of Tokyo in the middle of the night. The streetcars were almost like an amusement park ride, especially late at night around the Bund in Yokohama. They would get up some real speed, sparks would fly and the entire care would shake, rattle and roll. Yes, for ten yen I could ride all over. I just got on the streetcars and let them take me wherever. For a young guy 19, Japan was like one big holiday without end. Unfortunately, my tour ended. See my BLOGABOUTJAPAN for more about streetcars

Thanks to Rob Ketcherside for posting this found photo--it brings back some warm memories, though bittersweet at times because of the SAYONARA FACTOR....

Izakaya at road side

Izakaya at road side by nobuojp
Izakaya at road side, a photo by nobuojp on Flickr.


This a perfect example of the Japanese sake bars I saw while spending a tour of joyful duty in Japan in the early 1960s. While these were for the local Japanese, whenver an American wondered in, he was treated with respect and offered sake. In Yamato, I had a favorite sake bar I frequented.

On more than one occasion, my Japanese friends made sure I made it home to my small apartment in Yamato. 50 years have passed, but I still have warm memories of my time in Japan whenever I see photos like these with many lanterns. Thank you for sharing this special photograph. Robert

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vintage Japanese matchbox label, c1920s-1930s

THIS IS ANOTHER CLASSIC IMAGE OF A JAPANESE MATCHBOX popular in the 1920s through the 1960s.

Crackdog's collection of matchboxes is awe-inspiring. While many are for bars and other establishments, subjects that make the issue a memory of some youthful joys, it is the designs that remain in my mind that I really appreciate.

Most of these matchboxes, or all of them, were created by Japanese advertising artists in the 1920s through the late 1930s and could be advertising any number of establishments that were part of a very large Japanese Empire.

It is the intrique and mystery of this historic era that fascinates me. I believe it is an era that has been shelved, more or less, because of the Imperialist nature.

As an American, let me be the first to admit that the United States was one of the main players in the game of colonialism and imperialism. From the time the U.S. declared the "Manifest Destiny" to the time we forcefully annexed the kingdom of Hawaii, we have subtly become very large realtors in world properties.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


UNLESS THE VIEWER IS INTERESTED IN HISTORICAL EVENTS, DOCUMENTS AND ART, these images might not stir one's excitement in the past. These engravings were not imagined, but were made from sketches by an artist who furnished them for the voyage.

Since there was no photography at this point in time that could capture old Tokyo as it was in the 1840s, we must assume that Tokyo, or Edo, or Yeddo, looked very similar to the above.

I would guess that the view might include what might be part of the Emperor's Palace.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mt. Fuji under the Moon

Mt. Fuji under the Moon by Phijomo
Mt. Fuji under the Moon, a photo by Phijomo on Flickr.

Mt. Fuji under the Moon
It was a while ago, but thus far, I've only posted Mt. Fuji under the Moon (pt. 1). Yes, I skipped pt. 2. That'll come soon. Mt. Fuji (富士山) on a cold, cold winter morning, with a partially-frozen Lake Yamanakako (山中湖) in the foreground. I was quite surprised at the number of other photographers out here at 6 a.m. in -12º C temperatures. Single RAW exposure w/ 2 & 3 soft stop GNDs, post in PS CS3/4.

ONE OF THE BEST PHOTOS OF MT FUJI I HAVE EVER SEEN. The last time I saw Mt Fuji was in the winter of 1963. It was a beautiful view, one I hope will not be my last.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Comparisons of Hiroshige and Van Gogh: Spanning Time

The Langlois bridge reminded van Gogh of Hiroshige's print Sudden Shower on the Great Bridge. Inspired by the Japanese wood block prints, van Gogh sought to integrate techniques from Japanese artwork into his own. In a letter that van Gogh wrote to Bernard about the Langlois bridge he said that "if the Japanese are not making any progress in their own country, still it cannot be doubted that their art is being continued in France." With a Japanese aesthetic, Van Gogh's bridge of Langlois paintings reflect a more simplified use of color to create a harmonious and unified image. Outlines were used to suggest movement. He used fewer shades of colors rather multiple subtle color variations. These approaches created a more powerful impact and depicted the simpler, primitive quality of the country lifestyle.

For a more technical revew and more information, refer to the Wikipedia link referenced above. Thanks to Wikipedia for their research and great volume of information on almost every subject one would seek knowledge

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It is very sad to remember how two nations fought to the death. It was not the people at war. It was men who could not relolve commerce in the 1930s; it was men who could not come to terms over exports. And then it graduated into anger and physical attacks. It ended with men from both nations who could not reach a peaceful settlement

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No Smoking in Kabukicho

I didn't think Japan would buy into this denial of civil rights like the USA has done. What a shame that this has been introduced to Japan. Warning to all Japanese smokers: If you enjoy smoking, if you enjoy your civil rights to smoke, now is the time to vote those out of offce who are writing such laws or you will soon be regimented like wards of the State. I have seen in happen in the USA.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Used TVs for Sale

NO WAY...UNBELIEVABLE. IN THE LAND OF THE SONY TELEVISION, where for years TVs were the primary export, there are used TVs for sale. If anyone has a yen for a TV, here is the place if you are in SHIZUOKA PREFECTURE. Thanks to Jeffrey Armstrong for posting this in his Flickr Photostream.
Used TVs for Sale by PoPBunka! 英会話 浜松市


Waiting for Vincent to arrive at a coffee house in old Motomachi. Channeling used to focus on Van Gogh's brief and secret visit to Japan in the late 19th century. See the set VAN GOGH'S SECRET VISIT TO JAPAN. A series of watercolors by Robert L. Huffstutter


It was at the Wein where we met on Saturday mornings to begin our weekends. From the first time I met her and we decided upon a mutual place to meet, it was this coffee shop where we would meet, usually around 11:00 a.m. It was, to my best recollection, located in Motomachi.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two Maiko in Gion - Kyoto

Two Maiko in Gion - Kyoto by The Moog Image Dump
An interesting and beautiful photograph. Learn more by following this link.