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Neil Witkin|Fukuoka, Japan-based Photographer  
Yanagawa Ferryman - Neil Witkin - Japan photograph
Nakasu Women's Festival
Hakata Yamakasa Festival Runner - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
Martha
Snake Woman Hebi Onna
Boat race gambler
Hiro Standing Bar
Nakasu Lantern Maker - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
When asked for his name he replied, "I am a descendent of Al Pacino."
Hakata Yamakasa at Kushida Shrine
A boy sells WAFFLES at the Hakozaki Shrine Hojoya festival in Fukuoka, Japan
A very friendly, elderly Shinto priest asks me to take a portrait so that it can be used at his funeral - Japan photography
Taxi driver
Boat race gambler, Fukuoka, Japan
Japanese Freak Show Amazonian
Sumo Training
Gambler
Hakata Yamakasa - A A retired sumo wrestler and his happy grandson run together - Neil Witkin
Copyright Neil Witkin - Hakozaki Shrine Snake Sideshow - photograph
Nakasu
Nakasu
Fukuoka - Nakasu Chestnut Salesman
A boat race gambler
Copyright Neil Witkin - Snake Woman - photograph
A young man and a woman in Nakasu
That tree, the spring flowers drifting too slowly, and someone moving like a stickbug
Nakasu Gentleman
Yamakasa Morning Break - Daikoku Nagare - Japan documentary photography
A man stops to look at a large monitor in front of the keirin velodrome in Kitakyushu, Japan
Unspoken: Private Thoughts After Fukushima
Hojoya at Hakozaki
Yamakasa Spectator Wearing a Kimono - Japan documentary photography - Neil Witkin
Yamakasa - Neil Witkin
A man goes in for a kiss at the Hiro Standing Bar in Fukuoka, Japan
Snake Woman Hebi Onna
Hebi Onna Snake Woman - Neil Witkin - photograph from Japan
A Shinto priest gazes at massive freighter as he waits for the timber purification ceremony for the Hakata Yamakasa festival - Neil Witkin - Japan photography
A man in Nakasu
Hakata Yamakasa Festival - Taking sand from the sea at Hakozaki Shrine - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
Japanese Police on the Nakasu Beat during a festival - photograph
Yanagawa Spring River Festival Neil Witkin - Japan photography
Copyright Neil Witkin - Meadows of Mindy - Japan photograph
Hakata Yamakasa Festival - Running the shrine - Japan documentary photography
Fukuoka Doorman
Neil Witkin - Kushida Bride - Japan wedding photograph
Hakata Yamakasa Father and Son - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
Hakata Gion Yamakasa - Resting During Practice
Hebi Onna Snake Woman - photograph - Neil Witkin
Copyright Neil Witkin
Copyright Neil Witkin Hirao Dai - photograph
Copyright Neil Witkin - Hebi Onna Snake Woman - photograph
Neil Witkin - Hakata Yamakasa
Yamakasa Festival Kushida Shrine Security Guard - Japan documentary photography - Neil Witkin
Geisha in Nakasu take purikura photos in Nakasa, Fukuoka, Japan
Nakasu Womens' Festival - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
Copyright Neil Witkin Snake Woman - photograph
Snake Woman Sideshow, Japan
Yamakasa - Carrying the shrine
Vender waits at the Hojoya festival in Fukuoka, Japan
The lantern maker no longer has finger prints
Copyright Neil Witkin - Dreams of Onamuji - photograph from the Philippines
Yamakasa - Higashi Nagare Shrine
Neil Witkin - Dazaifu Mother - Japan photograph
Neil Witkin - Shinto priest at port prior to the timber washing ceremony for Hakata Yamakasa
The Nakasu lantern maker retires for the evening - Neil Witkin - Japan documentary photography
Neil Witkin - A final breath - photograph
Nakasu
Copyright Neil Witkin - baby deer island dancer - photograph
Neil Witkin - Fukuoka Castle bridal photograph
Lily in Nakasu
Cherry blossom bridal photography
Peter Fraser Assignment
Neil Witkin - Nakasu Lantern Maker Neil Witkin - Takamiya Dragon - photograph Neil Witkin - Traditional Shinto Dance Kagura - photograph Narita San, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan Neil Witkin - Japanese Archery (Kyudo) for Seniors Neil Witkin - to burn at both ends - photograph
Neil Witkin - Strange Mountains of Takachiho - photograph Takachiho Buddies Neil Witkin - Japanese crane (Tsuru) - photograph Winter in Futsukaichi, Japan - Copyright Neil Witkin Hojoya festival cork gun carnival game Neil Witkin - Takamiya Dragons - photograph
Yamakasa - Flexing Neil Witkin Taxi Driver in Nakasu Nakasu Matsuri Women Neil Witkin - Girl and child at Oniyo fire festival in Japan Copyright Neil Witkin - Making Nakasu Hers - The Lily - photograph Neil Witkin - Ol No. 8 - Philippines photograph
Neil Witkin - Ohori After Hospital - photograph Neil Witkin - Little Arrows - photograph Neil Witkin Shinto Traditional Dance - Kagura - photograph Neil Witkin - Okonomiyaki Chef Neil Witkin - Sad Asami Leaving Atago - photograph Neil Witkin - Kego Park Father sold me a key - photograph
Neil Witkin - Making Nakasu Hers - Lily - photograph Neil Witkin - Noma Park Stranger - photograph Neil Witkin - Lily, this is Agent C - photograph Flowers in Japan Neil Witkin - Nakasu Corridor Lily - photograph Japanese Snake Woman Sideshow
Copyright Neil Witkin - Taxi Driver at Fukuoka Castle - and hot dogs Copyright Neil Witkin - Oniyo Festival Fire Hakozaki Shrine Hojoya festival A gambler waits to cross the street Entering Nakasu Yosentei Garden - Japan photograph
      Neil Witkin - Nakasu Lantern Maker - Japan documentary photography Mount Fuji Sunrise Neil Witkin - Munakata Shinto Shrine - photograph

Neil Witkin is a Fukuoka, Japan-based photographer.

Recent documentary photography features the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Matsuri, a Shinto festival in which massive one-ton shrines are carried on mens' shoulders and raced through the streets of Fukuoka, Japan.

The festival's history reaches back to 1241, when the Buddhist monk Kokuchi Seiichi is said to have driven out an epidemic which had spread through Hakata. Carried high on an offering tray by followers, he purified the city with sacred water. This event grew into a traditional Shinto festival conducted by the Kushida Shrine, (itself having been established in Hakata in the year 757).

In the modern festival, seven venerable groups each race a colassal shrine decorated by a local Hakata doll craftsman.

A seperate documentary photography series captures moments from two years of performances by the Hebi Onna 蛇女 (Snake Woman), who appears in a sideshow in a back corner of the Hojoya festival; held at the Hakozaki Shrine.

She returns each year to the same spot in order to entertain crowds of all ages. They pack inside a large wooden tent lit with incandescent bulbs, which pulse with heat in the waning summer nights.

The photography presented here was shot primarily in Fukuoka City, Hakata, Nakasu, Dazaifu, Chikushino, Aso, Munakata, Kurume, Tenjin, Kanagawa, Oita, Takachiho, Takamiya, Yanagawa, Nokonoshima, and Kitakyushu. Additional photos were shot in the Philippines.

Notable Shinto shrines featured in these photographs include Atago Shrine, Kushida Shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Munakata Taisha, Daizenji Tamataregu, Izumo Taisha, Hakozaki Shrine, Gokoku Shrine, and Iwato Shrine.

Other locations of interest include the Fukuoka Castle, the Yusentei Garden, Tochoji, and the Kotokuin Temple.

Thank you for viewing my work.

 

Neil Witkin

ニール•ウィットキン

 

EMAIL


fukuokaphoto (a) yahoo(dot)com

NEWS

September 2013:

French magazine Basta featured my photo essay Unspoken: Private Thoughts After Fukushima in their article Après Fukushima: des mères de famille à la pointe du combat contre le nucléaire (After Fukushima: Mothers at the Forefront of the Anti-nuclear Fight).

All photographs, images, and content copyright © 2013 Neil Witkin ニール•ウィットキン.

All rights reserved.

 

 

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