The photo at the top is of a piece called "Upside Down Hinomaru" by Japanese artist Teruya Yuken. He describes the work as such:
I used to have the Japanese flag in my studio and one day I decided to move the flag. And as I began to move the flag upside down, I was feeling a gravitational pull moving along with me. I hung on to this power until I had completed a 180° turn. It was at this time that the power left me and I was looking back at the flag. To all it would appear as right side up but it was only to me that it looked upside down. It was then I felt a true personal relationship with the Japanese flag for the first time. I want to share my experience with the flag and also would like everyone to see what happens when something standardized gets turned upside down.Japan is a truly remarkable and wonderful place and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. The country has (literally in some cases) been turned upside down. My thoughts go out to everyone affected and I hope it’s not too long until Japan is able to 'right itself' and be back on its feet again.
I wanted to leave you with a few photos from happier times that I took last year from the wonderful city of Tokyo, and include some possible ways of donating to the relief effort.
Save the Children – Japan Emergency Appeal
Norwegian Red Cross
American Red Cross
|Wooden Ema (wishes) hanging at Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine|
|Temizuya for ceremonial purification at Meiji Jingu|
|View of Tokyo Tower from the top of Roppongi Hills|
|Shibuya crossing at dusk|