30 March, 2011

Discovery

I was interviewed by a Japanese magazine editor today.

As I am visiting Paris now, the editor and I talked over Skype, and everything worked very well.

We discovered a lot of good things together. We used to believe we needed an office space for interviews and meetings. But she was at home, so was I. (To be more exact, I am staying at my friend's apartment now)

Skype to Skype talk is free, and we didn't have to pay any phone bill.

She was saving the power and her room was dark. Her face was lit by candle lights. But I was able to see her face without any problem.

As much as the power, money, we both saved our time since we didn't have to get on the train to see each other!

According to her, the publisher is recommending the employees to go home early these days. So, she has more free time to see her parents and have dinner together with them.

Japan is going through a major change now. And everything is for the better!

29 March, 2011

Someday...

This is something I wanted to capture for many years. I kept dreaming of it for such a long time... and I finally captured it.

In the middle of the big earthquake, I realized that life is short. And I really need to do what I always wanted to do now, while I can.

This photo many not be such a great photo, but still it is like a great achievement for me.

27 March, 2011

Zen in Paris

A few days ago I noticed that the word, Zen, is quite commonly used in France. Nice surprise!

I could be wrong, but it is used as a adjective in French meaning "tranquil" or"calm" as well.

I took this photo without a tripod. I don't know why it was possible, but anyway I did.

That is why this blog entry is Zen in Paris! It was my Zen moment.

Merci, Paris Pour La Vie En Rose

Every time I come to Paris, I feel so welcomed by the whole city. And the city greats me with lots of  nice surprises.

What can I say? I am alive, I am in Paris now... and the city is so wonderful.

Life is a big miracle itself.

When you realize that, you may be able to believe miracles do happen, and no dreams are too big.

Sending my love to the whole world from Paris.

25 March, 2011

Praying Together

I like visiting churches. Whenever I find a church, I go in there and pray.

I pray for my personal happiness, as well as the world peace.

The atmosphere of this church was wonderful. So peaceful, so calm, beautiful architecture and stained glasses...

I was able to feel the people's beliefs who build this church, and people who have been praying at this church.

But you don't have to be at a church to pray. You just need a quiet moment to close your eyes,  and imagine a better world, or you and your loved ones being happy.

And if you and your friend pray together for the same thing, the prayer will be a strong one.

I know that so many people are praying for Japan and Japanese people at the moment. Miracles do happen, and will happen.

The fact so many people are praying together for the something is already a big miracle!

23 March, 2011

Late to Grow

I took this photo for a Japanese magazine in February.

It was for the April issue, so I had to find spring very early.

I like the fact only one of the stems is taller, when all the others seem to be growing and blooming evenly.

And I also like the fact some of the stems are late to grow, so there are many flower buds behind flowers.

This photo makes me wonder what it feels like to the ones that are late to grow.

If I go back to the same place, probably I can see the "late bloomers" beautifully blooming now.

People in Japan often like "doing the same as others, being the same as others." Good or bad, that is Japanese mentality.

Through this photo, I wanted the magazine readers to know it is perfectly okay to be different.

22 March, 2011

Signs From The Sky

A signature in the sky? Not sure what it is, but I am sure it's a good sign for me.

I am now in Paris, on of the places I love most in this world!

But I am not on a holiday, I will be working every day from my laptop. I am Japanese!

20 March, 2011

Being Different

As a little boy, I loved Origami, Japanese paper craft.

I especially liked making origami dolls. However, origami was not really for boys...

My mother and father often told me to be more "manly." Though, I didn't know what to do.

I never enjoyed what other boys were doing, baseball, football, playing figures of super heroes... etc.

Making a paper crane for the first time in a long time was somewhat healing like.

My mother passed away 4 years ago, and I am not so close to my father. There is nobody to stop me from doing what I enjoy!

As long as I remember, what I truly liked was different from what other boys liked since I was a very little boy. And it seems to remain this way!

It was difficult to be different in this country where people like "acting the same as others." But everything is changing rapidly.

Being different is fun. If someone asks me about this topic, I would say, why not!

18 March, 2011

Oneness

At the middle of the sad moment, I am feeling so happy.

I have been receiving kind words from all around the world.

Some of them said I could stay in their place. Some of them said they could send me food, chocolate bars and such... (lovely!)

Knowing millions of people are really praying for us and our country is, indeed, a great help for us now.

The world is rapidly changing. More and more people are aware of something important; oneness.

Oneness is not anything difficult to learn. It's simply being aware of the fact that there is only one planet we can live in.

17 March, 2011

Lumiere Et Espoir

Sometimes "no words" can express my feelings best.

It's one of those special moments.

Yuji

16 March, 2011

Contre Jour

Knowing so many people are praying for me and Japan, I feel very happy in the middle of sad moment.

We live in a magical and fantastic world.

Love,

Yuji

Sacred Heart

Other than Tokyo, I have some very special places in this world.

First one is the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong.

When I was living in Hong Kong, I would commute to work every day by Star Ferry. I never got bored of the view.

The second one is San Francisco.

About 12 years ago, when I first visited the city, I saw a "triangle shaped rainbow" in the sky.

That was a magical moment, and a friend I was with also saw the rainbow. A lot of miracles happened to me while I stayed there.

The third one is a secret. It's far away, but it is always in the sacred corner of my heart;-)

15 March, 2011

For All My Friends

Thank you for praying for us. Knowing your hearts are with us, I can keep going.

Thank you, I love you. Yuji

PS Please click the photo for a larger one.
And you can also see all the photos I have uploaded on flickr.

Don't Send Food to Yuji

In the past few days, I received a lot of kind words from all over the world, through this blog, fickr, ect.

Thank you very much for your kindness and friendship. It keeps me going!

Some of them asked me if I wanted them to send me some food... I am such a fortunate man!

At the moment, I am not in need. But there are so many people who really need some support.

If you are interested, please consider your local Red Cross, Gift Aid.
Please search for ones in your country on Google. 

Each country is different when it comes to tax issues, so please check it carefully;-)

Also, here is a good list.

How to help the victims of the Japan earthquake

I got the information from my Japanese friend in London, whom I have worked with. (Thank you!)

Nice and Lovely Tiny Things


Her blog is so interesting and cute, as the title suggests. Please check it out!

This photo was taken at a busy train station. People are so calmly waiting for the train making a long cue. It was an amazing view to me. 

14 March, 2011

Cats' Heaven

A little break from the earthquake stories.

I saw these cats at a Buddhist temple. It looks like they are used to seeing people, and they were so good at ignoring them!

Most temples and Shinto shrines in Japan are basically open for 24 hours a day. So, they must be good places for cats.

Sometimes, young and brave university students go into the shrines and drink beers. That is one thing I haven't done in my life; having beer at a shrine at night.

I was very happy to see these cats living so freely. It's the way they should be.

A lot to learn from them!

13 March, 2011

Still Standing


Contrast
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
Just a week ago, I somehow wanted to take a photo of Tokyo Tower, not far from where I live.

If I go back there now, It doesn't look like this. The top of the tower has been bent by the earthquake.

Feeling sad is important when you are sad.

But just feeling sad doesn't help. We need to find something we can do, and take an action.

Meanwhile, I will go to the kitchen and make some food for myself. Now, gas supply is back! ;-)

12 March, 2011

Earthquake Hood


Well Prepared
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
I have received so many messages from many countries. Much, much appreciated! Thank you very much!

I live in Tokyo, and there was not a serious damage as long as I know in the central area.

Though, my mobile phone was not working well. The first major earthquake happened in 2:46 pm, and it was after 2 am that I was able to talk to my father. And after 7 am with my close friends in Tokyo.

My father lives just north of Tokyo, but it looks like the electricity supply was stopped for a while...

I took this photo yesterday afternoon, people are evacuating from the offices and train stations.

This lady is wearing a hood against earthquake.

Although I am Japanese, I am truly surprised how well prepared most people are (when I am not...)

I will keep you posted!

No More Food Left?

I have received so many message from many countries. It was a true disaster especially in Northern Part of Japan. But I am all fine.

For many hours, my mobile phone didn't work. Getting in touch with friends on Internet helped me a lot, otherwise I would have felt so sad.

I took this photo tonight, there is no food at a store in Central Tokyo! Many restaurants stopped serving food as they had no gas supply.

I was working home then, and I had lots of food at home. But many of my friends couldn't go home after work because the trains stopped running.

TV and Internet news are probably showing the worst part of the disaster, but it actually affects the whole country like this.

And not just Japan, it may give some influence on other countries as well...

I humbly accept the fact that people were giving a lot of damages to this wonderful planet for many years. And I would like to do what I can do through my writing and photography to save this planet.

I cannot do anything much alone. But if I can help other people a little, I believe it will make a big difference.

Thank you very much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. You never know how much it helped me!

I love you, all.
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11 March, 2011

Earthquake in Japan (I am safe)


Any New Information?
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
That was indeed the largest earthquake in my life.

I was home, but the trains are not running at the moment. There are many people who cannot go home tonight.

My mobile phone is not working properly.

This photo was taken in front of a busy train station. I think they are TV crews, probably from a Spanish speaking country.

I have received messages from many countries... you never know how much it means to me that people outside Japan care for us.

Thank you very much!

Oh, no. It started shaking again!

Costume Play?


Fighting Against a Fire?
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
Costume play is hot in Tokyo. It is largely related to the popularity of Manga, Anime, and video games.

I think people started enjoying it a lot about 16 or 17 years ago. But it is not something every Japanese person enjoys!

As for this photo, I took it at a train station. This is a replica of the famous statue in Belgium, "Manneken Pis".

But this one is not naked. Every months, the volunteer group people prepare a new costume for him. Right now, he is wearing a fireman uniform!

So, I think he is fighting against a fire. He has a flag "Fire Prevention Campaign" So, he is working like this!

07 March, 2011

French Antique Style


Don't Take Out Your Camera
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
"French Antique Style" has been hot in Tokyo. There are so many shops that sell "antique flavoured" products.

They are different from fake antiques. People know that they are new. So, there is nothing unfair.

But... why do people in Japan buy those new products?

It's because they are reasonable, and they look kind of cute.

What people really want must be real French Antiques. But they are of course very expensive and difficult to find in Japan.

I was also once attracted to "French antique flavoured" products, furniture and all. But I got bored very quickly.

New or old, what I really want is something I can love for many years without getting bored.

Oh, I have seen a lot of fake Japanese products in the flea market in Paris...

If I have time, I want to start a Japanese antique business!

05 March, 2011

A Hood or a Hat?


Amazon Smile
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
It has been cold in the past few days again...

Because we had some warm days in February, some cherry trees are already in bloom. So, spring is coming, for sure.

There is one funny thing in Tokyo. A lot of people are wearing coats with hoods, but almost nobody wear the hoods.

On the other hand, hats are getting more and more popular.

I remember the only people who would wear hats all the time were the ladies from the Imperial Family until about 20 years ago.

But young ladies started wearing hats, and the young boys followed.

I do have some hats... more than several.

But I do like wearing the hood when wearing a jacket with a hood.

03 March, 2011

Buildings


Everyday View
Originally uploaded by yujiblog
I like looking at tall buildings like these. And I like finding something on the reflections on the buildings.

This kind of view is quite normal, and not anything so special to people in Tokyo. But I still find it fascinating.

I enjoy living in Tokyo, and I also like escaping from it time to time. I guess many people feel the same way.

During their summer holiday and winter holiday, they often go back to the country side, if they have parents to visit. Those are the periods when Tokyo is very quiet.

Unfortunately, I don't have a place to visit in the country side, so I prefer to get out of Japan on my holiday.

Every time I come back to Tokyo and watch this kind of view, I feel welcomed back by the whole city.