Showing posts with label Japanese cat photographers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japanese cat photographers. Show all posts

Friday 23 September 2022

Photo of 'conjoined cats' wins prize but is it photoshopped?

This is a photograph taken in Japan by Kenichi Morinaga of one white cat and one ginger tabby cat who appear to be "conjoined". They are sitting on a fence. The photograph won first prize in the 2022 Comedy Pet Photo Awards.

'Conjoined cat' won a photo prize but is it photo-edited?
'Conjoined cat' won a photo prize but is it photo-edited? Photo: Kenichi Morinaga.

My immediate reaction when I saw it was to ask if the photograph has been created with photo-editing because it very much looks like it. I just don't think that you can get this appearance by two cats being in close contact with their heads facing away from the camera. Anatomically it is impossible to achieve this, I would say. But it beat the judges! Perhaps they accept photo-edited images?

The news media say that the "cats are pressing their necks together to give the appearance of being conjoined". It just doesn't look right to me. And I know how to photo-edit photographs and it would not be that difficult to photo edit this image as follows.

How he did it using photo-editing

One of these cats was sitting on the fence and the photographer acquired another cat from the Internet that was in a configuration ideal to place it on the fence when the background was removed. The photographer then removed the heads of the cats and placed the two cats together. He made sure that the connecting point was roughed up a little bit so that it looks more natural.

How he'll spend the money

The prize was £2,000 plus a £5,000 donation to an animal charity of his choice.

Morinaga said that he likes to spend time travelling around Japan's islands to photograph street cats.

The photographer has a fascination for the antics of cats. He said: "When I returned to Japan, I continued to seek them out, they really cheer me up, especially after the last two years of the pandemic. They are so funny, even when they are doing something serious."

He is going to use the prize money to fund more photo trips around Japan. He said: "I would like to continue photographing many cats and bring many more smiles to people's faces. Through funny photos I hope that the world will one day become a kinder one, where cats, dogs and other animals are not abandoned or mistreated."

Monday 19 July 2021

A beautiful relationship between grandma and her cat in Japan

This charming story is of Grandma Misao and Fukumaru, her darling, white cat in Japan. They were inseparable. Fukumaru passed away in 2015. Misao lived a simple country life with Fukumaru constantly by her side as the photos by her granddaughter Ihara Miyoko show. She published two photo books which are available on Amazon

A beautiful relationship between grandma and her cat
A beautiful relationship between grandma and her cat. This is Grandma Misao and Fukumaru, her darling, white cat in Japan. Photo: her granddaughter: Ihara Miyoko.

Ihara Miyoko lived with her grandma and she admits to being somewhat envious of her grandmother's charming, simple life. It was a great idea to chronicle her life in photographs. They were a wonderful subject for a photo-essay. The books became bestsellers.

It was the otherworldliness of her life with appealed to many in contrast to the noisy, rush of modern life 'suffered' by the vast majority. Ihara Miyoko began her project in 2003. Three years afterwards a white male kitten was born in a barn and he was adopted by the family and become grandma's constant companion.

This is Grandma Misao and Fukumaru, her darling, white cat in Japan. Photo: her granddaughter: Ihara Miyoko.
This is Grandma Misao and Fukumaru, her darling, white cat in Japan. Photo: her granddaughter: Ihara Miyoko.

Both Fukumaru and grandma were hard of hearing. White cats are not infrequently deaf. The deafness is caused by the gene which removes pigment from the hair strands rendering them white.


They often looked into each other's eyes to communicate. Miyoko said: "Fukumaru is so happy and contented at my grandmother’s side. When I take a picture of the two of them together it's like I'm photographing myself as a little girl."

The photos were taken on the Bōsō Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, not far east of Tokyo. The photos paint a picture of a vanishing Japanese way of life.

When I see the way my grandmother is living her life, I really feel that she has a kind of strength that my generation simply can’t match. She gets up with the sun, and goes to bed when it sets. She loves her cat and the vegetables in her field like her own children. If her vegetables come out well, she’s happy. She doesn’t have to worry about questions like ’what is the point of my work?’ Her way of life fills me with admiration and a sort of envy.

A rare aspect of the photo-essay is the long period of time over which it was compiled. It gives it a timeless quality. The photo-essay will become more precious as this way of life becomes ever rarer.

The following is the Amazon synopsis:

Miyoko Ihara graduated from the Nippon Photography Institute in 2002. Around that time, she began photographing her grandmother, Misao, in order to document her life together with her stalwart companion, an odd-eyed white cat named Fukumaru. This touching and beautiful photo book captures the everyday life of elderly Misao and her steadfast feline friend following the passing of her husband one summer. The black-and-white images reflect both the grief of loss but also the hope offered by new life, in the form of a litter of small white kittens. It is a touching portrayal of an elderly woman living a quiet and solitary life of work and enjoyment of nature, though always with her cats.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Photographs of Japanese Cats in Japan by Japanese photographers

I think that photographs of Japanese cats by Japanese photographers have a certain quality about them. There are a lot of good Japanese photographers and the street cats are distinguishable from the stray cats of other countries. Here is a small selection. If you click on the photographs you are linked back to the photographer's photostream on Flickr.  These are all Flickr photographs.

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The photographer says the following about the above photograph:

Get along very good two cats living in the cabin of the field work of Tomei Yokohama Aoba Inter nearby. Tiger cat big male, Goriza. Tortoiseshell cat small female, Holmes. Goriza in contact gently to Holmes, Holmes is a yearning Goriza.

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This cat seems to be polydactyl looking at the left forepaw.

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Below is an extraordinary looking cat - big boss cat:

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A visitor comments: WOW! Is this perhaps a man in a catsuit? The color balance is wrong but as is on Flickr. I altered it here.

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