site est. 2022


Morning Radio Exercises


4:00 AM

Last night we were hit by a guerrilla downpour and strong winds, and the storm shutters rattled violently until dawn.

When I opened the curtains, the morning glow in the eastern sky looked as if it had been dyed with an akane-iro dye. The beauty of the delicate gradation of colors took my breath away. The silhouette of the towering tower blocks in the distance stood proud. The hygrometer reads over 80%. The humidity is stifling, but the air is crystal clear after the storm, and the solid morning light is motivating to shoot.

I slather my plate with ham and eggs, thick buttered toast, and leftover potato salad, make a pot of milk, apple juice, and coffee, check the weather forecast on my phone, and get ready to shoot. The time allowed was apparently about three hours. The rain cloud radar was showing data that rain clouds would cover the area again.

It was a 15-minute walk to the forest park where we planned to shoot. The tripod, a die-cast aluminum tripod that I have used for more than 30 years, weighed more than 8 kg including the head, the bulky body of the Lumix S1, and a 50 mm large-aperture lens. The equipment is simple, but it bites through the thin fabric of my T-shirt.

When I was in my 30s and 40s, I used to carry a 40-liter rucksack filled with 35mm, 6×6, and several interchangeable lenses, and I used to challenge Daisetsuzan and Mt. The heavy equipment never bothered him. His small back and large rick are in the style of a tortoise. Photography was just a diversion from his work, and he was more interested in camera equipment than in photography. He was taking pictures with a foolish and narrow mindset, thinking that high-end equipment would bring better results.

The communication of wills.

Beyond the park entrance, a plaza and a wooded area spread out.
From the plaza, I could hear people talking peacefully, about 10 people in a large circle. I looked around and saw only elderly people and no young people. They were people who had gathered for radio calisthenics.

Such a scene is rare these days. When I was a child, “NHK morning radio exercises” were a national event during summer vacation. At 6:30 in the morning, children, adults, and even the elderly would move their bodies to the music on the radio in narrow alleys, shopping streets, and small squares all over the country.

However, as people moved more frequently and the number of local residents decreased, complaints of “noisy noise” became frequent, and it became difficult for neighborhood associations to continue the practice. Not only radio calisthenics, but even the bell ringing on New Year’s Eve has become a target for “noise” in this day and age.
The people who want to stop the exercises also have a sincere desire to do so. In the past, the workday generally lasted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Today, however, the ratio of people working in shifts around the clock has dramatically increased. Especially in an aging society, 24-hour shifts are indispensable in nursing care and medical fields. For those who have to sleep after a night shift in the midst of extreme heat, the noise is nothing more than a disturbance to their sleep, even though it is a national event.

The radio calisthenics about to begin in front of me was a rare sight nowadays, as there were hardly any houses around. I gestured to some people who were looking at me, and sent them my intention to photograph the event. They raised their arms, lightly bailed, and gave me their willing consent.





撮影予定の森林公園までは歩いて15分ほど。三脚にカメラを固定し担いでいく。30年以上愛用してきたアルミダイキャストの三脚は雲台を含めると8kg以上、LUMIX S1のゴツいボディー、50mm大口径レンズ。機材はシンプルだが、Tシャツの薄い布越しに食い込んでくる。