Blond hair. A big nose. These aren’t just the white people stereotypes Japanese people have today. They also could describe one unusual individual in a 13th century Japanese scroll.
On 2ch, there is a range of theories about this mysterious man (these are internet theories, so your mileage may vary). Perhaps, wrote one 2ch commenter, these bandits came from Europe to Japan via the Silk Road. Or maybe this was a Russian. Others thought this was a legend—maybe a yokai (monster). One net user joked, “What is this, The Last Samurai?”343536
Some thought that this wasn’t a white person, but rather, a Japanese person in a fur hat. The result is simply people thinking the bandit was European because of the cap, confusing the headwear’s fur with blond human hair. Makes sense to me. But that doesn’t necessary explain the nose—but maybe it doesn’t have to. Maybe this is just a Japanese person with a big nose.
There’s a link to this blog in the comments, of course.
While walking in Ginza I ran into my friend Narashige Matsuki and his wife, Yumiko. He was packing his Plaubel Makina 6x7 rangefinder (top) and Leica M4-P (left). We got coffee and got caught up- since we all last met the two of them took a trip to LA and the American southwest. I love how intimate and personal his pictures are. This picture from their trip is so great.
To all you millions of 17 year old art and design students* on this site, I really suggest following him on tumblr. He’s making pictures that you will like. He’s making pictures that can really teach you something about photography. Don’t think that you need to detach yourself emotionally from your photos! Figure out what makes you (and who you’re with) what you are, and go from there.