Where is this Buddhist Temple?
August 28, 2010 3:35 PM   Subscribe

I found an exposed and undeveloped roll of 35mm film dated 1977, and had it developed. The pictures are here, most of them taken at this Buddhist temple, somewhere in Asia. Anyone know where the photos were taken?

There is some Chinese or Japanese writing on the post in this photo.

I found the film in some of the same boxes that had my late father's old WWII photos (link to my MeFi project). It was a bulk-filled Tri-X 35mm cartridge.

I don't know who the photographer was (I'm sure it wasn't my father), but it's possible the photographer is in this photo. He may have been a teacher at Emerson Junior High School in Los Angeles.

The last photos on the roll were taken in Santa Monica, including one of my house.

Just a curious mystery I'm trying to solve.
posted by ShooBoo to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd be inclined to say it's somewhere in Japan, just by the look and feel of it. The writing in that photo doesn't give anything away, it just says 'Central Bridge'.
posted by thesailor at 3:48 PM on August 28, 2010


Judging from the statues and architecture, it is most definitely Japan. It's a Buddhist temple. It looks like a villa. I think it's near Tokyo. More afoot...
posted by parmanparman at 4:00 PM on August 28, 2010


Well, that bridge is apparently in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. The other buildings in the photos seem similar to some of these, so at least some of them were taken there. The temples? No idea.
posted by misozaki at 5:11 PM on August 28, 2010


17-20 definitely look like they were taken in Kurashiki.
posted by that girl at 5:20 PM on August 28, 2010


Heh, I've been on that bridge. (Here's one of the bridges along the canal--not sure if it's the middle one.) I've looked at photos of a couple major temples in Okayama, and the temple buildings don't closely resemble the major buildings of those. If you can't get them ID'd here, you can try posting to one of the Japanese temples & shrines communities on Flickr...
posted by wintersweet at 5:34 PM on August 28, 2010


The building in the background of the photo with the bridge uses a special crisscross design. That design is used in a certain region of Japan but I forget which one.
posted by Infernarl at 5:47 PM on August 28, 2010


Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic runs a View From Your Window contest on his blog. Readers guess the location of where a photograph was taken. Their descriptions of their methods are interesting and include Google Goggles and Google Earth. Google Earth can be searched for temples in Kurashiki.
posted by llc at 6:10 PM on August 28, 2010


(I should have put a disclaimer in that I was giving a self-link to my own Flickr page, but I suppose I was thinking that the "I've been on that bridge" bit indicated that.)

Anyway, here's a link to Temples, Shrines, & Castles of Japan on Flickr for more help IDing the temple.
posted by wintersweet at 6:41 PM on August 28, 2010


wow. i love AskMe. does anyone know how those pics turned out, considering that the film is ~32 years old? is that a miracle, or is it to be expected that the pics look as good as they do?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:21 PM on August 28, 2010


wow. i love AskMe. does anyone know how those pics turned out, considering that the film is ~32 years old? is that a miracle, or is it to be expected that the pics look as good as they do?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:21 PM on August 28 [+] [!]


This is the beauty of film (especially vs digital storage). The photos have lowered contrast due to heat damage, which is to be expected with any roll of film left at room temperature (or warmer). Other than that, you see the crazing patterns that are due to general moisture / humidity that would have been present over time. A film canister is light proof, so heat and moisture are the main concerns. As someone who has worked in a photolab and studied chemical photography for many years, I do not find it surprising that these images turned out as they did. In fact, the natural processes have added another layer of beauty to these images that goes well conceptually with the subject matter. Doubly so when considering the Japanese aesthetic concept of wabi sabi. Quite nice, indeed.

Re: digital storage - on the flip side, I have cds of digital image files I burned 8-9 years ago that no longer read on my computer. One well placed scratch and all the files on a cd can be lost.
posted by smartypantz at 9:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


« Older At what age does male body hair stop tend to stop...   |   USB Unplug / Replug Automation Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.