Miyazaki finally!!

4 seats to myself on the flight (the little triumphs of life) isn’t quite enough to make this post midnight thing into a great flight – but it beats sitting up squashed in old style economy. Fukuoka airport is pretty efficient, and though immigration had the same usual repertoire of Q’s the guy was pretty nice. Picked up and whisked off the bus station for a 4 hour ride to Miyazaki – a bit of sequel after the 5 hour red eye, but we did go through some pretty country – hills and gorges, loads of tunnels. Very smooth bus ride, kind of like being on a train. Watching bits of Japanese tear jerkers on the video with my iPod on and the scenery going by. a bit existentialist. Been there done that, going to try and fly back to Fukuoka!
So in Miyazaki I finally meet the gang who put together the Miyazaki annual Documentary Photo Festival. Inspired by eccentric Japanese photog Akutagawa-san, a team of dedicated friends helped him put his dream together. They are amateurs in the best sense of the word: they do it out of love. Amazing that a little “city” of 350,000 odd people are ready to host their own annual festival dedicated to documentary photography.
Most of the committee seem to be holding down serious day jobs, and must be working round the clock to get things done. At dinner Akutagawa-san is late, on his way back from Tokyo, so I get to hear all the testimonials about him. They all laughed when I said I thought him eccentric, they all think the same but are totally dedicated to his vision. They also inform me that one of the area’s leading composers has been inspired to write a 20 minute piano etc composition to accompany a slide show of my photographs. Wow. But, as they have only 26 Bali pictures, those slides are going to be up for a long time, at least 20 seconds, before changing (most slide shows change every 3 or so seconds).
But life here moves at a gentle pace, and they all seem to savour it. There are bicycles everywhere, and you see suits peddling down the broad sidewalks.

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