Temple #42

I found this temple ages ago, virtually via google earth, and flickr. Finding it in reality was quite a challenge, but find it I did today and set a timelapse running, which equated to chilling out for 2+ hours…. There is rain predicted for tomorrow so clouds are around, but they aren’t fast moving (yet) so I found some shade & read for a while on my iPad….

The approach to Nishotaki, temple #42 on the Shodoshima map is via a farm road near Ikeda Port, heading up into the hills passing through olive and fruit trees, the road slowly getting more and more narrow… Eventually it is single lane & slowly zig zagging its way up a very steep mountain… Reaching the small carpark the road is lined with stone lanterns, as are the steps leading up to the temple…. THe irony of lugging cameras, tripods, slider and motion control unit up such ancient steps is not lost on me….


Part of the temple is built into the rocks, but the photos I had virtually recce’d were all about the view of the Seto Inland Sea and the way the light strikes that upper temple


This is a frame from the timelapse I shot, simply breathtaking to view in real time


My 5Dmkiii enjoying the sunlight & the view, and angled away from the harsh late afternoon sun…


While i was relaxing on the steps I had also been listening out for visitors, as nothing gets in the way of a perfectly framed timelapse better/worse than another visitor who has as much right (or more) to be there… After an hour or so, a group of women could be heard making their way through the complex… but well ahead of them came the priest, we had seen each other when I arrived and he had granted me permission to shoot, but on his way up the steps he stopped and we had a brief chat, in that funny way when you both want to communicate but neither can really speak the others language. But I was prepared for such situations and had written a brief letter explaining who I was, what I was doing & asking for permission to film (Arigatou Hidemi san for translating it!) – he read it, smiled, “New Zealando?’ and then in broken english explained he was about to perform a fire ceremony for the group of women. I gestured at my camera, he smiled & nodded, and I followed him in to set up to shoot what was a very beautiful and personal ceremony.


As a film maker dependent on found situations & opportunities, I so appreciate such generosity. I was very careful to stop shooting when the main ceremony was over & one by one each woman was blessed. And I would never use any footage where the priest was blessing specifics for the women.

And I have changed my post schedule so I WILL have a rough cut to show this priest…. and the priest from Shirinji! I fear as a gaijin/outsider it would be very, very, very, very, very easy to misinterpret their generosity and potentially mis-represent them in ways that they would not appreciate. This cannot happen. As with my workshop, I believe collaboration is inclusive and it is vitally important to insure your collaborators are onboard and proud to be involved. I have worked on a few films where that was not the case & the taste is bitter and long lasting. And willfully I shall preclude it from ever being part of my oeuvre….

I left one of my GoPro cameras inside one of the stone lanterns in the carpark, shooting the sunset…. the other is hidden behind a guard rail on a very tight U bend half way up Chosi gorge…. Early start tomorrow to go retrieve them both, snooze while the data copies and then see what they captured! God/Buddha/Jah bless USB batteries! Those GoPro cameras are next to useless without them, but with them? A four or six hour timelapse is no sweat!

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