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Sunday, 19 July 2015

A little bit of Japan in Milton Keynes

Yesterday morning I popped over to Milton Keynes to take Emily – creator, editor and photographer of Love Japan magazine – to the peace pagoda. It’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to show her for a while, because I adore the place, having visited it so many times in my life. Plus, it is really quite unusual that such a beautiful and unique, Buddhist and Japanese structure is situated in Milton Keynes – the town that pretty much everyone, even those that live there, judge as a concrete jungle.

Emily herself hadn’t really been to Milton Keynes (aside from the Bowl) but had heard other people’s opinions – see above: concrete jungle. However, she was pleasantly surprised by what bits of Milton Keynes I showed her. I’ve always said that the peace pagoda and the temple, with its surrounding gardens, is one of, if not my most, favourite places in all of the world. Emily could see why…

There were, unfortunately, quite a few cars (and a campervan!) parked outside the temple.
We went inside, removing our shoes of course, and absorbed the peaceful atmosphere.
And also went out to the rear garden – not walking on the stones!
The temple itself is distinctly Japanese-looking but without architectural details like onigawara.

It was lovely to wander around the peace pagoda and temple, but the actual reason for Emily coming to Milton Keynes was to photograph me for one of her photography degree projects, Shinnichi.

‘Shinnichi’ – literally translated as ‘a person who likes Japan’ – focuses on people, and their individual interest in Japanese culture, from fashion and pop culture, to tradition crafts and martial arts.

My portrait is the 7th in Emily’s series of 8 (the 8th has yet to be captured), although she intends for it to be an ongoing project outside of her degree. You can check out the other portraits in the series so far and read a bit more about the project here.


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