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Izumi's Diary Page 80      Thursday 6 June 2013  
         
         
The Rollei Monster
 
         
     
 

Hello,

Here is a smiling Izumi as today I have something of a lighter heart to show you.

Is it my mind or is it circumstance that I keep coming across parallels in life and art?

You know that I really like using film and I have my Rollei 35 and the 110 family as well as being able to borrow Dear Friend’s XPan or Holga when I need to satisfy my wider desires.

You may remember that I used my Rollei 35 to photograph the reportage on Mai’s café for Paris Match. (Or did I?) That camera was really made for enthusiasts to use rather than professionals, because Rollei also made a professional camera that used 120 film, called the Rolleiflex. It has two lenses, the top one for composing and focusing through, which you look down on, and the bottom one for letting the light onto the film.

Many famous people have used one.

Sometimes just for their personal photographing…

 
     
     
         
  Please note that the photographs here are used only to illustrate my words and thoughts and all copyrights remain with the copyright holders.
The actress Marilyn Monroe with her Rollei
   
         
         
         
 
 
 
The singer Paul McCartney with his Rollei
 
         
         
     
 

… and sometimes for more serious reportage...

 
     
     
         
 
 
 
The photographer Robert Doisneau with his Rollei
 
     
 
M Doisneau was a famous photographer of the Parisian streets and
people, and therefore one in whose footsteps I walk with gratitude.
 
         
         
         
 
 
 
The photographer Vivian Maier with her Rollei and a friend
 
         
 
If you do not know about Ms Maier, please avail yourself of the Google
and become acquainted with her brilliance as a street photographer.
 
         
         
         
   
   
The photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt with his Rollei
     
   
Mr Eisenstaedt was a famous photo-journalist who worked for
many years for Life magazine, starting with its very first issue.
         
         
     
 

Now please let me turn your attentions to something that may seem entirely different but if you have been following my Diary for a while you may expect that there will be a connection, which I shall tell you about soon.

In Japanese culture we have Daruma dolls. They are used to bring good luck, especially as you start out on some venture or journey or seek to attain a personal ambition. As you begin, you colour in one of the Daruma’s eyes and he watches that you don’t deviate from your path. When you have succeeded or arrived you can then paint in the other eye as a congratulation to yourself.

This tradition has been observed for a very long time so it is likely that also Basho and Hiroshige and Nobokuni Enami and many others performed the little ritual before setting out on their travels to create poetry and paintings and photographs.

Here are two old postcards concerning Daruma dolls.

 
     
     
         
 
   
 
A postcard from 1900 of a geisha holding a Daruma doll
 
A postcard from 1905 of a kimono with a Daruma doll design
 
         
         
     
 

It is probable that Nobokuni Enami photographed these postcards, so he certainly had an involvement with the Daruma.

So imagine my surprise when I was watching more episodes of Tamayura: Hitotose recently and I saw this scene in Takehara of a display of Daruma dolls.

 
     
     
     
 
 
         
         
     
 

And here is a photograph taken by Fū of her friend Norie making herself look like one of the dolls. Quite successfully too, I think.

 
     
     
         
 
 
     
         
     
 

So why did this lead me to surprise myself? Sometimes I wonder about my mind and the pathways that it takes, unbidden and uncontrolled by the conscious me. I immediately connected the Daruma face...

 
     
     
         
 
 
         
         
     
 

...with the face of the Rolleiflex.

 
     
     
         
 
   
         
         
     
 

Perhaps if we go closer you’ll understand more what I mean.

 
     
     
         
 
   
         
         
     
 

There you have it. I hope such revelations by me have caused you to smile into your cuppa and that if you recall them during the day – or even better if you also see monsters lurking in corners of your life – you will have a little chuckle to yourself and your friends can wonder what it is that amuses you so.

Ah, the kettle's boiling, so it's goodbye from,

Izumi.

 
     
 
 
 
To fully understand my footsteps, please read me from the start.
 
Izumi's Diary Page 80
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