Flickr 100 Strangers – 14/100 Suwa-san

Takayama, Japan

This is my first stranger portrait in a while – for some reason I have not felt the urge (or inspiration?) to find subjects for the project lately. But during my vacation in Japan, I did find the opportunity to take one picture!

At the Miyagawa market in Hida Takayama, this farmer sells his goods every morning in a stall next to the Miyagawa river near the Old Town. He doesn’t speak a single word of English, and my Japanese is non-existent, but through gestures and perseverance we managed to communicate somehow. He pointed to his name on a plaque (諏訪忠義 – Suwa Tadayoshi) and where his fruits and vegetables came from (諏訪果樹園 – Suwa Orchard). Suwa-san saw me taking pictures of the market and gladly posed for a few portraits with his prized apple in hand. I purchased one of his white peaches – it was incredibly juicy and flavourful. His wife peeled and segmented it for me so I could eat it on the spot. Gotta love Japanese hospitality!

Suwa-san kept speaking to me in Japanese even though I was pretty clueless… but clearly he is passionate about his farming and his produce. I managed to decipher that he is 70 years old… and uhh.. that’s pretty much it 🙂 His family was at the stall and found our ‘conversation’ pretty amusing.

I even managed to find his orchards web page. Domo arigato gozaimasu, Suma-san.

This picture is #14 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page.

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