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More Castle Cats and Kuroda Kanbei

I'm starting to recognize the cats that hang out around the castle. I always have an absolute blast photographing them! Some of the cats are friendlier than others, but there's no doubt that they're all strays. Well-fed strays, but still most definitely strays.

I'm starting to recognize these two as the very relaxed parents of several batches of kittens in the area. I can usually find them sunning in a few spots in the park outside the castle. They're friendly, but not desperately so; they'd much rather snuggle with each other, but they'll put up with a bit of petting with dignity.

This guy started twining these figure-eights around my legs, and was very chatty. I'm not sure if he just likes attention, or he is very used to getting fed by people. Unfortunately for him, I didn't have any cat food on me, but he still spent a good 15 minutes crawling all over my boots.

I've taken photos of this black kitten before! He really wanted to climb this tree, and soon drew quite an audience.

Some other kittens didn't want to be left out of the action, of course. 

Soon, there were 3 cats in this tree, much to everyone's delight. There were cameras everywhere!

Soon enough though, the cats did manage to make their ways safely down to the ground, but not without everyone cheering them on after a few close calls!

Kuroda Kanbei

There's been a lot of news centered around Himeji lately, due to the NHK filming a drama based on one of the city's mascots: Kuroda Kanbei.  This historical drama is called "Gunshi Kanbee," and it just started airing in Japan. Since some of it (I think) was filmed in Himeji, its been a very big deal! They've even built a temporary museum(?) showcasing some photos and props and whatnot next to the castle; I think it just opened this weekend, from the size of the crowds and all the performances nearby. I happened to wander by the museum in time to see some interesting demonstrations, apparently about Kuroda Kanbei. 

This is the mascot-version of Kuroda Kanbei for the city of Himeji. You'll see him everywhere!

A still of the performers. The lighting is really bad on this, but it just started snowing, so what can you do? 

I have absolutely no idea what was going on during this play/musical/performance. I just know they said the name Kuroda Kanbei a few times. Maybe he's supposed to be the one in black? The dancing was cool though, so I filmed some of it. 

And this is an advertisement for "Gunshi Kanbee." I'm assuming that this is Kuroda Kanbei. 


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Summarize trip to Ogasawara Islands! It's been two years, but my memories are still crystal clear, and the photos are stunning. Add some Mt. Shosha photos from 9/9/2017. It was great to go back!Add some photos from Kakashi-no-sato (Scarecrow City, roughly). Although I didn't really photograph any of the scarecrows this time, I still had a wonderful time today (9/10) there!
I have approximately 750 photos from the last two days to sort through, so this will take some time. I've also got to dig up all my photos from Ogasawara (I probably took a couple thousand during my stay there...) and write a cohesive narrative for that multi-day trip. 
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