Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another day out

I went to a flea market today. As usual, I took quite a few pictures, although not always of the things or people I wanted to take pictures of. I find it hard to point a camera at people, even if they are dressed in such a way they're positively begging to be photographed. Somehow it seems rude, and since I didn't have the longer lens attached to the camera I did not get as many people shots as I would have liked.

I got one, though. This old guy was dressed interestingly, wearing tabi (two-toed socks), and a face mask.

Whether the mask was because he had a cold or because of seasonal allergies I don't know, but it somehow added to the overall effect. The best part, however, is the bit you can't really see clearly because I was not focused on it when I took the picture. When we walked past him I saw it, and did a bit of a double-take.

This picture is not clear, but at least you can see the shape of possibly the strangest bag I have ever seen. The bag is frog-shaped, and looked horribly as if it was made from a real frog, although as I went past I noticed it had a zipper in the back of its head. I'm fairly sure real frogs don't have zippers. My friend also noticed that it had teeth. Do frogs have teeth? When we thought about it, we realized neither of us knew.

I also got a picture of an old couple I have seen before. These two always carry brooms, and have something to do with Japanese folklore. The Man's memory failed him when I asked. The answer was on the tip of his tongue, but he wouldn't let me hit him on the back of the head to pop it out. The old couple will remain a mystery unless he suddenly remembers, or one of my readers knows who they are.

This next picture is of a sort of plaque advertising Fususuke Tabi, a sock company. Fukusuke is the merchant god of prosperity, and the company takes its name from that. This plaque is old enough that the writing reads from right to left instead of left to right. I'm not sure when it changed, but I'm fairly sure it was before the war. The company is still around. These days they make ordinary socks rather than (or as well as) tabi.

I also found a rather discouraged Buddha. If I grew hair on my belly I'd probably be discouraged, too.

And finally, here is a head, because no flea market post would be complete without a photograph of a head.


Anonymous said...

The Noh play Takasago by Zeami is the key to the old couple with the broom & rake - Takasago is a city west down the Inland Sea from BadAunt, and is now an industrial centre - I taught in a steel plant there for 3 years - but once 'very country', having a famous shrine with an old pine tree.

The old couple are gods, Uba & Joo, who live at Takasago & Sumiyoshi in modern Osaka - and they meet to sweep the sands round the pine at Takasago. As representatives of long life & conjugal happiness, the two figures & their broom & rake are placed on a shelf at weddings along with other auspicious symbols such as turtles & cranes.

Lots of hits for Takasago & brooms on Google, a good one is

Keera Ann Fox said...

Well? Do frogs have teeth? I was trying to think but all I've ever seen a frog have for eating with is a very long and sticky tongue which seems to put food right down the throat. Throats seem to be very short on frogs, so basically that tongue puts the food directly in the stomach. Still, I'd like an answer. You can't ask such a question and not provide an answer!

Also: Head missing. No, not mine, yours. As in photo of. :-)

Badaunt said...

Anan: Thank you! Uba and Joo? (I would usually spell it Jou, I think - but the spelling conventions are all different.) I will tell The Man.

Keera: Frogs DO have teeth! I just looked it up, especially for you.

Also, the head is there when I load the page. I wonder why it's not showing up for you? Is anyone else not seeing it?

Keera Ann Fox said...

Ooh, teeth! And I was right about them shoving the food straight to the tummy (more or less). Thanks!

I looked at the source code and Blogger always give two links: One to the photo embedded in the blog, and one to the enlarged photo by itself. I get a 404-error on the link to the embedded photo. Anyway, kind of cute and a bit ironic that the head has peekaboo written on it.