Global Images Contest 2009-2010


While on an uphill climb to the Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, Japan, I had stopped to catch my breath outside this shop. Unaware of the majestic temple that lay ahead, I was awestruck by this colorful display of hand-held fans. The owner gave me permission for one photograph only. During my internship in Tokyo, I received a multitude of small but exquisitely packed presents from students and friends. Among them were five gorgeous fans. Each was handed over with an unassuming, inconspicuous -“Oh, this is a very small token”-which always reinforced my opinion that Japanese people were extremely polite, gracious and courteous. The care that went into packing and adorning these presents-an art called tsutsumi- took my breath away-delicate tissue, crisp folds, dainty diamantes, elegant bags made even the smallest of presents, priceless.

Meeraal Shafaat