Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bren Shuler writes, Rowena Pestano shoots

Leaves fall yellow, brown
Our familiar nakedness
The onsen enjoyed.
 photo by Rowena Pestaño.

1 comment:

  1. Bren sends this by way of explanation: For Veteran's Day I enjoyed the day at a Japanese onsen (hot spring) in the mountains on a beautiful sunny fall day that still contained a fair amount of fall foliage color while leaves literally rained down on us throughout the day. My haiku (which is a traditional 5-7-5 verse) was roughly composed in my head and polished up when I got home. The onsen is what is called konyoku style or mixed bathing. There are two very large pools and one smaller pool where men and women can bathe together. Typically men will hold a small washcloth in front of their crotch or barely wrapped around their hips while women will wrap a full towel around them that covers them from bosom to mid-thigh. Or they will don an apron-like towel with shoulder straps. Once immersed in the bath the men will fold up their towelette and put it on their heads or place it on the nearby rocks. Most women will stay wrapped in their towel although some may slip it off. However, with this one Japanese couple I observed nearby they just both seemed fine with dropping towels and not making too big of an effort in covering up fully; they both seemed to be comfortable with their nudity and their nudity with each other. I didn't really read much more into it than this. They weren't ostentatious about it but there was a bit more openness than I have typically seen in this sort of setting (have been to this place more than once) and with a Japanese couple (or the female at least).


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