Top 10 Photos of 2015 – Photo #7: “Shrine Girl”
This image titled "Shrine Girl" was taken on 23 May while I was walking through Meiji Shrine here in central Tokyo. Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu in Japanese) is the most famous Shinto shrine in Tokyo. It is dedicated to Emperor Meiji (ruled 1868-1912) and his wife. He was the emperor who restored imperial power that was taken away from the emperors when the powerful Tokugawa family took control as military dictators (Shogun) and ruled from Edo (old name of Tokyo) for 256 years. Thus, when Meiji took back control in 1868, he moved his court, thus the capital, from Kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo (East Capital).
The shrine is in a lovely forested park right in the middle of the city and popular with tourists and (what I assume are wealthy) Japanese couples wanting a traditional wedding and other formal ceremonies.
I had no idea why this little girl was all decked out in her little kimono and sneakers, but she was definitely the little star of the main courtyard. I wanted to get a photo of just her, which was basically impossible since the area was crowded and everybody there wanted an image of her. So, I had to do quite a bit of disappearing of people for this image back home at the computer. It was not this empty in reality. I also darkened down the far background (stairs leading up to the main hall of the shrine) to make it more of a solitary image, matching the little girl's contemplative stance.