You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Last Days of Yonekura Gym, Tokyo Japan

     The last fighters have completed their training, the final bout to be fought. At the end of this month Kenji Yonekura (former Olympian and OPBF Bantamweight champion), due to to failing health, unable to find someone to take over the reigns, will be forced to close his gym. The Yonekura Boxing Gym, which opened in 1963, will become part of Tokyo’s boxing history. The gym has produced 50 champions including 5 world champions.
     Several of my friends who trained at the gym, asked me if I would like to shoot some images of the last remaining days. I agreed. I took the train from Shinjuku to Mejiro Station, walked a few blocks along the train tracks, and arrived at the gym. The building looked very non-descript, the only tip off was the boxing caricatures.



Entering the Gym you immediately feel the sense of history. Not only the age and character of the physical structure but also the history displayed on the walls. A prefect movie location.








Only a few fighters who had not left for other gyms were there training and still living at their quarters upstairs. Some fighters and trainers went to Misako Gym in Itabashi, others went to Teiken Gym in Kagurazaka. One of those remaining, Tsuyoshi Tameda, has a fight coming up the end of this month, the others were staying until the lights were turned off and the doors closed for the last time.



Kimihiro Nakagawa on the speed bag.


Tsuyoshi Tameda with his trainer Takehiro Shimada, watching training videos in preparation for his August 22 fight. This fight will be the last where a fighter represents Yonekura Gym. I am sure it will be filled with emotion. I would like to be ringside for that one, but regrettably I'm 5500 miles away.


I managed to talk trainer Chikara Machida into showing off on the speed bag.


Peering into the window, I thought what a shame, all this history will be lost.


Leaving the building, off to catch a train, to another boxing gym. I walk away having made a few more new friends, and having captured some of Tokyo and Japan's boxing legacy. A 53 year legacy for Yonekura Boxing Gym.


All images Leica M typ240 & Leica M-P typ240, w/ Leica 35mm & 50mm lenses

As always all images are Copyright Peter Politanoff / RedStarImage, and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.







Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Link to my Magnum Photography Awards 2017 Submission



https://www.lensculture.com/magnum-photography-awards-2017/event-submission/334332?utm_campaign=96-submit&utm_content=submit&utm_medium=social&utm_source=fb-social


As always all images are copyright Peter Politanoff

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Casting in Bronze at The California Sculpture Academy; 2016.12.03

The plaster molds had been prepared the week before. Dried and in the kiln heated to a temperature of 1400-1500 degrees F. The molds must be hot enough to accept the liquid bronze which will be at 2200 degrees F.

For todays pouring 120 lbs of bronze are melted in the furnace.

 Academy founder,  Brandon Roy outlines the order of the steps in the procedure.

 Impurities in the liquid are removed by adding salt and piece of glass, this forms a slag which is easily scraped off the top of the molten mass.

 Once the bronze has reached temperature and is in a liquid state, the plaster molds are removed from the kiln,


 Then placed in dry sand, to keep them upright and in place for the pour.


 One of the plaster molds broke while heated in the kiln, the pouring cup had broken off from the mold. Brandon is quickly patching the mold. Since part of the pour was an edition of 5 pieces, it would have meant another several week delay to complete the order.

 The crucible with the liquid bronze is raised from the furnace and put into a special yoke.




 After the metal has set up the molds are pulled out of the sand, left to cool for an hour or so before the plaster is removed.


Special thanks to Brandon Roy, The California Academy of Sculpture, and VetArt.Org.

As always, all images are copyright Peter Politanoff and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.

All images shot with Leica cameras & lenses

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Week of Prayer and Meditation - Chua Hue Quang

Last week the Hue Quang Vietnamese Buddhist Temple sponsored a week long prayer and studies retreat for over 100 monks and nuns. The attendees from various temples around the area spent their days chanting, praying and studying. Since I am somewhat a member of this congregation I was invited to observe. I spend about 8 hours over 4 days documenting the event. Here are a few of the images.
The Hue Quang Temple in Little Saigon.


The attendees start to arrive,

Shoes are left outside

The Master leads in prayer.

Another monk continues the session,

then it is passed over to a nun.

Chanting continues for 1 hour straight.


While lunch is prepared outside,

and the communal tables are set.

As the monks and nun have lunch the temple is prepared for the afternoon session.



After lunch the attendees return to the temple with a walking chant.

Once in the temple, the line winds through the rows of cushions. A continual motion in opposite directions until everyone is in their place.

 After the sessions, 3 nuns as they leave the temple.

While one asks me for my business card.

As always, all images are copyright Peter Politanoff and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.

All images shot with Leica cameras & lenses/



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ringside With Leica

My current photo exhibit at the Leica Gallery Samy's Fairfax, total 12 images on exhibit Dec 1 2015 through Jan 29 2016. All images shot w/ manual focus Leica Rangefinder cameras, M typ240 & M/M typ246. 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Baking A Clafoutis, 2015.09.13

Time to diverge from the usual boxing. It is 7;30 am on a Sunday morning, with a late night flight looming, I decide to leave my children (young adults really) with a treat. So I decide to bake a clafoutis. For those not familiar; per wiki!

Clafoutis (French pronunciation: ​[klafuti]Occitanclafotís [klafuˈtis] or [kʎafuˈtiː]), sometimes in Anglophonic countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries,[1] arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream.


I start by playing some music, music just given to me by a friend the night before. Sadly she won't benefit from the results. But perhaps next time - when I have returned.

Next I drain 2 cans of cherries (dark & sweet) and place them in a buttered pie dish.

I mix the ingredients that will make the custard. Eggs, butter, milk, sugar & flour.

Pour the mixture over the cherries.

Put the dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.

Set the timer for 40 minutes,

And do the dishes!

After 40 minutes the baked custard is a rich dark golden brown.

Aren't my kids lucky!!!

As always all images and text are copyright Peter Politanoff and may not be used without explicit consent. Thanks Reiko for the music!