Topless Tuesdays

Hi! Back from my holidays, refreshed and ready to go with another year’s hot bloggin’ on SLN! 🙂

Topless Tuesdays….hmmm…not my idea, not our idea, but the idea of another SL blogger, Uccello Poultry, who runs the Poultry Report blog.

Better still, Uccello isn’t afraid of a bit of skin showing (at least on Tuesdays), as the concept has it’s own Topless Tuesdays flickr page.

We approve. 🙂

We also approve of the general mood and feel of Uccello’s blog, the memes, the writing, the photography, everything!!!! So much so, in fact, it has become a ‘must see’ page each time I’m in the SL mood.

I like blogs like this, with their exploration of different elements of SL, videos and so on, and I feel inspired by it, as it has provided food for thought and probably a re-evaluation on how I run a little bit of my own SL.

France was fantastic, by the way. Three weeks of endless naturist sunshine at a campsite called La Jenny, without the interruption of (much) technology. No computers, no phone signal in some parts of it. Yeah, yeah, I know! Before we went I may have mentioned that we’d maybe tour around some naturist campsites. The reality is we got out of the car, pitched our tent, looked at each other and said ‘we ain’t moving from here!’

OK…back to Topless Tuesdays. I’m not about to re-print other people’s work, but the images in the flickr group are superb, so go visit! I’ve never used flickr as a contributor for anything, so I’m not sure how it all works, other than image searches, sometimes for this blog, link me through to it. So rather than reproduce work by others, I decided I’d  do my own ‘Topless Tuesday’ (even though it’s now Wednesday) and bump up a few images captured at ‘The Trace’ sim, which Harry has used before.

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I’m wearing the shorts for that ‘nude beach outfit’ Ella mentioned the other day, and posing furiously in front of a massive ferris wheel. I also took a ride on it, and that’s a new SL experience for me. It was lovely to just sit and watch a very photogenic sim float by.

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I also ended up with a little photo-essay on how I a) started grafitti taggin’ my name on the side of the…heh, heh, heh…police station at the Trace sim, and b) ended up in jail! I think I’ll post that little story tomorrow 🙂

What I would do is suggest to you that you visit…wherever you want!!!!!…and take some photos that can be added to the Topless Tuesdays flickr page. (Please don’t send them to us, we didn’t think of the idea, and we aren’t stealing anyone’s thunder).

And just popping back through our own pages, I notice next Sunday is ‘Go Topless’ day. So why not kill two birds with one stone? Go topless on Sunday, in support of that great cause, and then get the photos up on the Topless Tuesdays flickr page next Tuesday?

Pookes

Japanese Pearl Fishers

Discovery of the photographs below have sent me scurrying to the internet for some background information, which seems to be quite sparse.

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The name of this traditionally styled undergarment is the ‘fundoshi’ (certainly for men, my apologies if the women’s variant has a slightly different name). 

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I did find an article here, which identifies the women as the ‘ama’ (?), the wives and girlfriends of Japanese fishermen, who were employed as pearl fishers. The cost, both in economic and human terms -the dangers of pearl hunting in cold, dangerous waters is obvious- made pearls an expensive item in the past.

‘Mikimoto’ pearl fishers brings up more internet exploration, but I think ‘mikimoto’ may well be the Japanese word for ‘pearl’, as well as some sort of five star brand of itself. I’m not sure, but it’s less relevant to this post than the photos that led me to explore further. I would be delighted if any of our Japanese readers could tell me if I’m factually wrong, on any point, in this post. Please write and tell me if I’ve made any errors in the text.

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While the rest of the photos look genuine, this sepia tinted print looks like it might have been ‘staged’.

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Notice how the women’s shorts are all in a similar pattern, as if this is some kind of ‘uniform’. Perhaps they identify individual fishing ‘houses’ or ‘fleets’.

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While our perception of Japanese people may be different, the photo above shows a ready ease with semi-nudity amongst the fisher-people. Here, some women, one holding an infant, are comfortably topless while their menfolk appear behind, oblivious to their women-folk’s nudity.

Amas-on-rocks

While these vintage photographs all show the women routinely ‘topless’, google searches show photographs of fully-clad, modern-day fisher-folk. I suspect that this is less to do with an increasing modesty, but more an increased awareness of safety concerns. I would imagine that the full body suits of today offer more protection against hypothermia.

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The ‘fundoshi’ (referred to above) is shown here in a variety of styles in a typical Japanese ‘manga’ representation.

The ‘fundoshi’ is a traditional Japanese undergarment for men. You may be familiar with it in a variant called ‘mawashi’…the loincloth worn by Sumo wrestlers.

It’s only recently that fundoshi for women have been manufactured, apparently, with sales exceeding all expectations(1).

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I suppose that the western perception of the Japanese is a nation with sometimes polarised attitudes to sexuality and nudity. On one hand, there’s Manga comics which would contain highly sexualised cartoon stories, while on the other there wouldn’t really be a Japanese naturist tradition. And then there’s the Onsen, Japanese bath houses, where the sexes, certainly in the past, freely mixed nude (or loincloth clad) during their bathing rituals. My next contribution to the blog will be the tradition of the onsen in a SL context. Several exist.

While continuing my research, I found an exceptionally interesting article on Japanese attitudes to nudity here.

So…where’s all this leading in ‘Second Life Naturist’ blogzine? Good question.

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Our model, wearing a ‘fundoshi’ in the style of the vintage photos, swims down to look for pearls.

While Harry has his own, new blog, he’s not lost to SLN entirely. So we’ve been discussing him doing a set of photos that capture the essence of these vintage pearl fisher-women. You can see an extensive set at SLFineArtNudes.

Research source(s)

(1) wiki, referencing the Japanese company Wacoal.

Barbara