Photo-Essays by Thaddeus Pope
Nakizumo or “Baby Crying Sumo” festivals are held in the belief that crying babies will grow to be healthy and strong and have prosperous futures – especially so if the crying is long and loud!
The Nada no Kenka Matsuri is an especially high-spirited Shinto festival, which brings the local community together in an annual celebration of great cultural and spiritual significance.
Misasa Onsen Hanayu Festival (Misasa no Jinsho) culminates in a giant tug of war between two teams of local men representing the western and eastern parts of Misasa Onsen in Tottori Prefecture.
Held in August during Obon, the Tottori Shan-Shan Festival is the region’s largest annual event, during which as many as 4,000 people perform choreographed dances with decorative umbrellas.
Held in the modest locale of Nakada on the outskirts of Nagoya, the Nakada Hadaka Matsuri is a small but thrilling purification ritual believed to drive away bad luck.
Each year in mid-September, the historic coastal town of Kishiwada proudly hosts the most widely known, well-attended and deadliest “danjiri”, or cart-pulling, festival in Japan.
The pride of Gamagori City, the Miya Festival is one of the best-known and most spectacular festivals in the Tokai region of Japan.
An idiosyncratic visual exploration of Japan and Japanese culture made by an outsider.
The Greatest Gift was made as part of a fundraising effort to create scholarships for the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education in the Philippines.
One of the most extraordinary festivals in Japan, Toba Dai Kagaribi (The Great Bonfire of Toba) has roots that can be traced back 1,200 years.
The Takisanji Oni Matsuri, which features a spectacular fire-based purification ceremony, is an annual ritual to pray for peace and good harvest for the coming year.
On August 6th each year, the city of Hiroshima holds the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in memory of the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realisation of lasting world peace.
The Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri has been held in Inazawa since 767 AD, when Emperor Shotoku ordered the performance of cleansing ceremonies to rid the land of a quickly spreading plague.
Covering more than 400 square kilometres in the province of Siem Reap, the Angkor Archaeological Park contains more than 100 monuments – of which two dozen are major temples.
The redevelopment of Elephant and Castle in South London is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. These images were taken in 2005 before demolition and building began.
New waves of migration are significantly altering the religious landscape of the UK. This project explores the growth of Pentecostal Christianity and the practice of faith healing in London.
Across the UK thousands of people are forced to sleep rough every night. Made in 2003, this work focuses on the struggles faced by rough-sleeping homeless people in Brighton.