This is a mini-series within COSMOS called “Phases.” From left to right, top to bottom: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent
What may very well be the best collection of clothed monkeys ever, US-based photographer Hiroshi Watanabe is featuring these incredible photos in an upcoming exhibit titled Suo Sarumawashi. The series features famous monkey performers of the Samurawashi tradition from Japan, dressed in their traditional performance clothing.
The word “Samurawashi” literally translates to “monkey dancing,” and that’s just what it is. Samurawashi is an acrobatic street-performance featuring clothed Japanese macaques acting out skits. In Japan, it ranks alongside Noh and Kabuki as a traditional artform. Samurawashi was almost a lost art by the 1970’s. However, thanks to the Suo Samurawashi Association (who dedicate their efforts preserving this tradition), Watanabe was able to work with these incredible primates and the results are nothing short of astounding.