Michael Yamashita@yamashitaphoto

National Geographic Photographer; Author; Keynote Speaker; Workshop Leader; Asia Specialist. New photo workshop in Tibet region this September:


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Mask Dancing or Cham dance at the Monlam Prayer Festival going on now at Labrang Monastery in Xiahe. The dances, performed by monks are offered as entertainment for the gods as well as the crowds of followers who have come to pray at the monasteries during the Losar Tibetan New Year celebrations. The stories are often about moral instruction, Buddhist values and ancient Tibetan legends and by just witnessing them, the audience is said to gain merit on the road to enlightenment. #monlam #losar #c#dance #tibet #tibetan @thesilkroadjourney @natgeocreative @natgeo @natgeo.media @supchinanews

Xiahe, Gansu, China

The morning after: powder snow blows from trees as the wind kicks up from the weekend storm that dumped a foot of snow in Chester, New Jersey. #sunrise #magichour @thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative

Chester Township, New Jersey

Prostration prayers in front of the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred in Tibet. Woke up to news this morning of a devastating fire there, just a day after I posted Happy Losar, Tibetan New Year wishes. Fortunately there were no injuries but Tibetans fear that there was serious damage done to the 1,400 year old World Heritage site filled with Buddhist relics. For centuries Tibetans have traveled to Lhasa to make the pilgrimage to Jokhang especially during the New Year. We join them in prayer. #jokhang #tibetan #tibet #tibetanbuddhism #prayer @natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeo.media @supchinanews @thesilkroadjourney


Prayer flags fly at Namtso Lake, the largest and the most beautiful in Tibet. In Tibetan, Namtso means heavenly, and today marks the beginning of Losar, the Tibetan New Year, to be celebrated by visiting sacred sites, prayers and feasting for 4 days. Happy New Year! #losar #newyear #tibet #tibetan #prayerflags @natgeo @natgeocreative @thesilkroadjourney @natgeo.media @supchinanews @thephotosociety


It's New Year's Eve in China and here's what's happening in rural villages on the Silk Road. In Laozhuang, in western Gansu Province, villagers parade in costume to neighboring villages to wish them well. Happy Year of the Dog! #springfestival #chinesenewyear #gansu #china #silkroad @thesilkroadjourney @supchinanews @natgeo.media @natgeo @natgeocreative


Back stage Beijing opera: performers prepare for their grand entrance. During the Chinese New Year beginning on Friday, opera performances will be taking place in makeshift theaters at temples throughout China. #beijing #beijingopera #springfestival @natgeocreative @natgeo @supchinanews @natgeo.media

Beijing, China

Master scholars proofread and assemble freshly printed scripture pages to be bound by hand into books in the Dege Parkhang printing house. The books will be sent to other monasteries, libraries, study centers and colleges around the Tibetan region. Dege houses 80% of the Tibetan literary culture, a collection of more than 270,000 hand carved wooden printing blocks from the 16th century. The printing is still done by hand with monks spreading red ink on the blocks while others press paper on top. Go to the link in my profile for info on a workshop I will be leading in the Kham region of Tibet, including Dege, & Lhasa this September. #tibet #tibetanplateau #dege #kham #tibetan culture @natgeo @thesilkroadjourney @supchinanews @sonyalpha @natgeo.media @sonyimages

Derge, Sichuan, China

- Lhasa’s Potala Palace, once the home of the Dalai Lama and now a World Heritage Site, is among the most iconic images of #Tibet. Viewed even from downtown on the city side it still dominates the skyline. #Lhasa #tibetan #tibetanplateau #potalapalace @natgeo @natgeo.media @supchinanews @thesilkroadjourney

Lhassa, Xizang, China

Tibetan women in their furry finery shopping the street markets of Xiahe before the New Year festival of Losar, to be held on February 16 to 18, coinciding this year with Chinese New Year celebrations. Fox fur hats seem to be the rage among the fashionable. The face masks are worn to protect their skin from winters wind. #tibetan #tibetanplateau #labrang #xiahe #losar @natgeo @natgeo.media @thephotosociety @supchinanews @thesilkroadjourney

Xiahe, Gansu, China

Getting ready for Losar, the Tibetan New Year, falling on February 16. Monk musicians practice with the big horns at Labrang Monastery, Xiahu, Gansu Province, China. #tibetan #monks #labrang #xiahe #gansu #losar @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety @natgeo.media

Labrang, Gansu, China

Where the mums come from - Chrysanthemums grow in racks above the waters of the Mekong, watered by hand with buckets drawn from the river. The run off falls back into the river, not wasting a drop. They will be transported by boat, destined for flower markets for the coming Tet New Year celebrations. #mums #yellow #chrysanthemum #mekong #tet #mekongdelta @natgeo @natgeo.media @natgeocreative @thephotosociety

Mekong Delta

Love of flowers: Vietnamese love for flowers is most evident during the festive Tet New Year celebration coming up on February 16. In the Mekong River Delta, marigolds and mums flood Cantho market with the colors yellow, orange and red, believed to bring good fortune in the new year. #cantho #mekongdelta #vietnam #market #flowers #marigold #mum @natgeo @natgeocreative @natgeo.media @thesilkroadjourney

Can Tho