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Ageda Photo makes your memories last forever

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 1998-10-30

As you walk into Ageda Photo shop, you see a staircase to your right, salon chairs to the left, and directly in front of you is the "lights, camera, action" room. The older gentleman, who greeted us as we came in, called up to his wife and daughter, then directed James and Kelly Renquist, who were to be photographed, and me up the stairs. It was like peering into the life of an Okinawan, without him knowing I was catching a glimpse. It was so exciting! Then, as we reached the top of the stairs, I felt like I was in the dressing rooms backstage in a theater. On the second floor, there was a make-up room and on the other side was a room filled with traditional Okinawan and Japanese style hakamas (split pants) and kimonos, as well as frilly party dresses of varied vibrant colors. The mother, Chiyoko Inamine, dressed James and Kelly alternately while the daughter, Sanae, put make-up on Kelly. Quite skilled, Sanae was able to create using curlers and extensions the illusion of long hair on Kelly and thus use a more traditional Okinawan hairstyle for the photograph. Kelly chose the red kimono and James the blue hakama. The Inamine's said "Many foreigners are surprised how many layers of clothing are put on underneath the traditional garments." After the shoes were fitted, they proceeded down the stairs to the studio to take the photos. James and Kelly smiled and laughed together with the Inamine family as their pictures were taken. When the shoot was over, I asked James and Kelly what they thought of this experience, and they commented "We think it will be a great souvenir to remind us of our stay in Okinawa."

The Inamine family has been performing this art for over 25 years, and is experienced in helping those who are indecisive decide what would look best on film. Ageda has colorful screens and an assortment of props, including samurai swords, fans, sanshin (Okinawan banjo, handbags, toys, and flowers. The variety of props is endless. The Inamine family is very flexible and open to suggestions for different poses, attire, and props. They have photo albums you can flip through to get ideas of what accessories and to wear, as well as, various photograph sets you can order. They make holiday, seasonal and special occasion postcards, and, of course, portfolios and family portraits. The prices will vary according to the style of photographs ordered. There is no extra charge for costumes.

Ageda is open daily, except Tuesday, from 10A.M.to 8P.M. To make your reservations please call 098-937-1357. Directions: Head north on 330, crossing Kadena Gate 2 Street. Go through 7 traffic lights passing NTT, Koza Bowling, Bank of the Ryukus. Ageda Photo Studio is on the right, across the street from an optical shop.

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