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Peculiar Professions across Asia

Photographer: Various


Across Asia, billions of people head to work as the sun rises.


Some of these occupations do not fall into the category of mainstream careers, instead they are deemed by some to be peculiar professions.


A specialized cosmetic fish surgeon in Singapore, master nail weavers in Japan, and crocodile wranglers in Thailand, are among them.


Sharia law enforcers whose job is to mete out punishment as determined by Sharia courts, including public canings, pull on identity covering black or brown head-to-toe robes in Aceh for their work, while Indonesian Living Statue artist Sadam Firman is among those to color himself in a head-to-toe uniform of silver as he acts out his role as a frozen independence hero.


Typewriter repairers are run off their feet in Jammu as they prove an archaic technology for most of the world still has a place and supports a profession. Maintenance of the clacking metal beasts of the pre-computer age, once mainstream as a job, is still in demand.


In the highly mechanized city of Tokyo, fit youths have returned to pulling rickshaws, in the rickshaws original birth nation of Japan, thus pulling a profession and form of transport from an age past, back to the future.


Other peculiar professions are highly specialized, and follow years of apprenticeship and traditional teachings, like Japan’s master nail weavers who meticulously serrate their fingernails to be used in techniques to weave beautiful tapestry to make traditional kimonos. The free form designs created resemble brush paintings in a tradition that started in the Nara period in Japan from AD 710-794.


Or the artists in China who throw exceedingly hot molten iron to create spectacular light performances. Called Da Shu Hua this profession dates back to blacksmiths 300 years ago creating their own very special fireworks.


At the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia, Kheng Sreyphirom has a caretaking job like no other.