Jolly Jap(m)an, revisited

As promised, here is the Japanese guy I met at the airport, in the Osaka transit lounge.

Jolly as he was, he still didn’t smile for the camera. Sometimes I think that Japanese, or Asian men in general can be as stoic as the All Blacks, when it came to the match photo. So called a “rugby photo” because of the lack of cheer, and the staunch expression on the players faces.

2 Responses

  1. It’s just a cultural thing. To Asians of his generation, being photographed was a serious affair, and even though that attitude’s wearing off, it’s hard for the older ones to get used to the idea of smiling in one. Same in the West if you go back far enough. Photography to them wasn’t as disposable as it is to us. Having said that, I hate smiling in photos ‘just for the sake of it’.

  2. You could argue that to smile or not smile is reflective on the state of mind therein. Probably a Western way of thinking, I would like to add that they don’t smile, to out their best foot forward, to have their photo taken is a serious business.

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