Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Drawing Lines

Some similarities indeed. This is an article I never imagined I would write:

At what age do we become adults? In Japan people legally come of age at 20 years old. There are coming of age ceremonies for new adults all over Japan each year.

Now in the U.K as this article explains, former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has proposed a similar coming of age ceremony for sixteen year olds.

After the tube and bus bombings in London in July 2005, there was a lot of talk about the lack of national identity and cohesion amongst the modern youth of Britain. This proposal is perhaps a predictable institutional reaction to such sentiment, but is it without merit?

Aside from the affirmation of national identity comes the question of legal responsibility. As this editorial explains, the legal age of adulthood in Japan is a current hot topic. Should the legal age be lowered to 18?

There is the possibility of big change in both countries. There is also the proposed introduction of a registration card for foreign residents in The U.K which would mirror the much maligned 'Gaijin Card' system in Japan. Another similarity that I never imagined commenting on.

Lines are being re-drawn, with both countries trying to cope with internal changes.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All White Again

Last weekend we spent two nights in the holiday home of a friend who asked me to take some illustrative winter shots of the home for his brochure.

The house is in Hakuba, in Nigata prefecture. The rear windows pictured in the second photo look out onto the entrance to the ski slope and the base of the ski lift. A prime location with underfloor heating (very comfy).

Sadly, no skiing for me (not that I'm any good, I have only been twice). The long drive and the two day weekend meant that we only had a day and a half to get the inside and outside pictures. With more people than just my group staying, it meant a constant flow of bodies in and out of the house which made trying to get a shot of the interior minus cast off ski wear and tired bodies very difficult. There was also the problem of the local Sake being very good!

Finaly a series of 12 shots made the grade. Less from the outside as the wind and heavy snow even closed the ski lift on the final day. It was good to get out of the city though, and see some mountains close up. I'm told that the skiing was good too.