Today is a national holiday in Japan: Coming of Age Day (seijin no hi). This is a day to commemorate all those who will turn 20 years old this year, the age of majority in Japan, when former minors can vote, drink and smoke -- although not particularly in that order. There are many elaborate celebrations wearing traditional clothing. At least, somewhere that's happening. In my town tonight I heard raucous laughter on the street, a most un-Japanese happening. So I went out on the street and watched a mob of just-20s and soon-to-be-20s carrying on. Clearly some of them were jumping the gun on the use of alcoholic beverages.
A co-worker forwarded this pic from Shinsaibashi Shopping Street in Osaka. Don Draper, are you taking notes on this?
I recently moved to Tokyo to begin working as a "roving" Asia reporter for a newspaper, and so I've rejiggered this blog as a result. Now with live-action video!!
At risk of understatement, life is quite different in Japan than in China. Food, traffic, language, customs -- so many new things to learn and assimilate. I will be traveling in Asia for my work and, of course, returning to China from time to time. Before I moved to China in 2006 I read in guide books about many foreigners who'd lived in China spent the rest of their lives scheming how to get back there. I now understand.
Crane Among Chickens will be expanding its breadth to include all of Asia, wherever my travels and interests take me.
Today is New Years Day 2012, so I think it appropriate to post a few pictures and a video of the taiko drummers who played near my apartment in Akigawa, Tokyo, today.