In Japan They Don't Smile

If you have ever heard that in Japan the people do not show emotion, you have been miss informed.

Looking through my images from the two trips to Japan, I noticed something that had been observed before, but became stark in contrast to other images I had been looking at earlier the same day. There are a lot more images containing strong emotions, especially happiness in these photos, a lot more than my collection of street shots from Italy or Australia. It is not uncommon to see Japanese people sharing moments of shared joy, especially with their children, but even then they keep these to themselves out of respect to others. Perfect really.

Shooting street images in Japan is easier than in many countries, but the image maker must beware. The people have a strong tolerance to the behaviour of others, but that does not mean they do not feel intruded upon. Respect, distance and common decency are all as relevant there as anywhere else.