So I was writing a nice, long post about today's sports day (how's that for timely???), but one thing led to another and I realized it was almost 9:00 and there was just no hope in hell that I was going to get the post finished and all the accompanying pictures posted tonight, plus do all the other, non-computer things I want to do (I know, gasp!), and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Just not going to happen.
So instead, I've decided to test Elliott and see how long it takes him to retract his comment to my previous post about the Kagoshima pics. To test this theory, I've gone ahead and posted a bunch of purikura from our trip to Flickr.
I'm surprised - there are at least four electronic copies of these pictures floating around, plus the originals of course - why am I the first to post them online? Does this imply something about me???
Anyway, for the unitiatied, purikura or "print club" photos are basically Japan's answer to the boring little photo booths that we have at home, that friends crowd into and take their pictures together in. Except these are photo booths on LSD. After you take a series of pictures (usually 8-10 photos, depending on the booth), you then all run around to the other side, where there is a counter and touch screen with magic pens to then decorate your picture further. Japanese teenagers are absolutely fantastically creative with these purikura, and it's a bit of an addiction for many of them. Case in point: I asked my students to make out name cards at the start of this school year (which is in mid-April here), including a drawing or photo of themselves, and I told them purikura were OK. Instantly at least half a dozen of the girls had whipped out small plastic cases, like pencil cases, that were just FILLED with tiny purikura of them and their friends. Just amazing.
Also in Japan, these purikura booths are not standalone booths stuck in an obscure corner of the local mall (like our photo booths seem to be). In most malls and shopping arcades, there will be at least one large roomful of them, often near or combined with a videogame arcade. There will be anywhere from 5 to 20 booths to choose from, each of which offers its own range of photo styles, colours, and decoration options.
I myself have only done purikura pictures once or twice this year, plus once a few years ago when last in Japan (with Rebecca T.), but I think I need to get another set or two before coming home.