In Japan, photography is a way of life. Everyone has a camera, of one form or another. Most young people have cell phones with camera attachments that they take everywhere. Any time you go to a festival or event, and feel the urge to take out your camera and take a picture, all you have to do is look around and see everyone around you whipping out their cell phones and taking a picture of it. Recently we went to a Hanabi Matsuri (firework festival). When I held my camera above the heads of the crowd, I saw thousand of tiny cell phone screens, lighting up the darkness of the night. People take pictures of fireworks, festivals, any scenic spots. In a cheesy take on an old Zen koan, people joke, "If it happens, and no one takes a picture of it- did it really happen?" Anyway, at first I felt self-conscious about taking photographs like a tourist, but after a while I realized that everyone else was taking pictures too, so I got over it.

For Christmas, I bought Justin a special camera, a Casio Elixim, that was on the cutting edge of Japanese technology. He loved it because this digital camera was essentially the size of a credit card and had decent resolution. Our previous digital camera, the Nikon Coolpics, developed personality issues and was really big and clunky to take around. Justin wanted something he could use as a ninja camera to capture photos in the blink of an eye. Overall we've been very happy with our camera. It is so very, very convenient to use!

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Also, check out Brenda's keitai diary.

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