A hundred years old! Somebody told me
" Take a picture for him. Cos he is a hundred years old! " Somebody told me.
So I flamed him without a moment. I remembered I had similar experience
somewhere before. Yeah, it's a local town in Cuba.
Both a hundred year old men looked so fine. Now I'm talking about age in
Japanese tend to care about age too much. For instance on TV, from ordinary people to celebrities, sports players or even team managers, the age is superimposed beside the name. It might be because of filling the image blank or giving some tips for viewer.
Comedians often get a material with their own age matter. Well, they'll
be never lose the subject forever.
A first met persons ask me in the first conversation gripping beer mug
"How old are you?" Then the table divided into younger group
and the elder. And the folks come alive over generation gap subjects. "Do
you know this pop idol or that musician?" Justin Bieber vs. I don't
know, may be ABBA. No conclusion comes out, forever parallel in vain. I'm
sick of it. But calm down Fumi. It makes looking you narrow-minded.
Classified ad says "Staffs in 20s and 30s are active!" "Oh!
I could work with the young" A man in 40s applies it. But it doesn't
mean that. It really means "We don't need any person over 40. Please
From my experience, these age discriminations and stereotypes were remarkable in conservative society especially in Asia. In Vietnam, India or Iran, people have the stereotypes "Should be like this in their 30s, 40s ...." If you are single at certain age, sometime they give you pity. If you don't have a child you must be consoled "Don't worry someday the children will be given"
At the house I was invited, the master asked to me "Wohohoho, why
don't you get married with my daughter?" " Well, that's my pleasure
father. But I think I'm older than you. It's all right?" "Oh!"
Then the father squinted me. I could read from his face. "Forget what
I asked just before"
Of course, these kind of stereotypes potentially exist in Japan too.
Forever young is a common wish for everybody in the world. However whether you can be enjoying at any age or depressing under aging depends on the tolerance of the society. Maybe this is the biggest difference between some western countries and Japan. Think about it. Which society can afford a 20 year old student and the 60 learn together in the college? In which society's students get start having interview equally on the third grade of Univ? Which society's firms persist on "Newly graduated brand"
Each person have each life. There are early bloomers. Others are the late.
People live a short and merry life while the others live long simple life.
Society or company should be consist on various members. In another words,
simply divided in the groups with just number of the age or having the
stereotypes of age makes a quite uncomfortable society.
Now back to the portrait.
With hearing "A hundred year old man" how do you picture him
in your mind? Then you look at this picture. You must be noticed you live
in stereotype. "People should not be measured by only age. But if
I'm asked why I took his picture, I must be answer without hesitation.
Just because he was a hundred years old and he looked fine.
" A hundred years old! Somebody told me " Jaisalmer, India 2012