The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Old People, Running Out

As this great article by Justin McCurry in the Guardian explains, the Japanese appear to have problem with missing old people at the moment. It’s not like there aren’t a lot of old people in Japan but as of the time of writing, nearly thirty centenarians are missing and that number is probably going to rise.

(update just heard on the radio that 35 are confirmed as unconfirmed whereabouts)

While it is a bit funny to think of the much vaulted longevity that Japanese people have pride in taking a slight knock, especially if it wobbles the faith in their fish diet and hardwork sanctimoniousness a little; it is quite shocking that people don’t know where their parents and grandparents are, or if they are alive or dead. Worse still is some, as happened with Tokyo’s oldest man of 111 years of age who was recently found to have died 30 years ago, do “probably” know they are dead and hide the fact so they can steal their pensions. There is no respect in that at all.

As a one off crime it’s pretty shocking but if these missing centenarians, and one also must suspect a few missing Nonagenarians, Octogenarians and Septuagenarians too, are found to have all had their deaths hidden and their pensions and saving appropriated by, admittedly aged relatives, there is seriously something wrong with the morals of this country.

Funny old world

If you’ll excuse the pun.



6 responses

  1. John

    As someone interested in the truth of photojournalism, what is your take on (presumably) no-finder hipshots like these?

    August 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

  2. Ok you got me, it’s a hip shot, swung to get motion, I like it though. i think as long as i don’t alter the image after the event to show something that wasn’t there or isn’t true a shot like this is no different than capturing action with a motor-drive on overdrive. as you never know exactly what you’re going to get with that option either. Not the perfect capture but such images have there place and it works well for this post, especially the, granted, accidental anonymity.
    Plus Sugamo ladies are very short so getting this image this way was better than scaring the shit of of her and tripping her up by kneeling down at her feet.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

  3. John

    It’s not about getting you or not- – and it certainly doesn’t matter how a photographer gets what they need since pictures are independent of their creators. It does work in this image and like you said, the fewer older sugamo ladies collapsing from fright the better!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm

  4. Yes John! Took a picqued understanding of the question till I had a look at your work than understood you were ot taking the piss and could see you work fluidly and experimentally on many images. Just what i was doing here. mostly I am (though less of late it has to be said since i went digital) pretty focused on all i photograph. Damon

    August 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

  5. John

    The end of experimentation would spell the end of photography. I’m interested in what pictures can teach me- sometimes you have to mix things up to get surprises and an education. Keeping it interesting for yourself is part of the process.

    August 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

  6. Good article about yet another odd story from Japan.

    I like the photo you posted up, sometimes the “hip” shots you just roll off to not miss a moment work out to be the best.

    Take it easy


    August 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s