A Day in the Life of Japan

David Elliot Cohen and Rick Smolan

A Day in the Life of Japan cover


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At first, the very notion of A Day in the Life of Japan seemed arrogant and outrageous. One hundred world famous photographers would be assembled in Japan to do a book on Japanese life during one twenty-four hour period. The idea was to send the photographers to the ordinary Japan—to the mountains, out on fishing boats, to bath houses, to ball games, to bars and beauty parlors.
Arrogant, the critics said, because most of the cameramen are foreigners. Outrageous, they said, because Japan can't be captured in twenty-four hours.
But surprisingly, the critics were wrong. The photographers were able to look beyond the cliches to a very human Japan—not a land of robots and Silicon and Stereos but a nation of fishermen and nature lovers and children studying the violin. They also found a people who have changed so rapidly that they seem to need outside reassurance that they are doing well, that Japan is noticed, accepted in the world. It was as if Japan, despite its explosion as a world-class power, is somehow pinching itself to make sure it's really true.