Sunday, October 28, 2007

Print Club - "Purikura"

Hiking Day - Purikura 1
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Purikura pictures are as much a part of Japan for me now as sushi or sumo or bowing.

In case you don't know what they are, here's a brief explanation. Purikura is the nickname for these types of photos, derived from the Japanese pronunciation of "Print Club" or "purinto kurabu" in Japanese katakana. These pictures come from a little booth you go in, take 6 or 8 shots with your friends, and then decorate with light pens and then print out on sticker sheets to be cut up and shared.

You see them everywhere in Japan - both the booths and the pictures themselves - many people use them to decorate their cell-phone and my kids decorate their notebooks and pen case lids with them. Girls seem to like making them more than guys, but the boys have them too. And any student in Jr High or High School will be a purikura expert, knowing the best poses and best things to decorate and write on the pcitures.

I decorated this pic. Simple stuff, just wrote all our names in English and added the crown and bow tie and flower. But the girls knew how to get the machine to email their keitai (cell phone) with the pic and then they emailed it to me. I've taken purikura dozens of times over the past 3 years, but this is the first time I've had digital copies. So that allowed me to post these two on my Flickr acct. In real life, the pics are usually quite small, less than and 1 inch by 1 inch, about the size of a small postage stamp. It usually costs about 400yen for a sheet of about 24 pics.

I like to collect the ones I take, so I've started a book with just pages of purikura pics from my trips to the booth, and from other friends in Japan and students.
When the new Avril Lavigne CD came out, a bunch of my kids asked me if I could make them a copy, so I downloaded it off of iTunes, and burned them copies and charged them purikura pics for the burned CD. Most gave me more than one, so now I have a bunch of fun pics of my kids.

If you come to Japan for a visit, definitely give purikura a try. It's not too hard to follow along even if you don't know Japanese and while some of the booths have a myriad of options, most usually have an "osusume" or recommended course you can just follow.

Yay for purikura!



Anonymous said...

Hi Jason ... i suddenlly found your blog and i am very interested in jpan culture ... if u have msn messenger pls add my add .. or u email to this add if u dont have msn ,,,leslie form Malaysia..

Serge said...

Hey Jason!

It's been forever! *hug*

- Serge