A mask : A Certificate of “Being Normal” or A Permit to “Be Here”


At Minami-Urawa Station, Saitama ©Toru Ukai, 2020



It’s not a mistake to say that there’re no restrictions about the pandemic here in Japan, but instead the government dares to encourage us to take a domestic trip even now in a surge in infection. It seems just our cautiousness or obedience prevents us from being infected with COVID-19. In fact it’s quite difficult to find a brave person without a mask here. A mask has already been part of our face and it makes us feel relieved among the crowd. Besides, a mask is also a certificate of “being normal” or a permit to “be here”. The most important fact is that it's an unwritten law here…

I guess a mask will be a must in going out even in the post-COVID days in Japan. Instead of losing our lips, we find a smartphone and our fingers absolutely essential for communication with one another. A new normal can show an interesting chimera on the street.

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All images © Toru Ukai, 2020

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