Of photographing a cat in Japan
It was a nice Sunday evening and the lighting conditions were good so I decided to take a stroll around my apartment with my camera. I came across a cat relaxing on the road and proceeded to take a few photos of it.
Then suddenly two Japanese children (probably 9-10 years old) approached me and asked if I was taking photos of the cat. I answered yes and then one of them said I cannot take photos of their cat.
A million thoughts raced through my mind at that point. Did I do something wrong? Why can’t I take photos of this cat? What mortal sin have I committed that even a child can see through me? As much as I wanted to defend myself and question them, my limited command of Japanese prevented me from doing so.
But then the other kid said it was okay to photograph the cat. The first kid, unhappy that his companion had contradicted his earlier statement shot him a look and began to discuss something with him in whispers. Then it occurred to me these kids might just be playing a prank on a helpless foreigner who can barely speak Japanese. Not wanting to find out the outcome of their discussion I apologized and walked away.
I’m not sure what to make of the entire ordeal but I guess walking around a neighborhood in Japan with a camera (especially a DSLR) isn’t exactly a good idea. Let’s stick to tourist sites and cosplay events from now on.