Photoessay: Solitude


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Japan is a group-oriented society, which comes as a blindingly obvious statement to anyone who knows the very basics of the country.  The mechanics of group vs. individual societies are too complicated to be easily explained in a pithy paragraph or two, but there is a ready contrast with the normal furious group energy to be seen upon spotting an individual in isolation.  Classic Japanese decision making is made in a consensus building style.  This means slowly gathering information, consulting individuals on a hierarchical basis, and making sure the correct amount of deliberate thinking is involved.  But what happens when things happen on a more individual basis?  On my many visits to Japan I always have an eye out for the individual seeking a few moments away from the group, whether that time is spent in self-reflection, relaxation, or contemplation.  Upon return to Canada, a pluralistic, individual society which is forced into a group mentality by the weather, this behaviour can still be seen but you have to look a little bit harder to find it.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D810, Ricoh GR II, and Fujifilm X-T2.