A month in Japan made me a shutterbug - I took over 2,000 photographs, including these portraits of some of Nippon's 127,433,494 residents. It's difficult to pinpoint a person's age but I've tried to arrange the 28 images in this post in ascending age order.
Brothers enjoying natto-maki (fermented soy beans rolled in white rice and wrapped in seaweed) and onigiri (triangles of rice stuffed with a teaspoon of anything you'd like - often last night's leftovers).
"Mother Hen and Happy Chick" bouncing on the Fuah Fuah Dome, Yoshiumi Rose Garden, Ehime.
Mother and son ferry across the Seto Inland Sea.
Public toys and books make waiting enjoyable, Shin-Hanamaki train station, Iwate Prefecture.
Japan is suffering declining birth rates & aging population? Coulda fooled me! Kyoto Station, June 2007.
Patent leather bags are de rigeur for Japan's legions of student athletes, Umeda Station, June 2007.
Scores of young girls buy photos, t-shirts, magnets, hats, anything emblazoned with images of their hearthrobs. Teen idols are Tackey, ne - don't you agree?
Japanese Homies - New York rappers set the world standard for urban hip -- yeah boyeeeeeeeeee!
Back on solid ground after the Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai (the cataclysmic January, 1995 earthquake), the city of Kobe is now known for its youthful population.
Inexplicable to Western eyes, pachinko draws Japanese fanatics of every stripe.
More than mere flour and water, a lifetime of love and tradition is rolled into every strand of this dedicated chef's ramen noodles.
There's no telling how long this bird-loving Buddha's been around, but homelessness is an age-old concern for compassionate people everywhere. One thing is certain, there's a great deal of the dignity built into the Japanese language: