When being in Japan, one spends lot of time in various forms of public transportation. And so next to ‘arigato’ and ‘konichiwa’, ‘kudasai’ becomes one of the most heard words. Dozen times a day, from loud-speakers at railway stations, in subway cars and shinkansens, on buses, on a ferry, cruise ship and nightly boat taxi, on a cable car, chairlift and even on a Ferris wheel. At the end of every incomprehensible announcement in Japanese, obviously deeply lost in translation, kudasai will soon start to sound like an old friend.

Thus, without knowing its exact meaning, it smoothly integrated also into our vocabulary during our wandering in the Land of the Rising Sun. Kudasai became our wondering and disappointment, laughter and crying, swearing and loving, mostly swearing. It was with us through all adventures we have experienced. Dozen times a day, a word that only we could understand. Even long after we left Japan behind.

Enjoy our Japanese visual essay, kudasai.

Kudasai is a self-initiated book (photodiary) made in collaboration with Darina Zavadilová.

Year: 2018
Concept, Photos, Texts: Jan Kloss, Darina Zavadilová
Design: Jan Kloss
Client: self-initiated