Sunday, July 24, 2011

V is for Victory

Winston Churchill giving the sign.
I've hopped on the bandwagon for giving the V is for victory, or peace sign when having my picture taken.  What started out as being silly has actually become habit forming.  I had a friend back in America ask me what's with the "V" sign from people in Asia.  I wasn't entirely sure so I asked a couple Japanese friends to tell me what they knew about it, or if they did it when taking pictures.

Here's what I learned:

Friend #1:  Well, I don't know the origin..I was taught to do it since I was baby.  High school girls put a lot of effort to look good in photos. They look up a little bit to make eyes look bigger, and put Vs on cheeks to make faces look smaller.  Silly ne!

Friend #2:  I think it has to do with after the war.  Winston Churchill made the V, or victory sign, so everyone started doing it.  It was also popular with Japanese Hippies (I asked.........Japan had hippies?)  Also, in the early 1970's, Junji Inoue, a Japanese TV personality was in a Konica camera commercial doing the peace sign.  Its been very popular in Japan, but I never make the sign in photos. 

Regardless of the origin, I think that its part of the culture here.  You see the sign in many photos taken in Japan, and it other parts of Asia.  I think its both fun and funny.  See, even cartoon characters do it!

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