Tomomi Morita
Waitress, 21 (Japanese)
I attended my coming of age ceremony, which was a big event for me, even though I actually turned 20 the year before. I wore a kimono, and after the ceremony near where I live I went to Senso-ji in Asakusa, met up with all my classmates from school and did what everyone does — got drunk.

Asami Harigae
Housewife, 48 (Japanese)
In 2012 I joined the PTA at my son’s school, and it keeps me very busy every day. It is good fun and I enjoy all the activities we do as a group and that we arrange, but as my son is not far from graduating and will go to junior high school soon, I have to make the most of it now.

Daisuke Hanawa
Bar owner, 32 (Japanese)
On April 23 I achieved a dream of mine by opening my own bar in Ueno. Essentially I built it from nothing and am gradually building my business now. Hopefully it will keep growing in the years to come, and the customers will keep coming. At least, that’s the plan.

Ayano Kikuchi
Beautician, 22 (Japanese)
I went overseas for the first time ever in 2012, to Saipan, and really enjoyed it. That was the biggest thing for me. I loved swimming in the sea, and everything was so cheap compared to Japan. But there were no nice guys there, just playboys, and I am not into them.

James Gengler
Telecom consultant, 35 (American)
2012 [sic] was the year we killed Osama bin Laden, and that is the main thing I will remember. He took us into so many wars and that gave the U.S. a bad reputation. Also, linked to the bin Laden death and wars, we have the Guantanamo situation. Personally I think it should be closed down.

Misao Ito
Housewife, 72 (Japanese)
Recently I started going overseas — to South Korea — and am really enjoying it. I got over a serious illness not long ago, and that made me realize we have to live life now, to the fullest, and to enjoy ourselves. I am looking forward to going back to Korea later this month with my daughter.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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