When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture

My family’s collection of goshuincho, including my beautiful manji-covered orange book.

A few weeks ago, some pretty major news dropped: the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (they make maps) proposed a set of changes to its tourist maps. The goal is clarity–some of the current symbols are a bit confusing for those who have just arrived. For example, “H” stands for “hotel”–not “hospital” or “helipad”, while an “X” means koban (police box)–not, um, treasure. Continue reading “When Discomfort Threatens to Overpower Culture”