Passport Photo

Back in the 90s when I used to read the weaving list on Majordomo (?), someone said she turned officially professional a few days previous because in her travel documents she wrote "weaver" as her occupation; she said she felt a little scared but very relieved to finally declare to the world what she does. I've been doing that for a few years, not only because I weave, but also because I haven't been doing anything else.

Ben and I have to renew our passports every 10 years. So we need our Japanese passports, and our current ones expire next months, and we had passport photos taken recently.

The photo place told us the instructions from the Japanese Embassy is the strictest they've seen; while the overall size is the same for all (or most) countries, there is very little leeway, 2mm, for ours, whilst other "strict" countries allow 3mm. The Embassy sent us a sheet with one good example of face size and position, and about 25 bad examples, including the face being too small or too large.

Now, my face is round. If we comply with the length of the face, it's too wide and the photo looks exactly like the "too large" example. If we make my face narrower, the whole face shrinks and there's too much space at the top and the bottom. My first set looked exactly like the "too large" example, so I went back to get a second set. And a light bulb went on before I left home, and I remembered to wear a scarf I wove.

The young staff measured my old set every which way she could, compared it to the "good" example, and told me measurement-wise it complied perfectly to the specs, but agreed it looked very much like the "too large" example. So she took another, and printed two pics similar in size to the old "too large" set, and two pics in which the face measurement is too small, but look more like the "good" example. And I see a smidgen of my scarf in the former two, and a wee bit more in the latter.

We'll let the Embassy staff choose, but by golly I'll be happy if I can use the "good" example pic.


  1. Just to clarify, Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship except for children of Japanese parent born overseas, or children of non-Japanese parent born in Japan, until they are 18 or 20, So we remain citizens of Japan with resident permit in New Zealand.

  2. Love your blog! Definitely coming back for more!


  3. Thank you, Hannah, any time!


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