Gaikokujintourokusho

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gaijincard-old.jpgIt's hard to believe, but I've been living in Japan for long enough to have my gaikokujintourokusho, foreigner registration card, expire. Today I went to have it renewed. That's a once-every-five-years event. I feel like a long-time resident now...getting there, anyway.

So sayonara to the old tourokusho with my smudgy fingerprint. They don't subject us untrustworthy foreigners to the criminal-feeling inky finger anymore. I wonder what will go in that space?

I'm looking forward to being able to read the new one--the ink on the old one was starting to get rubbed off. Every time I had to copy down my registration number I had to think hard about whether it was a 3 or a 5 that I was looking at.

My original purple card was issued in Meguro-ku where we lived when we first arrived in Japan. My new card from Bunkyo-ku will be another color, I believe. I saw someone picking theirs up today and it was sort of salmon-pink colored. It's a fitting color for this ward, more subtle and refined than the brash violet of funky, urban Meguro-ku.

giajincard-photo.jpgI am happily saying goodbye to the bad photo circa 1998 from when my hair was growing out and I had to pull it back to keep it out of my eyes.

But now I'll have this one instead. Just as bad, but different. I'm not so crazy about seeing my face aged five years but I like this haircut better, even though it's a little too long right now and looks like a lopsided helmet.

Five years in Tokyo has made me look my age, at least in this picture. Maybe when I'm moving around and smiling I look a little younger. I hope so.

But what can I expect? ID photos are rarely attractive and I don't make any effort to look great. It's too much fun to whip out the old IDs at drunken get-togethers and compare to see which is least like the person it belongs to.

4 Comments

Shinjuku-ku office has the "Ugly" machine - it is notorious for taking hideous ID photos. Unfortunately no-one told me this when I ran in at 4:45pm one day to get my torokushou.

I actually don't mind the pic on mine...but you were very brave to post yours!

I've posted bad ID photos before. See http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/archives/006433.html

Kristen,

I remember a feeling of slight disappointment at having to renew my card. Firstly, I initially planned to be here for 2 years, not 5, and secondly, I liked the way I looked at 23 a little better than the way I looked at 28!

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  • Gary: Kristen, I remember a feeling of slight disappointment at having read more
  • kuri: I've posted bad ID photos before. See http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/archives/006433.html read more
  • gomichild: I actually don't mind the pic on mine...but you were read more
  • Tracey: Shinjuku-ku office has the "Ugly" machine - it is notorious read more

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