There used to be a time when every newborn baby received at least one set of albums from a friend or relative, the kind with heavily cushioned covers in baby pink or blue (for a girl or a boy). Young parents were more than eager to fill them with pictures of their beloved child, and albums would pile up by the time the kid was a teenager.

Although they would cool down a little the second time and the pile would be smaller (which looks unfair because “my brother had more pictures than me”), it was still there. When there was a family reunion, looking through the albums was one of the routine events.

Have parents stopped printing pictures and pasting them in albums? They now seem to be replaced by digital media, CDs, DVDs and the equipment to play those things. We can see pictures on the screen, and besides we now have too many pictures to go into an album, right?

With the album a bit of the family hierarchies have gone, which isn’t all bad. But is there maybe a method of sharing and enjoying information that we have forgotten?

by Keiko Ihara (Photograph by Takashi Sasaki)