There are two types of laughter: bottom-up laughter, which is funny and makes us laugh uncontrollably, and top-down laughter, which makes us smile in response to social situations. So says cognitive neuroscientist Nobuko Nakano. The latter type of laughter is more common among Japanese, which is one of the reasons why Westerners often say that Japanese laughter is creepy.
In layman's terms, this is because Japanese people smile in situations where Westerners would never smile in their culture. It is true that people often smile to hide their disappointment or frustration. However, this is not just a Japanese thing. I think Asian countries have this tendency to a greater or lesser extent.
The market in Cirebon, Java, was empty, though I don't know whether it was because everything was sold out or because it was not the time for shoppers to come. As I looked around, I saw piles of chicken, so I guessed that customers would not be coming to the market yet. Indeed, I could see people working inside each store. The young woman in this photo was one of them. She smiled when I pointed my camera at her. I wondered if this laughter was bottom-up or top-down. Or was it a top-down type? I wonder which it was.
February 17, 2021
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF