This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
1. purikura is a photo booth machine except the photos are stickers and you can add effects and graffiti to it on the spot.Will/Flickr
You can find purikura machines in any game center, amusement park, or sometimes in aquariums and landmarks. It is insanely popular among Japanese girls in their teens and twenties, and is getting popular around the world too!
2. purikura is short for print club.
The first purikura machine was called Print Club machine, made by Atlus in 1995. The name “Print Club” (or purikura) is now a registered trademark of the parent company of Atlus.
3. Old machines only had photo frames.
Old machines only had photo frames, like ones shown in the image above, and you could only choose two to three frames at one photo shoot. Some frames had famous people included in it, so you could pretend you were having a photo with a famous person.
4. Now, you can take photos not only with photo frames you like, but you can write on your photo.Viola Renate/Flickr
The machines are divided into two parts; the photo booth, and the rakugaki (落書き) corner. Rakugaki means to scribble. In the rakugaki corner, you can choose which pens to write with (different colors and textures), and use stamps shaped like hearts, stars, animals, mustaches, wigs, ears… most of the time, the time to write into your photo is limited, but you still have lots of time anyway. Go free with your creativity.
5. The machine display and the photos itself are very high quality.Tim Franklin Photography/Flickr
The machine display inside the photo booth, and the rakugaki display are both of very high quality. It responds to touch, fingers and pens (attached to the booth). It’s better than my TV screen.
6. The machine alters your body image automatically.Jason Wong/Flickr
It does depend on the machine, but generally, the machines will make your eyes look bigger, legs longer and thinner, body size smaller and thinner, hair more soft looking and shiny, and make your skin whiter. You can adjust how severe you want all these effects to be, but generally you can’t remove them altogether.
7. You can make your photos either into stickers, or into data.
After you’re done with decorating your photo, the machine will ask for your e-mail address. If you enter it, they will send the digital version of your photos to your phone. This way, you can upload your purikura experience on social media much more easily!
8. Journals filled with purikura are called purichou (プリ帳).
The pages of these purichou can be slippery, so you can stick every purikura inside, or just a normal journal. Most girls take purikura every time they go hang out, so the number’s pretty big for some.
9. Some game centers rent out costumes and wigs.
Costumes vary from maids, pirates, bunnies, school girls, and so on. Wig colors come in brown, yellow, pink, blue, and so on. Sometimes they rent bunny or cat ears. It’s something that makes the purikura experience a more memorable and funny one.
10. The price for purikura is about 200 ~ 400 yen.Alipyon/Flickr
The higher the price, the more things you can do with your purikura. And there’s no limitation on how many people can be in the booth. The more people, the cheaper for one person. Enjoy your purikura experience!