a building at Kyoto Univ.

Though talking about your ages is a delicate topic as well as in other countries, it is not a taboo in Japan. Many Japanese people don't mind being asked their age when the way of asking is polite enough. I think you can sometimes feel closer to a person when you find out he or she is in the same age group. Recently, I discovered that one of my students was exactly the same age as me. So I said happily, "We are the same age!", but he answered, "So what?" He wasn't interested at all. On such an occasion, I can't help imagining that we might have studied in the same class at the same elementary school, if we had been born in the same country.