In Japanese, a person who starts engaging in some activity only to soon give up is referred to as a mikka bozu (a monk for three days). Weekly Playboy (June 20) set out to poll people about things they'd initiated from early in the pandemic, only to throw in the towel soon thereafter. If the responses proved one thing, it would be that it takes more than a serious pandemic to change human nature.
For instance, those seeking to breathe fresh air in the great outdoors initiated a mini-boom in camping. Unfortunately, many of these newbies soon tired of it, and afterwards found that the equipment they'd purchased just took up space in their homes.
"Since the kids' school activities were curtailed, I thought they would enjoy new experiences going camping," said a 38-year-old man employed in the financial sector. "I purchased a family-size tent, barbecue set and other stuff. In 2020 we went camping once or twice. The following year, the pandemic eased up and instead I took the wife and kids to a mineral hot springs, which was far more relaxing. My kid remarked, 'It's not tiring, the way camping is.' Since then we haven't gone camping and all the stuff I bought is just taking up space in the garage."
A 27-year-old government worker decided he'd take up cycling.
"I bought a bicycle for 50,000 yen," he said. "I rode it often last year, but these days I just spend my time loafing on the living room sofa. In the meantime the bike's tires both deflated. I realize it's a waste of money, but now the bike's just serving as part of the room's interior."
Some people were led to reexamine their careers and actually took action to do something about it, but with few favorable results.
A 26-year-old man in telecommunications, considered to be a "type with a high degree of awareness," was inspired to explore new vistas after he logged onto an "online salon."
"From quite some time ago, I'd been a follower of this person on Twitter, who I found fascinating," he relates. "He had set up his own salon, which I joined. But the first time the group organized a remote drinking party, the founder never bothered to participate. And after that, he organized a luncheon, for which the members had to pay out of pocket. During his speech, he went on and on about how great he was, and that was basically all that happened. The salon shut down after three months. I got nothing out of joining whatsoever."
The pandemic may have led more people to improve their conversational English, but it's questionable whether much was accomplished.
"I thought my work might benefit from learning English, so I signed up for lessons in 2020," said a 30-year-old female video photographer. "But the instructor just stuck to daily conversation topics. At first I kind of enjoyed being able to discuss cultural differences and so on, but it came to the point that the instructor kept constantly badmouthing his own country. Then he requested I tip him, and that was when I pulled the plug."
Finally, a 26-year-old man working for a manufacturer of household products, realizing that he was spending eight hours a day squinting at his smartphone, signed up for a digital detoxification program.
"The first thing I deleted was a news application," he said. "Instead, I subscribed to the print edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. After a few days, though, the mostly unread newspapers just began to pile up unread, so I went back to reading from my smartphone."© Japan Today