The top 20 things that Japanese youth are distanced from

By Krista Rogers, RocketNews24

Have you ever felt worlds apart from the generations above you?

The topic of Japanese youth distancing themselves (purposely or not) from “things of the past” is something that pops up every now and again on Japanese variety shows. Most recently, an online research group also decided to tackle the topic, asking 500 people what they felt like young people are becoming more and more separated from in today’s world.

Today, we present the top 20 replies for “Things that Japanese youth are distanced from.”

The online research survey was conducted by iBRIDGE Research Plus between January 19-February 2. Unfortunately, we don’t have any information regarding the ages of the respondents, but we do know that the 500 of them were split evenly between males and females.

The Top 20 Things that Japanese Youth are Distanced From

  1. Cars (42.2%)

During Japan’s “Bubble Economy” of 1986-1991, conspicuous consumption was the name of the game. Families had the disposable income to spend lavishly on all kinds of luxury goods, such as fancy cars or designer products. However, presently the rising costs of owning a car, including paying for gasoline, insurance, and maintenance, make owning one an increasingly unrealistic goal for the youth of today, especially for those who live in the city. It’s not hard to see why personal car ownership tops the list of things that Japanese youth are growing farther and farther away from.

  1. Physical New Year’s greeting cards ["nengajo"] (32.4%)

Traditionally, Japanese people send "nengajo" (New Year’s Cards) to wish their friends and acquaintances a good start to the new year. Akin to how the tradition of sending handwritten Christmas cards is dying out in the west, many Japanese people of the younger generations have stopped sending their New Year’s greetings by mail and are instead messaging them through their phones or online social media. In addition, tighter regulations about handing out personal information at the workplace means that you may not even have access to your boss’ and coworkers’ addresses. If these trends keep up, it looks like the annual Japan Post motorcycle gang whose job it is to deliver "nengajo" on Jan 1 will become a rare sight in the years to come.

  1. Reading printed materials (19.4%)

As someone who formerly worked in a public library, this one hits home hard. I have a feeling that it’s not just Japanese youth who aren’t sitting down with a good old-fashioned book, either, but the majority of young people around the world. With the advent of new technologies and the ever-increasing accessibility of the internet, it’s no wonder that many Japanese feel like the younger generations are becoming more and more distant from trips to the library as well (see number 12 below).

Here are the remaining top 20 responses:

  1. Television (18.8%)

  2. Beer (18.2%)

  3. CDs (17.8%)

  4. Reading for pleasure (17.6%)

  5. Eating osechi (traditional New Year’s foods) (15%)

  6. (Tie) Skiing (13.4%)

  7. (Tie) Listening to the radio (13.4%)

  8. Smoking (12.4%)

  9. Libraries (11.6%)

  10. Romantic love (10.2%)

  11. Pachinko (9.6%)

  12. (Tie) Sex (9.4%)

  13. (Tie) Mahjong (9.4%)

  14. (Tie) Movies (8.4%)

  15. (Tie) Baseball (8.4%)

  16. (Tie) Bookstores (8.4%)

  17. Luxury brand products (8.2%)

Here are the reactions of some Japanese Internet users who read the survey results:

“I’ve got my license, but car maintenance fees are high and there aren’t enough places to park where I want to go.”

“Isn’t the number one thing separating young people of today from the past money? They’ll also tell you, but I think that many of them have to work unreasonably long hours for lower wages.”

“Is it too late? When I was in junior high school, everyone was already making the switch to digital messaging.”

“How would cockroaches respond to this?”

“I feel disconnected from Nintendo…”

Sources: Niconico News, Goo Ranking

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- “You’re taking peeping photos, aren’t you?” Smartphone extortion scam hits hard in Shinjuku -- Experiment hints that humans aren’t necessarily evil after all -- These Disney princess live-action movie posters aren’t real but we’d pay for them anyway

© Japan Today

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In other words, anything resembling a normal life.

I guess all their parents are OK with that?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Just my very important takes on these:

Cars (42.2%) - Too bad. J-cars are awesome. Physical New Year’s greeting cards [“nengajo”] (32.4%) - Good. Pain in the butt. Reading printed materials (19.4%) - Paper and digital. Can have both. Good. Television (18.8%) - No need to explain here. Beer (18.2%) - Tragedy. CDs (17.8%) - Miss the whole album quality of good CDs. Reading for pleasure (17.6%) - Still see a whole lot of manga reading here and bookstores are packed. Eating osechi (traditional New Year’s foods) (15%) - No need since stores are now open during NY's. (Tie) Skiing (13.4%) - Snowboarding is rad. Skiing is fun, too though but can't compare. (Tie) Listening to the radio (13.4%) - No need to explain here. Got Internet streaming/downloading sites. Smoking (12.4%) - Thank God. Libraries (11.6%) - Too bad. Romantic love (10.2%) - ? Nonsense. Pachinko (9.6%) - Thank God. (Tie) Sex (9.4%) - Nonsense. (Tie) Mahjong (9.4%) - Whatever. (Tie) Movies (8.4%) - Still way too expensive with other options now available. (Tie) Baseball (8.4%) - No team in Shikoku = doom and demise. (Tie) Bookstores (8.4%) - Digital available but bookstores are still booming. Luxury brand products (8.2%) - Thank God. Money suckers.
1 ( +7 / -6 )

In other words, anything resembling a normal life.

I feel close to that list, and I think my life is normal. I live in Italy, though. I believe many young people around the world can see themselves in this portrait.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Most recently, an online research group also decided to tackle the topic, asking 500 people what they felt like young people are becoming more and more separated from in today’s world.

Seems weird that they would ask a random smattering of 500 people, rather than the youths themselves.

I think the survey title would more accurately be described as "Things that people think Japanese youth are distanced from".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good. Everything on that list, apart from romantic love, and sex, is outdated.

No doubt all the new stuff coming through will be Japanized like the old stuff though, so we can enjoy all the bullying, fake ceremony and money manipulation as usual.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well at least 14 of the 20 are no part of my life, by choice. I don't see the problem.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Unfortunately, we don’t have any information regarding the ages of the respondents, but we do know that the 500 of them were split evenly between males and females."

Then why post this news story if you don't have the facts or the whole story? You just basically invalidated the whole list.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

. . . . I didn't see Reality antwhere on that list.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seems this article is making a feeble attempt at being meaningful and dismally failing at it. Small number of respondents, disjointed data and a questionable group of people to ask deep and meaningful questions. Go back to the 50s, 60s, 70s etc and you will also hear how the youth then was disconnected.

Newsflash: People change as they (hopefully) mature.

How about a survey about mass media surveys and how badly most of them seem to be conducted? Might be more insightful than this sorry excuse to fill in space.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about free time to explore life and choose their own path and discover themselves? Oh. The generation above the teens didn't have that either!

And the young ones are certainly not being distanced from never-ending time hogging club activities at school plus juku (cram schools).

Romantic love (10.2%) - ? Nonsense. (Tie) Sex (9.4%) - Nonsense.

What do you mean by "nonsense"? I think both are very important and I think today's youth in Japan is being distanced from both by, again, their lack of free time.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Thumbs up for the planet, thumbs down for Nagatacho.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

what about manners? :D

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From a newspaper in 1959, a written response by a Judge in Denver, Colorado, USA, his advice to the youth:

Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teenager. What can we do?...Were can we go?

The answer is GO HOME!

Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk. Wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors. Repair the sink, build a boat, get a job.

Help the minister, priest, or rabbi, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. Visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons. And then when you are through - and not too tired - read a book.

Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational facilities.

The world does not owe you a living...You owe the world something.

You owe it your time and your energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty or sick or lonely again.

Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady.

You're supposed to be mature enough to accept some of the responsibility your parents have carried for years.

They have nursed, protected, helped, appealed, begged, excused, tolerated and denied themselves needed comforts so that you could have every benefit. This they have done gladly, for you are their dearest treasure.

But now, you have no right to expect them to bow to every whim and fancy just because selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, thinking and request.

In Heaven's name, grow up and go home!

South Bend Tribune, Sunday, Dec. 6, 1959.

As true today as when it was written.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As true today as when it was written.

I'll bet he enjoyed the 60s, the reactionary old goat.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This list provides nothing but questions. What were the ages of the respondents in the 500-person sample? And if they weren't considered "youths," why would they not ask young people this question? And how did they define "youth?" Children? Teenagers? People in their 20s? Their 30s? This is more like, "Based on your presuppositions, what do you think youth are distanced from, in your totally subjective and essentially meaningless opinion?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )


I agree fully.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Distancing themselves from sex, movies, beer, and romantic love? Those are four of my favorite things!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yep. what happened to mp3 players anyway? There is only the over-expensive Sony walkman on the market now. The one I have is not one of those - it has an audio in jack for recording high resolution stereo - it's so cool!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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