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Time traveling online survey gets Japanese people nostalgic for their youth

12 Comments
By Katie Pasak, SoraNews24

In Japan, eras are defined by the reigning emperor. Currently, Japan is in the Reiwa era, after the abdication of former Emperor Akihito last year.

Much like eras in Western culture, Japanese eras are remembered through major events, fashion styles, and pop culture, and many people remember previous eras fondly. But if they had the chance, would they travel back in time and live in those eras?

Over 5,000 men and women aged between 15 and 59 were asked on social messaging app LINE: “If you could time travel, which era would you travel to?” Here are the top three results.

3. The Edo Period (1600–1868) — 8.3% of the votes

When you think of old-fashioned Japan, with people in kimono walking the streets with samurai, you’re probably imagining something from the Edo period. The Edo period spanned many years with many different eras and many notable cultural moments in Japanese culture, including what is thought to be the world’s first novel "The Tale of Genji" and ukiyo-e painters.

Some comments from those who chose to go back to this period:

“I’d like to go back to an Edo-period town and walk around, eating stuff” (Woman in her 50s)

“I want to sneak a peek at the shogun’s private chambers and see his palace ladies!” (Woman in her 30s)

“Life was pretty peaceful back then, and a lot of new art and culture was starting to appear.” (Man in his 30s)

2. The Heisei Era (1989 – 2019) — 17% of the votes

The most recent era to be able to “travel back” to, the Heisei era is remembered for being an era of peace.

Many people who chose to go back to this era wanted to correct personal mistakes they’d made:

“I’d go back in time and give my life a do-over.” (Man in his 30s)

“I want to go back and uncover the answers to unsolved mysteries.” (Man in his 20s)

“I’d teach myself the importance of money.” (Woman in her 30s)

1. The Showa Era (1926 – 1989) — 19.8% of the votes

The most popular answer was the Showa era. Remembered for its bubble economy and bold, bright fashions, it was an era where people could be indulgent.

Again, personal reasons were the main deciding factor for people wanting to time travel here:

“I want to live in that bubble economy and buy whatever I want.” (Man in his teens)

“I want to see how my family was around the time I was born.” (Woman in her 30s)

“I’d love to be able to see my grandparents and their parents when they were young. I never got to meet them or even speak to them.” (Woman in her 40s)

While Showa was the most popular answer regardless of gender, a closer look at the survey revealed that the top answers were different depending on the age range. The Showa period was top overall, and it was the most popular choice with participants aged 40-59.

However, more participants in the 15-30 year old age bracket chose Heisei as the era they’d like to travel back to, suggesting that people prefer the idea of travelling back to their youth, rather than travelling to an unknown era.

Showa taking the top spot in the survey got Japanese netizens talking:

“I totally get why Showa is the most popular. Their TV shows were so interesting, unlike now.”

“I would hate to go back in time to an era that didn’t have any Internet!”

“Coca Cola tasted better in the Showa period. There were more potato chips in bags, too.”

“Lots of people seem to forget that the Showa period wasn’t just about the economic bubble. There was a lot of war, too.”

“I’d love to walk around Tokyo in the 1940s.”

“Fashion toward the end of the Showa period was actually the worst.”

Which era would you like to time travel back to? Would you even want to time-travel at all?

Source: PR Times via Itai News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Overworked Japanese employees mourn unused paid holidays at new Buddhist memorial service

-- Four new era names the Japanese government rejected before deciding on Reiwa

-- Twitter users say Japanese Prime Minister’s name is hiding in the kanji for Japan’s new era name

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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What is it with the emphasis on the past in this society?

Fear the future, and watch fertility plummet further.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Why would anyone wanna go back to the showa era? I mean do they actually wanna relive the war and the dropping of the atomic bomb again?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There's a lot of truly shallow, incomprehensible reasoning and ill-informed opinion here, but the one that really got me slapping my forehead in frustration was this one...

“I’d love to walk around Tokyo in the 1940s.”

Tokyo in the early 1940s, fascist military junta. Mid-1940s, saturation bombings and deaths on a scale unseen before and since anywhere in the world. Mid to late 1940s, devastation, ruin and poverty, scrabbling for a living and under occupation by a foreign power. And if that was a woman making the comment, no rights for women (and not that many for the ordinary man, either) until the US rewrote Japan's constitution.

Whoever made that statement might like to reconsider.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@BigYen

Yeah and the 1940s was pretty much hell for the folks living in okinawa..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why would anyone wanna go back to the showa era? I mean do they actually wanna relive the war and the dropping of the atomic bomb again?

well,

Coca Cola tasted better in the Showa period. There were more potato chips in bags, too.”

there you have it. words of wisdom..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The fact that so many wanted to go back to the 40s is proof of how watered down the Japanese history textbooks are

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That "Donna Toki Mo" singer about to get convicted would like to go back to Heisei when poppers were legal in Japan. So were magic mushrooms, or so a little bird tells me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

many notable cultural moments in Japanese culture, including what is thought to be the world’s first novel "The Tale of Genji"

The Tale of Genji is 11th century and from the Heian period, so about 600 years out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would quite like to visit Japan in the late Taisho / early Showa period - late 1920s when Japan was modernising and the era of the "modern girl" (Moga), but before the militarism that followed the depression of the early 30s.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The comments about the Showa era is hilarious: TV was better, CocaCola tasted better...LOL

“I would hate to go back in time to an era that didn’t have any Internet!”

Definitely a comment made by a millennial or person who never lived in the Show era.

Being a child of the 80's I agree that the Showa era was the best, and it was BECAUSE we had no internet. There was was tons of better things to do other than staring into screens all day. People (in Japan especially) seemed so much nicer, politer, healthier....it was definitely a better time.

I think online culture is hurting Japanese culture (especially Pop culture) Yes, JCulture has always been a bit quirky and niche, but nowadays its just plain stupid and ruled by attention whores!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“I would hate to go back in time to an era that didn’t have any Internet!”

This person really needs to get out more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would hate to go back to an era without proper heating or insulation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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