Japan: More and more, a land of centenarians


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I live in "shitamachi" Tokyo and the silence is just deafening. There are no kids around, just old people. It is amazing to me (and I have been here a long long time) that a country in such need of children could be less hospitable. No playing ball in the park? Too noisy? Are you kidding me? We need a massive influx of children (since there will never be large-scale immigration) and that involves many things at the governmental and corporate level, but it also means that we have to make public spaces more child-friendly as well.

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too many oldies? Maybe that is why Japan has such wisdom.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm planning to be one some day. On a skateboard, too.

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It’s a situation of paradox, on one hand, Japan has all of the ingredients to encourage longevity, on the other hand, resources and services devoted to eldrs by Japan to create an army of centenarians successfully apparently curtail Japan's child birth not to mention put huge tax burdens on increasingly diminishing working forces.

It ‘s expected that number of centenarians will grow much big from here.That will be a huge challenge for Japan’s policymakers to find effective ways to continue providing needed social services to Japan’s accelerating gray population and at the same time increase birth rate and expend tax bases.

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Our ancestors had a logical solution for elders who had lived beyond their use. They were taken to the woods or up the mountains to die of starvation.

Many of the villages and towns are dying away because these old people tried to keep out the newcomers or looked down on youngsters returning to the villages. Rumours passed around so fast like wild fires that returning youngsters had run foul of the law or just couldn't make it in the cities. Stupid traditions made sure that only the eldest son go the wealth of the family. That led to the exodus of second, third sons and so on and not to mention the daughters, Pity them.

This goes on today in many of the vanishing villages as numerous vacant houses haunt the environment. The elderly no longer living there refuse to rent or sell their houses due to fear of "what others will think and say".

Today is Keirono hi (Respect for the Aged). I like to see this holiday changed to Take Away Voting Rights of the Aged Day. It's also too bad many of them still run the country as politicians as it seems like it's the only permanent job for the elders.Notice how many of them are over 65?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just read an article on a women, 98 years old, painter Kazuko Irie who still paints every day and is making her work for an exhibition in 2016, to celebrate her 100 years. In her words, "I'm just not ready to die!"

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When I read any top book or article about Japanese longevity and healthy aging I think about the Okinawans. Not only do they live longer, they seem to age successfully because they actually have both the genetic and non-genetic longevity advantages considered to be the best combination. In fact there are human longevity genes that some research group identified that used the centenarians as a model group that showed the Okinawans centenarians as having a lower risk for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. But also there traditional way of life, the dietary habits, the physical activity, the psychological and social aspects appears to play an important role in Okinawan longevity. As for me the formula for longevity is simply "Take care of yourself" and live well until my appointed time.

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mitokomonalex wrote; "Our ancestors had a logical solution for elders who had lived beyond their use...led to the exodus of second, third sons and so on and not to mention the daughters, Pity them..."

The prime misconception is this exodus from the rural economy is unique to Japan. Because all cities in the developed world are experiencing the same problem. Automation leverages power and wealth, this fact is why rural areas are empty.

The cities are now the hub of automation and it has touched everything aspect of our life conditions, except in areas where only the elderly live. There resentment of this control and manipulation is understandable.

Scapegoating a generation for this era of machine code is a diversion away from the problem.

As the leadership has leveraged control of many and this is a far larger issue. The question is one of who is in control. Do they have a broad worldview and evolved values?

Will a younger leaderships values create equilibrium or just be a continuation of control from the apex of Japanese economic system?

Will there be weighting of balance toward conservation of unevolved values or not?

Your suggestion of taking rights away from elderly fails to address this issue of values.^

Focus needs to be on those in power with narcissistic worldview old or young.

Because this focus on the elderly has not changed for millennia and the result is always same.

^ Simon Sinek | Why Leaders Eat Last :

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In USA, Okinawa Drink, Okinawa .... have been marketed for people who want to live longer.

Old Japanese custom. Older people own family assets and control their family. Children do not kill older parents or they are called oyagoroshi and go to jail or more older time deth sentence. So forget about thinking Japanese kill older prople. 100 + years old? They grew in time beef eating people were despised. More likely vegetablians. They grew when there was no government help to anyone. So, they probably don't have slightest idea about Shakao Hoshou. (Spcial Security) or Welfare. In family room, they sit in front of alcove, younger family members bow and sit opposite. Older people are richer than their younger offsprings in Japan.

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