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First day on the job

29 Comments

Japanese Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Ryota Takeda, top, and new workers bow during a welcome ceremony at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

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29 Comments
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1984, that is scary

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I bet it would be very easy for a person to skip out on this. I wonder of some people do.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

first i thought it was an ad: Seifuku no Aoyama (!)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You know, Japanese men look pretty good when they dress outside the box and put on a tan suit. I'm always a little let down when you see not a single tan or brown or gray suit in a photo like this. Maybe the Japanese view suits like karate belts. When you start out at the bottom, it's one color, and you have to advance in skill and experience to be able to wear different colors.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

That's an intense pic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That is seriously disturbing, it looks like a picture straight out of North Korea.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Interesting social commentary of a pic.. should be titled 'conformity'. Looking closer, there are many women who blend in with their dark suits.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Can someone explain why they are bowing and who/what they are bowing to? Is this some form of semi-religious thing where they are pledging complete loyalty to the J-government? I agree that in the year 2014, that kind of conformity is disturbing, especially given Japan's past history.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I like the guy on the stage who's bowing while sitting down.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

jerseyboy...read the caption perhaps?

**

Japanese Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Ryota Takeda, top, and new workers bow during a welcome ceremony at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

**

How is this disturbing? It's work, some workplaces have uniforms. Drawing such a statement from one photo to generalize all of Japan's past history is probably what is more disturbing.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

jerseyboy...read the caption perhaps?

Tokiyo -- I did read it. And it explains what they are doing, not why. Or didn't you understand my question? My years in Japan led me to believe folks bow to either express apology, or to show respect/subservience. And if it is subservience, then I do find that disturbing that young people would bow just because they are expected to. And what I find just as disturbing is your comment that

:Drawing such a statement from one photo to generalize all of Japan's past history is probably what is more disturbing.

Uniformity and blind loyalty are two of the most dangerous traits of Japanese recent history, and I think this photo tends to show both. And since these folks are joining the DEFENSE MINISTRY, and Japan will be facing decades of issues and conflicts with its many neighbors, including China, it might be nice to believe that there are some folks joining who can form their own opinions and have the guts to fight for them, not just follow the herd/group think.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

They do it because showing respect for your elders.

We can't all be "fine and dandy say what I want do what I want when I want me me me" society. Each culture has its rules. You can't honestly believe each and everyone is in there thinking "I'm subservient, I'm subservient" can you? The idea that you think everyone in there cannot form their own opinion because they are bowing on their first day of work is just remarkable.

How is it any different from reciting the pledge of allegiance?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Even before reading the comments I had the same thought as most did here: this photo is so Japanese, you could even infer that if the national banner was not there. It somehow reminded me of the paintings of Edvard Munch. Beautiful and deeply distubing.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Bowing to respect your elder is just Confucius propaganda.

Besides just because they're elders don't mean that they should be respected.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

But if you want to work somewhere, you don't start by defying everyone and being a jackass right?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

This photo represents alone what it's wrong in Japan's society: a systematic tendency to lock people down in their freedom. It can't be that these people will be allowed any freedom for thinking in their work and be proactive on their own with such a ceremony for mass alienation.

Tokiyo, please stop this silly argumentation, if you think that this kind of brain washing is not to create fully subservient people, you must really be naive. And while you are at it, please also stop with this excuse of culture, this is annoying. Following your argument of culture, the North Koreans authorities would then be able to fully justify their dictatorial and criminal regime with culture. Makes no sense.... Zero, this is the abyss of argumentation.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Imagine if you did something outrageous like wear a grey suit. You'd never be able to live it down.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's National "Defense". Any ceremony associated with it has an element of conformity and rank in any nation.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just a load of uni graduates having their first day at work of their pretty incredible jobs, probably being paid far higher than the national average for their age group..?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Apparently some people in here, have not seen the US Marines Corps, to say but for any institution and its employees, when they are paying respect to their country symbols, structures and/or representatives....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think this picture is pretty cool and says a lot about the strength of the Japanese people.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Newsflash: Bowing is a thing in Japan!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I like that there are women in the picture. Still Japan desperately needs more women in the workplace and more women in positions of power, not to mention more daycare centers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And if it is subservience, then I do find that disturbing that young people would bow just because they are expected to

It's not subservience. The guy on the stage is bowing, too.

This is much more disturbing example of herd/group think:

In 2009, a Montgomery County, Maryland, teacher berated and had school police remove a 13-year-old girl who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I saw a group of similarly dressed young men on Yokosuka base a few days ago. I guess they were getting an orientation. It seemed intersting that so many young men and women will work for the Defense bureau, but not that many are in the uniformed services. I guess their uniform is the blue suit and not the camoflauge uniforms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a scene at the Defence Ministry. If it was at pentagon they would be saluting with everyone in dress uniform.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it's absolutely not subservience. It's the normal way of greeting anyone from the Emperor to the neighbour's grotty teenage son.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Extraordinarily Japanese photo.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Bowing is part of Japanese culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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