I always enjoy reading Mr.eddie landsberg's articles. And this time I found this article personally very interesting, because I 've been working as a juku teacher for a long time, and have seen colleagues go into desparate situations like his friend several times.. Aside from women who have both their own income and their spouses' salarly, men who are small juku owners are mostly self employed and handicapped in many ways. In Japan we have a traditional word "村八分"mura-hachibu, in which situation, people are alienated from their society except wedding and funeral. I personally feel for Japanese people longing to be the same as other members of the society is stornger than any other nations in the world. If they can't meet the standard of their society , that means the end of them . I took Mr. Landsberg is raising the question why many Japanese people are commiting sucides or "心中”shinju-killing all the members of the family if they are debt- strickend instead of commiting crimes. I am looking forward to reading his next article how this Japanese mentality differs from that of other countries.
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. Recently "men work outside, and women take care of the house" style has been in jeopardy in many families .
I assume MR. Kujirakira is a lucky man not to see himself in the situation not a few Japanese middle aged men are facing right now. In addition, his wife works for the company (?) where equality of gender perfectly exits.The fact is, however,the job -hunting is becoming extremely tough even for younger generation in Japan. Considering present Japanese economy, I might say the situation seems to have no bright future.
Actually, I think quite opposite way of Mr. Kujirakira; we Japanese need to listen to expats in Japan, and rethink our traditional way of thinking . I don't think it is because their opinions are superior to us but because many Japanese can no longer live like what they used to .
In saying" traditional way" , I don't mean religious or phylosophical point of views , rather, I could sayI mean the tendency most Japanese are inclined to do or think as "do or think the same way as what others do or think." We tend to accept the present situation as it is, and suffer under the circumstance in which we are given.
However with the help of SNS, we have more chances to listen to what non-Japanese people think about our country. Many expats seem not to have chances to discuss the matters with their surrounding Japanese people, so it's a good chance for both of us and them to get to know one another's good points or bad points.
I hope my writing makes sense ,and doesn't sound too idealistic. I am willing to read aoubt what non-Japanese people think of our way of life.
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I am a Japanese female, and run a juku in a town in Amagasaki, in Kansai. Recently, three kids who go to the same nursing home entered my class; one boy and two girls. Both of the girls are smart and well- behaved,but I saw the boy, though briliant enough ,rather talkative and nervous. I think this could have something to do with his mother's absence. Meanwhile, in Ashiya, where I tutor students whose families are wealthy enough , I find some hyper involving helicopter parents who are now driving their kids almost crazy. So I think it is rather their way of dealing with kids.However I think the problem is whether we can choose the way we live or not in present Japan. I had no choice because my husband has been changing jobs, and I didn't want to worry over our expenses. If I had had kids, my life would be even worse than now. Although govenments are encouraging young people to have more babies,it is quite unrealistic for most women to be an efficient worker and a good mom at the same time. In Japan, we have words for women 勝ち組winners who are over thirty and married and have children, vs 負け組 who are over thirty and single or have no children. In order to be 勝ち組,some young women are eager to look for doctors or lawers as marriage partners. So I can safely say, unfortunately,Japan Today is still 'Mad Men' .
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As a Japanese woman who experienced the bubble era and is now experiencing this economic downturn , I think this article gives a unique perspective to us Japanese, saying we should stop to think whether what we think unhapiness now is really worth our anxiety or commiting sucides . After reading , I came to feel Japan 's crisis lies not so much in economy ; it rather lies in our mentality,which can be said as our ambivalent state of mind. This articles implies we still have hope, if we look back to our past wisely,and see ourselves as we are,we might be able to get a hint to what direction we should go to. I am looking forward to reading more of this series of articles.
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