10 things I will not miss

Konbini

 

Convenience stores (konbini) are everywhere in Japan and open 24/7. This is where I pay my bills in cash, get my cash from the machine.

Salarymen get a shirt and underwear for those days where they missed the last train and slept in a capsule hotel.

People tend to buy their snacks and lunches there.

I was never a fan and never got into it. There is no soul, employees are for the most part underpaid Nepalese or other immigrants. that does not leave you with the best mood, it is all ready made foods with loads of wrapping, industrial salty food, drinks in cans, not really my thing.

I tried to use their machines for copies, printing and ticketing and never got my way through.

With the Japan aversion to immigration, the rapid population shrink and the labor shortage, there are talks about reducing opening hours and even closing some of them.

I wonder how Japan will be in 10 years, not only for konbini but also lifestyle…

Summarizing #8 – my favorite parks

Hamarikyu

What I like about this one is

  • the location – Shiodome metro stop, so very central, easy to reach, you may go even for a short moment
  • the size – it is large and sets you out of the city for a moment
  • the tea house – a moment out of time, sitting there and enjoying a pastry and tea while admiring the trees, let your shoes off at the entrance of this beautiful wooden house

Enjoy!

#4 summarising – my top 10 favorite places

Osaka is special to me. It is noisy, the place for trade, shopping, streetfood, good week ends, great people.

Honestly, not much to visit but quite an atmosphere.

Reiko San and Chikako San introduced me to ramen, and to Tenma. I always had a great time in Osaka and spent quite a few week ends there on my own, shopping and walking around, observing people, truly a special place

#3 – summarising – 10 things I will NOT miss

Nationalism

Although I am an absolute fan of the way of life, the history, the fact Japan kept its DNA throughout modern times, I cannot agree on the cast system in place and very well maintained by the elites.

You are a foreigner, you must be 2nd class citizen.

Examples – when you are a prime minister like Nakasone all the way to Abe, why would you carry on visiting Yasukuni every year, it only creates extra tensions and does not solve anything

Why close Korean schools in Japan?

Foreigners who grow up in Japan are classified as foreign student when reaching university and therefore do not get the same level of access as locals and go with the quota in place

Foreigners pay higher taxes than locals for the same roads and infrastructures

Every Saturday, old black cars drive around the government area and sensitive embassies such as Russia and Korea to claim Japan supremacy with 50’s music on loud speakers

At work, how many times did I hear, we, Japanese, are paying extra attention to protect ourselves as foreigners create the problems, foreigners make people redundant, foreigners don’t understand Japan. Really? No Japanese create problems? No Japanese made redundant? Only Japanese can understand Japan? Re-think, re-view. The world is changing and pursuing this ideal scenario only puts you at risk of losing ground. What about challenging foreigners and integrate them sometimes? Would not that be a progress?

Lately, you have enjoyed the Japanese inclusion abroad with Hachimura and you are proud of it, your base ball super star does not seem excluded, Philippe Troussier did not seem so bad as a foreigner in 2002? Just saying…

#2 summarising – 10 things I will not miss

ANTICUATED BEHAVIORS

Living 3 years in Japan is taking a lot of you (and giving a lot too) but your lines are blurred by all of the contradictions and you end up either understanding some crazy ideas or not noticing them any more.

Wearing heels at work is the norm, ugly, black, old fashion, with socks don’t get noticed. When Yumi Ishikawa launches the #kutoo (kuu and too, means pain, kutsu is a shoe), a minister interferes that he does not see the problem as it is normal women wear heels at work… 2019 statement

Sexual harassment at recruitment stage for new graduates is not the norm but still happens every year, families admit and let that go.

As a new graduate, opting out of the recruitment cycle to go travel, study abroad or work abroad, puts you at risk of being excluded when relocating back as you did not follow the norm

Why women wear beige trench? … because men wear black trench. Really?

Overtime became the assumption post world war II to rebuild the country. In 2019, there is not much to rebuild but there is now a word for death by overwork, karoshi. Could we review?

In the Showa time, workers would avoid taking holidays as it was perceived as stealing time for productivity for their company + they were fearing to find their chair occupied by someone else upon return. In 2019, could we consider taking a well deserved break every now and then? Japan government created extra bank holidays to ensure workers take rest, we ended up with 18 bank holidays! A record!

Because of this, and because workers are just burnt out, Japan became the least productive country of all OECD countries

Kids go to school with a heavy bag on their own from a very early age, I come across groups at 6.30 in the metro. From 10, it is assumed they will go to juku for additional studies, they will go home at 9pm…. burnt out before entering the workforce

Kids need to apply for prestigious primary schools to take a chance to access prestigious high schools and universities. At 6, they prepare kanji, and numbers in bulks to take the exams, parents have interviews and they are trialed on behavior in the playground, really?

With that system, parents take loan to pay for those schools and ensure a brighter future to their children. Once at school, mothers who obviously don’t work (norm #1500 in Japan) are supposed to have lunch with other mum’s and the more prestigious the school, the more expensive the lunch. Failing to follow the crowd would exclude their child from the group at school…

 

And the list goes on

 

 

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