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