From this it is clear that Japan is in deep trouble. Worse than that it is not been addressed. Again the solution lies in the establishment of natural communities that take over husbandry of the land and naturally put a premium on children. Add in internal micro finance to allow wealth creation and it all becomes self sustaining.
This also sucks up all the individuals who have given up and are marginalized.
Japan's success was produced by a top down fiat currency expansion that was sustained by export income. That has ended when it both matured and the rest of the world woke up and got into the act.
It is also a huge warning that modernism fails to provide a dynamic base to protect the individuals in the society. This is the future of much of Asia as they transition to maturity. My work regarding natural communities show us the way out. It is actually getting disparate and on the verge of population collapse in Japan.
What are the biggest misconceptions about Japan and Japanese culture?
- On first impression as a tourist seeing the lights of Shinjuku it is easy to be misled that Japan is a rich country. Everything from the delicious food to automated toilets is beautiful, perfect, and modern. However digging deeper it becomes shockingly apparent that many Japanese are on a slow descending flight to poverty. (Anecdote: I once stayed at a manga cafe overnight because I missed my last train. Manga cafes are cheap box like facilities that have a computer, drinks, even showers for people who go there to read manga and chill out. However, as I was waken up at 7, I realized many of the people around me actually lived in these cafes. They woke up and got dressed in business attire and went to work. Some of these people may have been stranded travelers like myself but the amount of them and routine way they went about their day made it clear that many were working part time jobs eeking an existence.)
- Average wages in Japan have stagnated and actually regressed for two decades. Japan’s debt is double it’s GDP, with a recession with no end in sight. Companies are not only not giving wages, they are cutting costs by part timers with no benefits. Basically if a Japanese young person doesn’t get hired straight out of college, it is very difficult for them to find full time employment and thus they are stuck in a cycle of poverty and desperation which leads to them not being able to marry due to lack of money and start families, which leads to more economic problems, and so it goes…
- If you leave the big cities like Tokyo, or even the bright neon mega districts of Shibuya, you quickly realize Japan is dying. Entire cities have become “shutter cities” where all the shops are shuttered closed due to lack of business. Small businesses cannot compete with the modern chain stores and restaurants around train stations so are being squeezed of their life. Young people move to the cities to find jobs and opportunities and have left the countryside to senior citizens thus worsening the local economies of talent and new growth in another vicious cycle.
- Women have less economic power due to the ingrained cultural sexism here. They’re expected to quit after marrying or just take a cheap part time job. This deprives Japan of a highly educated and talented workforce. Also a lot of careers are gender differentiated. Women in Japan tend to choose “feminine” careers such as nursing, beauticians, teaching, etc. Lastly something like half of single mothers are under the poverty line.
- Japan is a terrible place to be an entrepreneur. Small business and innovative thought are crushed by rigid structures in the workplace and fear of failure. Wonder why Japan missed out on the internet boom and mobile phone revolution? Sony is a shell of itself as are many former giants of Japanese economy.
- Japan can’t compete anymore in the global marketplace. It got rich when wages were cheap. But with China and the rest of Asia’s ascent Japan’s rigid policies and higher wages make their goods hard to sell. Even their entertainment industry has been overtaken globally by Korea. Japanese are bad at learning and speaking English. Japan doesn’t encourage foreign workers or immigration, in fact it actively discourages them. Japan is inward and inflexible when it should be trying to expand and open toward the rest Asia specifically and the rest of the world.
- Japanese people are polite in specific situations. They are definitely nice to foreigners and guests. They are less nice to service people and those in an inferior position. Watch Japanese people at restaurants for example. They rarely acknowledge waiters and people who work there. In other words, politeness is a ritualized form of behavior dependent on context.
- I am Chinese. My white friends get most best polite treatment. When I don’t speak I receive Japanese person level treatment. When I speak poor Japanese or English, I sometimes get less good treatment. Brown and Black people get it the worst; they are discriminated against and though few Japanese would admit it, they are seen as less desirable.
- I live in a sharehouse with many Japanese people. They rarely talk to one another. They don’t want to make eye contact and actively avoid seeing each other in the halls. Japanese people have problems interacting with strangers. They simply don’t know how to behave as their society does not encourage friendly interaction among strangers. You’re either friend, family, or servant, superior. Experiment: Try to talk to Japanese people on the train or bus in public.
- The Japanese have a term for their public face, the one smiling and bowing that tourists see: tatemae. Tourists and foreigners rarely see the not so nice honest voice or honne.
- Related to previous points, they may seem happy on the outside. Often they are not. They simply don’t gripe openly as much as foreigners do. Being unhappy is impolite after all. They have a grin and bear it attitude, which while admirable, tends to crush those who can’t cope.
- Japan’s suicide rate is sky high. People jump in front of trains regularly here. So much so that the government fines the FAMILY of those who do to discourage the practice.
- Mental illness services are near non-existent. There’s tons of troubled people who rarely or never leave their houses. Many senior citizens live alone and die only to be discovered weeks later decomposing.
- There’s a whole generation of men known as Soshoku Danshi or herbivore men who have basically given up on marriage and love. They can’t afford it, they don’t want to work to death to raise a family, instead they have hobbies or anime or the internet to fill up their time. This isn’t some small weird minority. This is more than 50% of men in their 20s-30s. (Look it up!)