Japan is the world’s most important dystopia. It has been the world’s #2 or #3 economy for nearly half a century. All it has to show for this is a collapsing society. The birth rate is plummeting, wages keep declining, too. The standard of living has grown worse, not better for nearly 20 years. Social disconnection is growing rapidly as the people turn actively suicidal. The beauty and style of old Japan has fallen off a cliff, the aesthetic culture is collapsing faster than the population upon which it is based.
We have to learn lessons from what appears before us. This is highly important. Looking at things in a romantic way is dangerous if this is an illusion. Japan’s fast fade to nothingness should alarm everyone since it is a fate others can easily share. This is one reason why I look into this a great deal. Just as Jews have chosen a very dangerous, indeed, fatal national/socialist/religious model based on Nazi Germany, the Japanese have chosen a Singularity model in which modern technology wipes out the humans or turns them into semi-robot androids incapable of social interactions.
One aspect of depressed Japan is how redundant most of the people there have become: Univ student held for overturning highway bus in suicide bid
- Kajita said he knew there were other passengers but he seized control of the bus because he wanted to die, police said. Kajita told police he had been frustrated at not being able to find a job.
Atomized and frustrated Americans take out their agitation by killing other people or their families. Generally speaking, the Japanese do the suicide route more often. Occasionally, one goes berserk like this young student and try to get everyone at once. The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway is the most infamous example. The Aum Shinrikyo are a classic ‘We are all doomed/end of times’ group.
I have been very annoyed with the Global Warming/Climate Change people for playing this ‘We are all doomed!’ game. All this does is create FATALISM. The energy behind the ‘We are going to roast/freeze to death’ calls may be sincere and in good faith. But instead of doing good, it is creating more evil. The tactics are fatal in themselves. The thinking, the ideology and the verbiage all leads to ‘To Hell with this, let’s party, dudes!’ sort of behavior or ‘I’ll kill you if you talk about global climate change’ irritation.
For many years, Western commentators loved to claim that first the Chinese and then the Muslims were all fatalists. But what we see today is fermentation, energy and activity in all Chinese or Muslim communities. People are extremely active and anything but fatalistic! They are energetically fighting for a piece of the economic pie. They are demanding more services, more civil rights. They are changing the world and not backing down but facing down bullets, tanks and the US military industrial Machine of Doom itself!
How un-fatalistic is this!?! Amazing, the depths of the human psyche when confronting nettlesome problems. They know instinctively, they have to fight. The Japanese people, like the civilized and spoiled global warming people, are resigned to things getting worse and worse, not better and better. I begged the global warming people to be positive, I want a solar panel array on every roof in America since 1978! This is a long time, wanting this!
And not getting it since we spent most of our wealth trying to persuade Muslims and the Chinese to be more fatalistic and to give up and not struggle against us. Japan is different: the import most of their energy so the government, to keep a trade surplus, has prevented the people there from owning many cars (ownership of cars is declining rapidly!) and to not use many modern conveniences most Americans take for granted (no driers, etc.).
The Japanese ride many more bikes than Americans. They also live in much, much smaller homes. They are living in the ‘stop global warming’ village of the future. And are intensely unhappy. We have to ask, why is this? I would begin to suggest that this is very connected to their free trade (closed home base) economic system: they manufacture many, many nice things US consumers love to buy and use…and they can’t use them, themselves, due to energy costs!
Fatalism has gripped Japan to the point, people are not building future families but instead, are going to use up what little is left of the estate to screw around until they die or commit suicide: For many Japanese, laid-back overseas vacations a one-way ticket to nowhere
- Ten years ago while on a visit to Southeast Asia, Hiroshi Sumida, age 42, was cheated out of his entire savings (about 1 million yen) and since then, he has subsisted as a NEET (not in education, employment or training). Sumida had managed to work sporadically until three years ago, but then while on a visit to India, he got turned on by marijuana, and, as he describes it, “either achieved ‘satori’ (enlightenment) or completely lost my desire to compete with other people anymore.
- “Once my parents pass away, I plan to sell the house and use the money to take one last trip,” he vows.
- One agency says sales of such tickets has been growing at the rate of 1.3- to 1.4-fold each year, males in the 40 to 60 age group accounting for 70% of total demand…..While the middle-aged backpackers make fairly frequent journeys abroad, vacation travel by students, by contrast, has reportedly been declining at the rate of 5% to 10% per year.
This isn’t the first case of fatalism killing a nation or empire. When the Roman Empire was overrun by Christianity, this religion was preaching about the end of the world and everyone worried that all things would cease to operate the way they did in the past. People simply gave up all hope. The only future was a dead future and they acted accordingly: 1,000 years of severe economic and social depression!
The ‘Dark Ages’ featured falling populations, land turning back to wild forests, social and political disintegration, ethnic tribal warfare and invasions, the near disappearance of ‘money’, trade grinding to a near halt, traders suddenly shifting into raiders (Vikings are a prime example of this): chaos reigned and society collapsed. There was little to no government (PLEASE NOTE THIS FACT!!!!).
Fatalism in the US is in the form of ‘no or small governments are best’ ideologies alongside worries about ‘what is money’ not being answered despite a long history of examples and answers to about nearly every question about ‘what is money’ and ‘why do we need this?’
Periodically, I stroll around Japanese cities using Google Earth. It is very depressing. Not only are shades firmly shut on nearly all windows, many have metal or wood shudders that are totally down! The sense of isolation is great.
I have watched Japanese TV since childhood. When I got cable in NYC, I was one of the first people in the US to get this and I got Japanese and German TV on it since it was mainly pitched for foreigners who didn’t want just US free TV. Anime and shows made in Japan in 1960-1980 show streets populated with children and bustling with people who actually interact with each other. Over the decades, this has changed to modern anime shows where the streets are empty, hostile or filled with aliens or zombies.
The popular shows about fantasy villages and towns are filled with a sense of nostalgia and often end up being totally or nearly destroyed by hostile aliens or worse, ‘traitors’ who return filled with a sense of revenge, seeking to destroy former classmates and neighbors! It is very sad, watching this.
The old post-WWII shows had alien beings destroying stuff a la US Air Force. But the modern ones show Japanese destroying themselves. There are even shows, quite a few, about ‘NEET’ youth who are unemployed, unable to go to school and even unable to leave their homes. This near-total retreat from living is scary. No. of people dying alone rises in ‘no-relationship’ society › Japan Today:
- It has been a prominent issue since January 2010, when NHK aired a documentary titled “Muen Shakai” – literally, a “no-relationship society.” Traditional community relationships withered with modernization in the late 19th century and died in the mid-20th. Family relationships are faring little better. An economy denying many people a foothold, combined with communications technology that joins us virtually but isolates us concretely, have left the individual largely on his or her own – for better and for worse.
- There’s a company called Keepers whose business it is to dispose of possessions left behind by those who die in solitude. Its director, Taichi Yoshida, tells Shukan Jitsuwa, “Lately we’re seeing more young people dying alone. Nearly 20% of our business involves people in their 40s and 50s.”
- … “Nowadays there’s a style of dining that exists somewhere between dining out and dining in. When you go out to eat, you interact with people in the restaurant. When you cook for yourself, you make some sort of personal connection in the store where you buy your ingredients, with the staff or with other customers. But when you eat prepared foods exclusively, something you just pop into the microwave, you connect with nobody.”
Unemployment is very high in all the Muslim nations that are seeing active revolts. But in Japan, people are just giving up. The fabled long life of the Japanese is due to two things: WWII killed off the weak and to survive, you had to be very, very hardy which is why Okinawa, the island that saw the worst fighting, has the most elderly people living the longest…and due to lying about the death rates.
That is, many ‘elderly’ were really dead. Hidden from view so the survivors could get the benefits and avoid funeral costs. The longevity of the post-war generation is another story. Once the last pre-WWII Japanese die, the true nature of the futility of life in Japan will be unveiled. Many will die long before they reach 65 years.
Social and emotional isolation takes a severe toll on a person. In the US, we have social chaos spilling out of the underclass in the inner cities to the middle class suburbs. Short relationships anchored by a grandmother collapses when the older generation dies off. The new ‘grandmothers’ are as detached as their offspring and their offspring so there ceases to be this solid core of stability.
As US marriages fail and families detach from each other, social chaos spreads and with it, the sense that we are all doomed. The Christian movement didn’t stop this, it accelerated this process. Oddly enough, it is the battle against abortion driving the Christian middle class into destruction!
That is, all the teens want teen sex like Palin’s kids, but won’t get abortions or use birth controls and then they get pregnant and end up like many ghetto black mothers: isolated, socially weak and supporting children alone without child payments a middle class dad might provide, for example.
Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 are quite instructive: the young girls think they will have happy families after baby arrives. Instead, they drop out of high school, lose their boyfriends and end up in economic and emotional chaos with no hope of a good future and dependent on grandma and grandpa for sustenance and affection.
Despite the obvious proof that anti-abortion actions leads to the destruction of the middle class girls this way, the far right in the US pushes for more anti-birthcontrol actions. In Japan, the problem ceased to be birthcontrol. The males there are no longer much interested in any sex with any woman at all. This is the final result of the collapse of the family due to unemployment, underemployment and working the remaining workforce to death with longer and longer hours.
Here are two letters in reply to the Japanese article above: No. of people dying alone rises in ‘no-relationship’ society › Japan Today:
- How many times do you see people smile in Tokyo? I’ve lived here for years, months go by without seeing someone smile. Trains are like libraries, the streets are quiet. People in this country just don’t communicate or interact effectively with other human beings. They’re all “in the zone” – oblivious to what’s going on around them, unable to respond or deal with humans on a one-on-one or spontaneous setting.
- Everything in Tokyo is insular and isolating. Cell phones, Ipods/pads, game players. How often do you see a circle of teens all on their phones and not even talking to each other? At least three or four times a day and I don’t spend much time around kids.
- At work no one talks. On the train people are too busy fighting for that 1cm of space. No one smiles. No one talks. And the 30-50 year old guys on my train route have the expressions of reanimated zombies who are not happy to be back from the grave.
- Tokyo is a a social desert. X million people living in isolation in the same physical area. Sex is in decline, friendship rare, social circles a myth and interpersonal skills illusory. Sad!
NYC streets are very noisy. And people do smile there but not as often as they could. I used to have tons of fun going about NYC, smiling because strangers would come up to me and begin interacting. Met many tourists this way! Had some real fun, too. It was great when I was working the streets doing political activities.
Sometimes, for the fun of it, I would start a group conversation on the subway. That is, get people to start spontaneously talking about some issue, often, subway issues. This way, I could get a gage on what was really going on in people’s minds and use this information when doing political activities.
The streets of Cairo are very animated. The government there had to go to great lengths to scare people into not publicly discussing political matters or complaining about conditions. As soon as they could, they broke the government’s barriers to discussions and loudly, and quite publicly took to the streets and had a very fruitful conversation!
Back to Japan: WikiLeaks unveils Japanese spy agency
- FOR the first time since World War II, Japan is establishing a secret foreign intelligence service to spy on China and North Korea and gather information to prevent terrorist attacks. The spy unit has been created under the wing of Japan’s peak intelligence agency, the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, or Naicho. It is modelled on Western intelligence services such as the CIA, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service and Britain’s MI6. The existence of the new Japanese espionage capability is revealed in a leaked US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to the Herald.
China loves this news. Since the US uses the CIA to assassinate people and stir up riots in the streets, knowing that the Japanese intend to ape this is…wow. Poor Japan! The Chinese are far more likely to succeed in this tit for tat game! They are dynamic! They are energetic! They are also ruthless. I like the excuse, this will stop terrorist attacks.
There is no terrorism worse than CIA or Mossad assassinations not to mention terroristic US invasions. I am betting Japan is apologizing to China over and over again for this. According to the Japanese news, over 8,000 Japanese businesses have been established in just one Chinese coastal trade town. All the biggest Japanese corporations have factories and sell stuff in China.
China will give all of this a big, fat, nasty squeeze. The Japanese government shouldn’t worry about foreign terrorists. The Japanese people are self-destructing far faster and far more effectively than a million overseas terrorists. There are over 150 million Japanese going to the grave! Good lord. Save them! Don’t worry about terrorists.
While keeping all aliens locked out of Japan, the government has to bring them in since the Japanese people are falling into fatal apathy: Myanmar refugees under resettlement program to work as farmers: The government has to insure they remain on the remote farms and not drift into the cities. All previous attempts to bring in people have led to hysteria in Japan.
Even Koreans brought in as slaves are not socially accepted in Japan to this day and no one aside from the Koreans can tell the two people apart! This is due to the fact that much of Japan was colonized by Koreans in the first place (displacing the Ainu to the far north!). Even if a Korean born in Japan speaks perfect Japanese, they are part of a genetic record which the government keeps which can be looked into by Japanese to see where one comes from and thus, discriminate against them!
This brings me back to Israel: the Jews there want a Japanese-style culture that locks out ‘aliens’ even if they, themselves, are invaders (even the Bible admits this!). India struggles with racial discrimination, too. It is even more ancient that the Japanese and Jewish attempts, it goes back thousands and thousands of years and is totally noxious. But won’t end unless there is a Chinese communist-style revolution. Which might possibly happen. Time will tell.
Of course, according to the global warming people, there is no time left, we are all doomed. Like the Japanese people. See how bizarre all of this is? This is why I call my blog, ‘The Culture of Life.’
20 responses to “Japanese Fatalism Versus Muslim Energy”
That description of 30 – 50 year old men on the trains is spot on. They have what psychiatrists would describe as depressed facies. When I visited last year, the women seemed to be happier.
“Social and emotional isolation takes a severe toll on a person. In the US, we have social chaos spilling out of the underclass in the inner cities to the middle class suburbs. Short relationships anchored by a grandmother collapses when the older generation dies off. The new ‘grandmothers’ are as detached as their offspring and their offspring so there ceases to be this solid core of stability.”
Divide and Conquer. Simple concept. The US society was built and forged on the agrarian model. Like China today, we had families, relatives and extended families living together or near one another. Along with close neighbors. That is all gone. Blown to dust by free trade mindset. Everyone is taught that they have to move out and away to be alone. Well, now we are all alone with no one to help or call friend. We cocoon in the machine which the elite singularity freaks hope one day to merge into and become super machines. Then they will get rid of the rest of us, the dumb and dumber ones.
What is happening to Japanese men is truly sad for a number of reasons. I do not really understand it, but I guess their culture is so dominated by western/jewish thinking now that they cannot conceive of any life beyond a high-paying job.
One man here has a beautiful Thai wife and a son with autism, but he spends all his time at work and then afterwards, goes with his male co-workers to eat and drink and then drag himself back to a hotel for another round of all day work and then drinking. He gave up on the 1 and 1/2 hour commute to and from work each day, so his wife and son only see him on Sunday — sometimes.
I find Japan has some of the prettiest women in the world, so I cannot understand why the men there have no interest in a sex life. At least that gives you some connection to other humans, however fleeting.
I think Japan died before WW II, when it decided to modernize and then opt for endless imperial wars that separated the men from the women for years and years.
Let’s face it, they never recovered from WW II. Too many young men died in the war and rebuilding while occupied by a foreign culture was the last straw for them. I think historians will pinpoint WW II as the end of Japan in time, just like the looting of Constantinople in 1204 led to a downward spiral for Byzantium, which no longer exists.
Like empires, cultures rise and fall.
Ah! The “Hairy”, Ainu. Where did they come from? it sounds as if they were caucasian.
I am utterly in love with your writing. Especially when you call the bankers gnomes.
That makes me laugh.
But I really feel they’re drugged up little gnomes.
This post depressed me a little. I’ve just returned from Japan back to the UK. I was living there 3 years. I agree with everything you wrote about the Japanese spirit.
There is an undercurrent feeling of pessimism there. I’m in my 30s. Many people I met in Japan in the same age group seemed to have few goals or dreams.
I met a lot of people who wanted to leave, yet also seemed to fear leaving the safety of Japan. Life seemed focused on jobs – yet I never ever met anyone one who seemed happy at work or had a any kind of work life balance.
Not to mention that their salaries were average regardless of how many hours they seemed to work.
I guess for the 40/50 year old age group, the salary was better, as most of that group seemed to own houses and generally have more wealth.
Eveything there is clean and modern and efficient (kind of). However the small apartments, the lack of expression, the homegenity of the population and the difficulties in truly integrating there made me feel the quality of life was lacking. Yet I was really starting to make some progress there.
In Japan I could live, but could never thrive and because of this I finally decided to get back to the UK as I am struggling to make a life for me and my new wife.
However, the UK also leaves me feeling unsure. This feels like a country in decline. Every day, the news brings more stories of job losses. Prices are much higher than 4 years ago. There feels like fewer opportunities. I worry if my saving in the bank are really safe.
I am at a crossroads to decide where I should make my life for the next few years – The UK or Japan. It is a difficult decision.
But your writing is helping to educate me, even though I have trouble understanding a lot of it. Reading your log helps me understand why a lot of things in Japan and the UK are as they are. And hopefully will help me prepare for the future.
little to no government (PLEASE NOTE THIS FACT!!!!).
for the record
hey, information, government, organization, capitalism… all this high minded educated ideas stuff is worth a ton… empires rise and fall, civilizations disappear, the guns never silence, and we just go back to work
education is the best tool we have to prevent mass suicide… government is one way to produce knowledge… but hardly a solution for suicide… the black arts of megagovernment interfere with rational thought, conjuring up endless rules that run ever slightly against common sense and eventually the entirety of the human experience.
familys dont produce wealth anymore… at least thats what we are told and so we put pleasure before blood… its a difficult problem, but as long as we are producing spaceships and ray guns our longing for blood will have the tools needed when true desperation comes knocking
then we can have sex try to get rich and look at ourselves in the mirror some more
thats 10 furlongs
But it was not firemen, cops, clerks, or teachers (or their unions) who lost trillions of dollars in risky investments in an under-regulated stock market over the past 20 years. The Wall Street money managers lost it in investments acquiesced in by the pension fund trustees they had wined and dined. It’s the same old story. The bankers pocket gigantic fees. The privileged few get fat. Ordinary people get run over. And now are even to be blamed — even punished — for a mess they did not create.
no but union management is obviously retarded or complicit in the sacrifice of organized labor too.
phase 2, please
Id love for one of these cops or teachers explain how job control is supposed to work… imean there protesting right, so like they have a real viewpoint and they should share it
Well, the problem is that it is impossible to make an honest living in the United States. Raising a family and trying to provide a decent future takes big bucks. If you want big bucks, you will either be working for, or doing business with, criminals. End of story.
I don’t want to have children because it is not within my power to leave them a world worth living in. Putting them through what I’ve been through would be a despicable act, indeed. What am I supposed to say: [to a boy] I hope you enjoy raping and killing because that’s the only job that pays. [To a girl] give prostitution a try, it’s not so bad.
If you are an honest person, fatalism is just harsh reality staring you in the face. The opposite is wishful thinking.
Humans evolved f*cked up. Mother Nature goofed, big time. End of story.
I live in Tokyo in a 12 story building.
Last year we got a knock on the door from the local police asking if heard any noise or disturbance in the last hour.
Turns out someone from the 10 floor had jumped (or tossed) out.
Upon hearing this i went on the balcony to look down below.
The cleanup crew has already pressure washed the street and were packing up to leave.
We live in a typical apt.building, and only see other tenants if they happen to be in the elevator at the same time. No one talks about this or much else, and most might not even know that a nameless neighbor, jumped to his death.
It`s as if it never happened x 30,000+/year
Japan lost its rudder after July 18, 1995. Europe after July 18, 1997. Figure it out.
Wisconsin labor protest reverberates in Oregon
Anger about erosion of employees’ rights draws several hundred people to Capitol
this stuff is awsome… I have to say that if the US goes broke with unions in the streets first… well i got to respect that cuz they have to know when the banks come clean about account balances
the Union benefits class war slander will be glaringly dishonest on the part of the corporate media… these Union guys are about to be screwed by multinational gimmick government promises
balls on fellas’
One of the more interesting reads from Elaine, because Japan stands as a metaphor for us all. Did not Yukio Mishima predict this?
Modern times (Charlie Chaplin comes to mind) with “democracy” let loose upon the world has created a virtual world to such a degree that human ingenuity is no longer challenged because it has short-circuited itself, and the world has become a place saturated by boredom of our own making.
We are all awaiting the catastrophe now in motion to take its full effect, and the suicides in Japan ought not to be looked upon as suicides, but as sacrifices toward a radically changed world.
In the Muslim world, suicide bombers and hijackers express the exact opposite: willing to die to make a political or religious point. This is an expression of their belief in an ideal future. One that may be insane but still, is an ideal.
Thank you, everyone in or just out of Japan, for the comments. I am very interested in these. I happen to love some of the culture of Japan when it comes to design and creativity so it terrifies me to see Japan losing all of this, there are some deep aspects in the culture that are quite sensible!
We can´t all be happy go lucky.
Japanese people need to learn how to revel in the melancholy.
Some of us just are just born to row in the murkier waters of the human psyche there is nothing wrong about that.
They should visit Russia or Finland we are the melancholy specialists of the world.
There is solace in sadness.
+ a bottle of vodka
Of course things are not nice at your iPhone factory either.
“The latest effort on Foxconn’s part appears to be installing safety nets to catch those who do decide to jump. A Gizmodo tipster sent in a photo of what are allegedly Foxconn-owned buildings in China. The photo also features safety nets that were supposedly installed to prevent any more deaths.”
I have certainly had my share of angst in my lifetime, most strongly felt when I was younger, gradually leading to a milder sense of calm resignation towards life. It is enough to struggle personally with life issues, and then on top of that to have to face a societal decline makes life even tougher.
I reached the age of 30 and swore off having kids. I was too old, too tired, and never wanted another human to suffer as I had. So now divorced and alone, I am the happiest I have ever been in life. Acceptance is the key to serenity, not alcohol.
Elaine is my source for Japanese news. I have always admired their culture. I have contemplated living in Japan myself. I think I would fit right in. Except that they would see I am a gaijin. For me (can’t speak for you) God is the answer, and so I accepted Him as my Savior from this crazy world. It works for me. I guess if you don’t believe in Jesus, you have to find your own savior.
The israelis would love it if the Palestinians were like the Japanese..then it will be a walk in the palk for Eretz israel.
ERIC IDLE wrote this
Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
And always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the right side of life…
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the bright side of life…
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life…
(I mean – what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life…
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