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June 18, 2009

Impossibly shiny and tidy

Peter Hitchens pens a longer piece on his travel to Japan.

Among Tokyo's sparkling towers and madly busy streets, you get a strong feeling of being in a different universe from ours, a feeling strengthened by the way British mobile phones are not advanced enough to work here, and your cashpoint card is rejected with an almost audible sneer by most Japanese bank machines.

As a Japanese friend said: 'We are on another planet here, the only place that has not globalised.'

A fact that means entries in both the credit and debit columns. Too much to summarize so RTWT if Lost in Translation left you thinking of a move to Tokyo.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 18, 2009 06:53 AM


Forwarded this to a friend of mine (who is also my girls' godfather) whos been an expat in Japan & Taiwan for the last eight years. His comments were...

"I need to find out where this cat drinks!

Japan --
Suffered through the bubble…true.

They sucked it for a while, shed the stuff that didn’t work…true.

Figured out what to do for the aging population…bullshit.

Tax the living shit out of anything that moves…my add…and true of course!

Women give up their jobs when they get married…bullshit…they cannot afford to in the country (grandparents are doing a lot of babysitting these days and daycares are springing up even in small towns outside of Hamamatsu).

Japanese People --
They still are really big into the purity of the nation…he didn’t outright say it…but true!

Brazilians, Argentineans, Peruvians and Koreans are discriminated against…true…they are not Japanese (interesting since Japanese are likely really Koreans).

Foreigners are profiled for crimes…true…and actually the Brazilians do commit more crime.

Foreigners outcasted…very true…you will never fit in (at least for the next couple of generations…the foundation is cracking).

Clothes have become varied…semi true…a small handful do wear loud colors, but most put on white or black or something in-between…period!

Shizuoka Airport --
To be a domestic airport primarily with few international flights…they know this shit.

What he didn’t say is that due to the inflexibility of the society at large, they suffered far longer than they had to during the bubble. Change is bad here, so it happens are a remarkably slower pace. Now what he really needs to tap into is if they still think they are a superior race! Now that would sell some papers. He also didn’t mention their selective reality at their own spot in history (particularly their relationships with their neighbors)."

Posted by: Clayton Barnett [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2009 08:16 AM

I hope you might pass on my thanks to your friend for these observations.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2009 08:46 AM

Good article. Very readable, well organized and interesting.

Posted by: Recruiting Animal [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2009 05:51 PM