Note from Editor: Students are reading Anne Allison’s book Precarious Japan, and sharing their thoughts on how their own future plans are impacted by the instability and insecurity that Allison describes.
by Marina Furuichi
I am going to state my future plans from two points of view and my ibasho.
First, I will mention my future plans from two points of view, marriage and work. I don’t only want to get married and have children, but also I want to work hard. After graduation, I will take a civil service examination, pass the examination and be a diplomat. By the time I turn 28, I will work with all my heart. When I am 28 years old, I will get married. These are my dreams. However, if I try to do so, I will face some difficulties. In fact, it is said that Japan doesn’t have good work environments for women. In this paper, Anne Allison says:
even during the boom period of the bubble economy, women were overly representative in the peripheral workforce as part-time workers (which they remain today with 70% of female workers employed in irregular jobs and with 80% of temp workers being female).
If this circumstance isn’t improved, the future of working woman will not be bright. In other words, it is not easy for me to achieve my dreams. Now, I think about the future of Japanese working environments. I expect that more working women will be able to live a full life by working sufficiently. Sylvia Ann Hewlett says:
As the looming demographic crisis threatens to reshape the economy as drastically as any natural disaster, better using its educated women would be an innovation that, according to a 2010 Goldman Sashs study, would add 8.2 million brains to the workforce and boost the economy by 15%. Japanese women are poised to make this happen and looking to employers to lead the charge.
I agree with this idea. I think it is inefficient that a well-qualified woman is passed over for a plum assignment. Therefore, I think that Japan should make more chances for working woman.
Second, I will state my ibasho. I think that ibasho is a little different from place. Ibasho is something we can rely on. In other words, ibasho is not so much physical place as mental place. My ibasho is the time to spend with my important people such as my family and friends. Therefore, in my future, it will be irreplaceable to have a time with my new family. To make my dreams come true, I will never divorce. I will clear a path for my own future.
Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
TIME Japan’s Working-Woman Problem. http://ideas.time.com/2011/12/11/japans-working-woman-problem/