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 Yuri Muramatsu
In the future, living in Japanese society may become much more severe. As Allison mentioned in her book, Japan has a lot of issues that have huge effects on our future.
First of all, Allison argued that Japanese became muen shakai (relation less society). I have some anxiety for this muen shakai situation. There is possibility that I will suffer a solitary death. I also have suspicions about Japan’s society.
First, I do not want to get married if I am over 25 years old. If I would be a “Christmas cake,” I would abandon some hope for marriage. In my opinion, I cannot be a mother if I am over 25 years old because it is difficult to raise children.
There are two main reasons. The age of 25 years and over is the important age to stabilize the position in the company that the time to be entrusted with important tasks. I do not want to miss this chance. Moreover, if I get married after the age of 25, I will give birth after the age of 26. This means I would have to take a maternity leave after 26, and that I would go back to company after 27 or over. However, taking maternity leave is difficult sometimes. This is the second reason. If I married someone over 25 years old, I would not have a chance to have children. I cannot believe this system.
In addition, it is unfair that the men should work and earn money while women should protect the family. Allison indicates that Japanese people tend to make this style of family. Women should be housewives and men should work and earn money. On the other hand, I want to continue working all through my life, even if the company tries to cut me because I am a woman.
I would like to get a job that has relationship with the Japanese social insurance system. I think Japan faces ikizurasa (difficulty of living) now, so I am happy if I could relieve this feeling. I believe that social insurance system can change Japan. Japanese society does not have a good system to support people in need. This situation directly connects ikizurasa.
That is why I want to get a job that can be changing the severe situation of Japan. Many people feel ikizurasa. I do not want to be a housewife but at the same time I would like to cherish human relationships to prevent falling into a muen shakai situation. I think my ibasho will be my local town, friends and work.
Although Japanese society may getting more worse in the future, I want to fight against an unfair society and rebuild a new system. At the same time I try to value opportunities for communication.