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 Natsuki Ota
I hope that I will spend my life with enough money in the city, and I can have a family and a particular job with secure. Although Japan is in a precarious condition now, I would like to live with getting along with people around me. I show my future expectation from three points. First, I talk about having a family. Second, I will get a general enterprise and take a stable salary. Third, I expect relationships with people for my bright life. I desire that I get a regular job and have a connection with people including family.
To begin with, I will marry a man who can earn a stable salary in my late-twenties to thirty because I would like to work in the society, not depend on the income of my husband, and support each other in the family. And I will have up to two children because bringing up a child costs a plenty of money. It is difficult to earn enough money to take care of many children in such a bad economic condition, for example rising taxes, declining salaries. Moreover, I may have no time to take care of my children due to working, because Japan does not have sufficient circumstance that women can manage both of working and childcare. My plan almost refers to Anne Allison’s vision. “The overall social trends are away from marriage and family,” (Anne Allison, 2013, p.33) Therefore, I hope that Japan can become a society in which it is easier for women to do that in the future. If the condition is improved, the overall social trends will change for the better.
Second of all, I desire that I get an enterprise as regular worker which secures my welfare. According to Anne Allison, the wage disparity between regular and irregular employment exists in Japan. Although being hired as a regular worker is good, removing the disparity is the best. My finding a job may be difficult, as Anne Allison wrote, it is harder for youth to get a job because companies tend to hire senior workers. This is a big influence on me because I heard about my acquaintance’s hard job-hunting.
Finally, I make connections with people such as family and neighbors in order to prevent solitary death, and have my family look after me when I age. My ibasho arises in such relationship. In my opinion, ibasho is the space and place which needs me, so workplace and family is my ibasho.
In conclusion, the current Japanese unstable situation has a big impact on our future. In particular, the bad economy leads to various problems such as rising taxes, reducing wages and even family style. So I will work hard to support ny family and I hope that Japan become the place which women can more easily do both job and childcare.
Anne Allison (2013). Precarious Japan. Duke University Press. (pp. 1-42)