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.
Anonymous student post
After reading some parts of Allison’s book, my view about Japan changed. I was thinking of getting a job in Japan after graduating from my university, without a doubt.
Actually, perhaps I can get a good job to some extent because Japan is gakureki shakai (if you graduate from famous university, you are guaranteed to get a good job, to some extent) and my university is famous in Japan. Japanese companies, however, have some disadvantageous aspects such as overwork, less holidays, lack of labor unions, and so on. Also, according to Allison, Japanese society is precarious. For example, relationless, and high rate of suicide. Sometimes I also feel these problems Allison mentioned, so these precarious affect my life plan.
Just then, I learned that Nordic societies are very different from Japan. There are high tax rates, high welfare, and everyone is guaranteed to have life that people should have. Denmark especially is famous for being the happiest country in the world (http://diamond.jp/articles/-/32485?page=7). People in Denmark do not need to pay money from elementary school to university, and for medical costs. And after retirement, they are guaranteed to have enough pension to live a life. This society is very opposite to Japanese precarious society.
The sense of well being is also different from Japanese to Danish. According to Aya Omoto, Danish put their happy on everyday life. They feel happy for the things we tend to be matter of course, such as talking with friends, having food, being healthy. To the contrary, it might be said that we Japanese tend to feel happy for being superior to other people, having much amount of money, and working hard to get fame. For this reason I strongly come to be interested in Danish society because I like a sense of well-being. Danish have.
Living and working abroad became one of the way to live a happy life for me, however, there is a saying : The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. If I were born in a Nordic country, I might think that I wanted to be born in Japan, and vice versa. It can be said that there are no perfect countries in the world, and there are absolutely some bad points. For these reasons, I might get a job in Japan and want to work in many countries through a Japanese company, and in this mean my ibasho can be said to be the earth itself, and I want to make relationship in the world.