Neighborhood ties and feeling at home

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 Tomohiro Doi

In this class, we are studying about difficult Japanese problems, such as hikikomori and muenshakai. These problems are difficult to solve and Japanese people have physical blessings but some Japanese people do not have emotional blessings. Therefore, Japan has improved Japanese economy but the connection of people has declined.

Several years ago, it was a natural thing to get together for residents’ association. In my hometown, the connection of people is strong still now. A circular bulletin notice exists. It is circulated and the opinion is gathered by majority decision. In other places, local residents people gather and talk with each people. And besides, in this society of my hometown, clean-up activities are done frequently. These activities might clean up a park or rivers in the hometown areas not only the connection of people might come to become strong. I live in Kyoto nearby Ritsumeikan University now. In Kyoto, these connection is very thin. In the fact, I have not seen faces of neighbors in my rooming apartment. The tendency which people meet neighbors declined is obvious. It is not only around ours.

It is difficult to solve this tendency. However, I would like to study the way which people willingly link with each people and to make use of these research.

In this university, I am studying many kinds of field. I think these studies are very useful. However, in a university, it is not only study. Ritsumeikan University has a lot of group activities and clubs. Certainly, studying is very important for university students. But I think if students do not join group activities and clubs, it is difficult to make up an ibasho (home, place of comfort) for students. I think it is an ibasho. I intend the ibasho connects us in our life strongly. Several years ago, my father said that “friends of university are as friends in our life. So you must cherish your friends. You must treasure your friends and you must look for friends who cherish you, too. These friends might become an ibasho.” I think this speech is very meaningful in our lives. These days, some young people are unwilling to join a kind of ibasho. However, it will not be a fruitful life. So to be a fruitful life, I would like to join a kind of an ibasho and to continue in these ibasho. And besides, I hope to keep on maintaining these ibasho for along time.

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