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 Shiori Nabeshima
After I became a university student, the time of thinking about my future is increasing. I pondered about the life after graduating school. Although I considered my future when I was in high school, that future meant my life at university.
From when I was a child, the most disliked and hardest question has been about my future or dreams. I cannot imagine my future, therefore I still do not have a dream. Even though I am spurred to think and make a plan for my future, because the time for job hunting is conning closer, two years after from now. My future expectation is obtaining some secure job, marrying someone and having a family. It is not concrete, though I cannot describe my future anymore. One specific hope that I expect for my future is having the same level of life that I have enjoyed so far. Although I expect only one thing, I feel that it is very hard to achieve this goal. When I was younger, in middle or high school, I thought this expectation was normal. But I realized that the life I hoped to have is not a normal life in Japan anymore. This expectation is greedy and I will need to struggle to gain a better future.
Besides, if I cannot have a lifelong job, I will feel guilty for my parents. My abstract plan for future is also to attain for my parents. So having a ‘normal’ life is one of my responsibility or contribution for my parents which I personally feel. Also family is one of my ibasho, so I do not want to lose it by straining my parents that I fail my future and collapsing my family. This situation of collapsing family is one of the famous problems in recent Japan.
Even Japanese society has various problems and bleak future as the author stated, I have to struggle to live in this society. Therefore I still do not leave my hope for the future.
In the future, I hope I have a secure job (not a temp or contact job) or to be married with someone and having a family in which everybody is satisfied the situation. And then my future child(ren) has a sufficient life such as having enough education. Also I hope Japanese circumstance will not be exacerbated more and the society becomes more tolerant.