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 security. Although Japan is in a precarious condition now, I would like to live by getting along with people around me. I show my future expectation with three points. First, I talk about having a family. Second, I will get a general job 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 from my late-twenties to thirty because I would like to work in society, and not depend on the income of my husband, and have both of us support our family. And I will have up to two children because bringing up a child costs 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, and declining salaries. Moreover, I may not have time to take care of my children due to my work, because Japan does not have sufficient circumstance so women can manage both 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 easy for women to do that in the future. If the condition is improved, the overall social trends will change better.
Second of all, I desire that I get a job as a regular worker with secure welfare. According to Anne Allison, the wage disparity between regular and irregular employment exists in Japan. Although being hired as regular one is good, removing the disparity is the best. My finding job may be difficult. As Anne Allison wrote, it is hard for youth to get a job because companies tend to hire senior workers. This has 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 neighbor in order to prevent solitary death, and have my family look after me when I age. My ibasho arises in such relationships. 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 my family and I hope that Japan become the place which women can do more easily both job and childcare.
Anne Allison (2013). Precarious Japan. Duke University Press. (pp. 1-42)