I have experienced being unemployed several times. Technically speaking, I am currently “self employed” because I do freelance jobs, but I don’t count it as “being employed”. I need a better full-time job. As I wrote in a previous post, being unemployed is very depressing. But, though I am still not happy, now I’m coming to think differently. Apparently, what did not kill me makes me a little bit stronger.
According to a Japanese internet article, 70% of job-seeking university students in Japan are frustrated. According to another Japanese internet article, 21% of those university students have thought “I want to die, want to disappear”. If I was at their mental level, I must have killed myself several times to completely disappear. However, in fact, this seems a serious matter in Japan. According to another Japanese internet article that addresses the same issue, the number of young Japanese who committed suicide due to unemployment has been doubled in last five years. What has changed in last years? Economy is probably one of the factors. Young Japanese people may be more sensitive, may feel more pressure.
Japan has experiences rapid change in mentality in last couple of centuries. During Edo era, Samurai spirit prevailed. Since Japan was opened to foreign countries around 150 years ago and the Samurai society came to an end, people suddenly realized that they were way less developed than Western countries, and decided to make Japan a “strong” country. This gradually formed extreme mentality in a different way from Samurai spirit, and eventually led to WWII. Some tragedies happened during this era due to the extreme mentality as I wrote in an old post. And then, Japan was defeated, and people suddenly lost mentality. However, it was not the end. In 1956, Japanese government stated “it is no longer a post-war period”, and Japan experienced rapid economic growth. As I wrote in another old post, Tokyo Olympic was held in this era. If I understand correctly, economy has influenced, or even formed people’s mentality since that period. People came to think that working for a big good company and making money is good. And then we experienced so-called bubble economy from late 80s to early 90s, and it eventually burst. Now what characterizes Japanese mentality? It seems most complex ever.
There used to be good old days. We cannot go back, but we can remember the mentality. During the rapid economic growth period when people faced many social problems that they had never thought of, a famous comedian, Hitoshi Ueki sang many funny songs. One of his songs is だまって俺について来い (Don’t say anything and follow me). Well, it’s like Don’t Worry Be Happy, and he sang the song in the 60s. It goes like this.
Those who don’t have a job, come to me. I don’t have either, but don’t worry. Look at that burning sunset. It’ll work out someday.
We cannot go back to that era, but we can still think in that way, right?