The dark side

There is a side to Japan and one that isn’t discussed often. A bitter, vinegary flavor that is part of the recipe of Japan, but isolated is unpalatable. It is an all-consuming darkness that swallows souls and takes lives. There is a culture of allowing people to be who they are with no judgment passed, and that is a really cool thing about life here. There is a flip side though, in that much needed interventions are never staged, and people disappear into themselves.

A shut in.  Not common, but far more common in Japan.

A shut in. Not common, but far more common in Japan.

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Dating sims… No emotional risk.

One of the greatest indicators of violent and/or self-destructive behavior is disconnect, and Japan is so incredibly convenient a place to do that. It’s far too easy to divorce from reality. This leads to shut ins, and tech fetishes glorifying fantasy over reality. It is also leading to unrealistic expectations, retreat from the world, violence against others, and suicide.
Suicides in Japan are double than that of the US and 3 times that of the UK (per 100,000). There is such a sad hopeless resignation that is occurs in the anonymity of Japan, that oblivion seems the better choice. I have seen it happen in the office with great people who suddenly disappear and throw themselves off bridges into swollen rivers, or those that have leapt in front of trains.

It’s not hard to find the dark pulse in Tokyo… You don’t have to speak Japanese, you don’t have to turn over rocks… Just open your eyes and look. Unclog your ears and listen and you can hear its beat.

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5 thoughts on “The dark side

  1. I am very interested to know about the darker side of japan. I am fed up and disgusted with the glossified lifestyle they are so desperate to show outside. Happy to follow!

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  2. Hey man, thanks for following. I am new to the blogging lifestye (kinda), so I am bumbling along. Every country on Earth wants to put their best foot forward, but also has its share of dirty laundry. Since I am not a visitor to Japan (rather a permanent long term resident), these are the kinds of things I see that no one talks about. Its a giant flaw that is very ingrained in Japanese culture, that if you don’t talk about something or ignore it, it will go away. It works great for the train drunks, but not for WWII half apologies. Anyhow, if you would like to read more about the seedier side of Japan, check out the fellas at Tokyo reporter (its linked as a blog I follow). They translate a lot of the mags here that actually look into those things so often ignored.

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  3. i’ve read quite a number of articles over the years talking about how suicide and disconnectedness have almost overtaken males of a certain age group. how many are spending their time deep in virtual realities, and forsaking the real world for escapist entertainment, and fetishism. is it really a generational/age thing ?

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    1. I’m by no means a sociologist or an anthropologist, but I wouldn’t put it as an entire age group has malfunctioned. Imagine if all emo kids instead overindulged and were never confronted about it. In the US you usually can only take it so far until a host of family, friends, teachers and/or counselors get curious. In Japan, that’s seen as sticking your nose in others business. It’s a great thing in many other aspects except this.

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