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Japan: Facades Uncovered

Whether it's the petals of cherry blossom smothering the lush green around the riverbanks which reflect the serenity of onlookers, or the breath-taking view of the contrast between the traditional architecture's elegance blending into one with modern skyscrapers of marvel, vivid imaginations such as these are breathed into life by Japan.

Japan has been responsible for enhancing the beauty one can perceive. Ranging from ancestral literature on ancient scrolls to present manga, from Miki Matsubara to YOASOBI's mellifluous voice and mouth-watering dishes ranging from Sushi to Dango, Japanese culture has been influencing people as the world shrinks with broader communication networks.

However, every coin has two sides, and so does Japan. Like a wailing Siren's euphony which dumbfounds stranded sailors, Japan's layers hide its imperfection beyond the sight of tourists. The romanticism of the superficial layer accounts for its rise to the pedestal of fame.

With the passing of time and technological advancements, the lifestyle of people flourishes while it comes with a price. With the population per density increasing, luxuries and their affordability become questionable. To make their ends meet, people opt for longer work hours, even if the stress of pushing oneself beyond their limit piles up.

According to scientists, more than 60% of employees suffer from anxiety and stress. Isolation and depression followed by the meagre source of income coerce them to opt to capsule hotels or temporary shelters as the cycle repeats itself. As a result, the same technology which was to be made available for all became unaffordable for the masses.

Meanwhile, tourists witness the recreation sphere. Renowned for their hospitality and kindness, Japanese people grow up with the value of tolerance from childhood. Yet, the same tolerance purges into Xenophobia regardless of the generation brought up when the foreigners turn into residents. Unfortunately, conservative views don't align with the ironic leaps of modernization Japan is taking. Japanese people of mixed origins are despised, where this reminds us of Purebloods in Harry Potter and their disguised intentions, except the fair skin tone lures them.

Learning all these might assure us about intact privacy, while on the other hand, reality lies far from it. Regardless of stature or gender, stalking is a prevalent issue in Japanese society. This practice arises from the glorification of suppressed feelings that turn unrequited. In 2018 there were roughly 21,600 stalking incidents reported in Japan. As most instances are covered up, the media remains helpless.

In short, each country has its own set of pros and cons and consequently does Japan. It depends upon the perspective with which it's judged to relish its offerings, yet the age-old question remains: Does Japan deserve a status beyond its hospitality? For every smile of its residents, there lies a haunting story untold.


Tagged in : Japan, Daily life, Realities,