Your Friend in Japan

My Daughter’s Days in Japanese School, and a new Population Bomb for Japan

Written by HotAnime

Hello from your Friend in japan, J-List! We’re busy preparing for the San Diego Comicon next week, but we thought we’d get the fun started early be launching our Comicon 5% Off Sale early! (Use code SDCC2016, $60 minimum required.

It’s quite a common thing for me to open my RSS feed and see yet another article about a drop in Japan’s population. This time it seems that the number of Japanese in the world has dropped below 126 million after peaking in 128 million in 2010, as outgoing deaths outstrip incoming births with no meaningful immigration to help balance things. What effect will this population fall really have on Japan in the decades going forward? It’s hard to say. Japan is a densely populated and prosperous country with a high standard of living, though as the population falls, especially in rural areas, economic activity must presumably drop. (Would you build a shopping mall in a rural city in Japan?) Unfortunately there’s more bad news on the horizon. In 1966, Japan’s number of births fell by 8% due to a widely held (but silly) superstition called Hinoeuma or “Fire Horse,” which says that girls born in a specific Year of the Horse would be headstrong and bad luck for their husbands, and thus unable to marry. Unfortunately, a new Hinoeuma year is now just ten years away, which means the government should make stamping out this superstition a priority by 2026.

Being half Japanese and half American, my kids didn’t always fit the mold that was prepared for them here in Japan. At my daughter’s junior high school they had something called 風紀検査 fuuki kensa, which is an inspection by the teachers or the student council to make sure the students aren’t doing scandalous things like dyeing their hair, shortening the hems of their skirts or painting their fingernails. Once my daughter got stopped and asked why she had lightened her hair, but of course it was her natural color, which caused a bit of a logical disconnect until the school realized she was haafu (half Japanese). Pierced ears are also a no-no in conservative Japanese schools, and the teachers were amazed to see that my daughter had had her ears pierced as a child, which is unthinkable here.

At J-List we sell a lot of fun Sailor Moon items, and one of our favorites are the Sailor Moon Schedule Books we sell every year, which let you have a great time with your favorite Sailor-senshi all year long. The books include full 2017 calendars, with address pages, pages for taking notes, and everything you need to keep organized all year long. The deadline to order the schedule books is July 20, so order the ones you want now!! Make sure you order during our sale!

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