Here are a few indicators that Japan is not doing too well in the world rankings on how the Japanese feel about their circumstances as Japanese citizens. To begin with, Japan is facing a faltering in marriages where once the institution of marriage and raising children and domestic stability were the bedrocks of Japan. That is no longer the case today and it has to do with economics as nearly 40 percent of employment is related to part time work in the work force. Today, “25 percent of men and 15 percent of women aged 18-34 think of themselves as lifetime singles”. This was from a study by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. These figures according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, are expected to rise within 20 years to 29 and 19 percent, respectively. Japanese females are far less likely to marry a Japanese man who has a part time job, and with 40 percent of the work force holding part time jobs, this translates to far less marriages than years gone by where men had lifetime job security.
With stagnant wages in Japan and 70 percent of single men’s income in Japan at around ¥4 million a year, Japanese woman are not interested in getting involved in marriage with these Japanese men. Many of these men spend tens of thousands of Yen in dating clubs and social events to bring prospective partners together which for many of them is an entire waste of money. Many Japanese men have decided marriage is not going to be a part of their lives and spend time off from their deadening boring jobs playing pachinko or computer games. In one recent poll done by the weekly magazine Spa, it took a look at boredom and found that 300 salarymen between the ages of 35 and 49 (the prime years of employment), 72 percent of these polled Japanese men were bored shitless. The cause of their boredom? Their monotonous go nowhere jobs.
The other aspect we find in Japan is boredom. There is very little room in Japan for personal improvement where work is considered a premium. As David Graeber pointed out in his talk on “bullshit jobs“, this seems to be what is happening with Japanese labor as well. People having meaningless jobs who slog on from day-to-day buying their lunches at Lawson convenience stores and are too embarrassed to tell their friends what they do because they think the job is basically bullshit themselves. Think of all the thousands of Japanese who have pointless jobs because Japan’s social structures demand that if you have a job you should be working hard from sunrise until sunset with low wages. The routine is a basic job, no social life, monotony, no friends, no romance in their marriages or even if they are single, and mind numbing boredom.