No sex please, we’re Japanese

My boyfriend and I have started watching some of the BBCs “This World” programmes that have been on recently, presented by Anita Rani.

The first was on BBC Two called, No sex please, we’re Japanese.

The show essentially was about the lack of people in Japan having children. There are now far more older people in Japan, to the extent that nappies for the elderly are outselling babies nappies. They showed a town which once had 21 primary schools, and now has just 1. The town had to close their maternity ward because there was no one having babies at all. The people said that the town had nothing to attract younger people, but also the birth rate is dropping very dramatically in Japan in general.

They started looking into the reasons as to why the birth rate is dropping. The reasons included culture, distractions, the economy and immigration.

Japan is so different from the rest of the world. Anime and manga, for example, is created not just for the younger generation but for the older ones too. One guy on the show was married, but he had a virtual girlfriend on a game called Love Plus for his Nintendo DS. He considered this his actual girlfriend and didn’t want to tell his wife about it. These men were called Otaku – geeks who are obsessed with anime and manga and tune out of the real world to live in a fantasy. It’s a common thing in Japan. A place in Tokyo called Akihabara (I want to go!) is full of anime and manga to please these sorts of people. They said that with entertainment and distraction like that, why would you want a complicated relationship?

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The state of the economy means that men in Japan have confidence issues, believing they will never amount to a lot and never make any more money than their parents did. They therefore want to revert to a childlike state of computer games and a virtual world to make them feel more comfortable. It is easier to deal with the virtual world than a real woman.

Other reasons for the dropping birth rates included that there are a lot of immigration rules in Japan making it harder for people from other cultures to come over, keeping the culture very traditional. In Japan men often think that women should stay at home, have children and be a housewife, whereas the women want a career. If you have children in Japan, in many ways it can end your career. Basically they were saying that if they were more interracial relationships, maybe there would be a population boost!

One survey said that just 27% of couples in Japan said they had sex every week. I’m not sure if it is just me…but that’s really not a lot is it!? Why do you guys think the birth rate in Japan is dropping?

You can read a more in-depth article by Anita Rani here. It focuses on the part of the show about men preferring anime and manga to real life women. Those in the UK can watch a clip of the two men with virtual girlfriends.

Tokyo 2020

You may or may not have seen the news yet, but Tokyo has just been announced to host the 2020 Olympics. It’ll be back to Asia for the first time since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. I think I know where I want to go in 2020!

My boyfriend and I really want to go to Japan at some point, but the problem is when. We don’t have enough money at the moment and I really want to go back to Hong Kong first. I loved the London Olympics. I went to one of the Equestrian events and also a Paralympic event which were both amazing, and I want to go to another Olympics in a different country one day…so maybe waiting 7 years for this would be a good idea? It might be VERY busy though.

Together with my boyfriend, we have complied a list of things we would like to see in Japan. I don’t know too much about Japan so these are just a few things we found while searching the internet:

Square Enix Showcase, cafe and shop
I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, so this would be a really cool place to check out. My boyfriend wouldn’t be too interested, but he’ll have to put up with it. ;)

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Image from espadakiller.wordpress.com

Pokemon Center
It’s a shop full of Pokemon. If that had existed in the UK when I was 10 years old I would have been the happiest child in the world. As my boyfriend said, as a Pokemon fan, not going to a Pokemon Center would be foolish.

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Image from web-japan.org

Hot Springs
Onsen. This sounds really cool, though I won’t be wanting to go if I have to go in a girls only hot spring or i’m not allowed to wear a swimming costume…It would be a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

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Image from Japan-Guide.com

Cherry Blossom Trees
I think these blossom the best in the spring so if we went for the Olympics it would be at the wrong time, but really Japan without seeing cherry blossom is just wrong!

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Image from wong-avenue.tumblr.com

 

Yakushima
Beautiful National Park, but probably too far away.

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Image from japan-guide.com

Mount Fuji
My boyfriend suggested this, but it’s something I would love to see too, especially after studying Hokusai at school and seeing it in his famous series of woodblock prints.

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Image from slorker.com

Himeji Castle
When my boyfriend mentioned this, I was expecting a typical castle like you see in the UK, but this looks very impressive and very Japanese! Apparently it’s one of the largest and oldest castles in Japan.

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Image from wikipedia.org

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
What can I say, I love Disney!

123Image from tokyodisneyresort.co.jp

Akihabara
My boyfriend has a program on his computer with lots of CCTV camera films from around the world. The one for Japan shows Akihabra which apparently has lots of great shops!

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Image from japan-guide.com

Rainbow Bridge
When my boyfriend mentioned Rainbow Bridge, I was thinking of the depressing poem about where animals go when they die, but actually it looks very pretty.

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Image from bitrebels.com

Kiyomizu-dera
A temple in Kyoto on a hill, with impressive views.

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Image from Wikipedia.org

The Imperial Palace and Edo Castle
I don’t know much about this, except that the Emperor lives here! ;)

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Image from hiren.info

Tokyo Tower
It looks a lot like a more colourful version of the Eiffel Tower.

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Image from tripadvisor.com

Tokyo Skytree
It’s a big broadcasting tower… :P

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Image from jdjapan.wordpress.com

Hiroshima
Probably far too hard to get too from Tokyo, but my boyfriend would like to see this. It’s a huge part of history so I’m sure it would be an amazing thing to visit.

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Image from news.bbc.co.uk

Does anyone else have more suggestions of places to visit in Japan? I’ve got 7 years to plan this trip, I might as well start now ;)