Japan: Hyperpoliteness for Profit!

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Pictured above: Creepy ass posters and creepy ass mascots.

People think Japan is a very relaxed and co-operative place, and it’s true, as this place is not Korea where people will be ready to stab you in the nuts if you invade their territory. But Japanese value competition and they have gotten the art of the deal down to the T. They don’t give a shit if something wonderful like breasts are going to offend someone or create controversy/kotaku articles about female objectification in video games. If it’s going to sale, you can bet your ass they won’t stop to nothing.

The Japanese language didn’t get this convoluted 3-tiers of politeness just because they like to live in peace and harmony with other people, no! If you know anything about Japanese history, then it’s all civil wars, wars against some other country and/or exploiting some nearby country. This whole politeness system was made to appeal to the most important person in their lives – the customer. The customer’s got the money, money is power and Might is Right is like the second motto for the Japanese.

Now, I’m not saying that the way Japanese live is bad, I’m just saying that there are two sides on the coin. Money being power is just like everywhere else, stricter hierarchical systems make people to forget their ego and do whatever the erai-hito says. (erai-hito means good person. Good not like Mother Theresa, but good like “Good dog!!” when your dog goes poop in the right place. Estonian word tubli.) The woes of consumerism is elitism – rich Japanese people unfortunately paint The Poors with a very wide brush of poverty, dumbness, and disease. You can bet that if there are some rowdy kids at an aquarium then the Japanese will remark that those are Poor (Rural) People Children, as if rich kids are all precious little angels!

The greatest sin of Hyperpoliteness for Profit is that it makes people expect the best fucking service every single time and literally everywhere they go. Why are the chewing gums wrapped individually? Why are the cookies triple-packaged and with a desiccant inside the packaging? Why do ad campaigns change every two weeks? Why are there special events for a Minions movie with fanfare, hookers, and blackjack?   It’s all to appeal to the Customer and to Get Their Fucking Money. America’s got sleazy sales guys, Japan’s got cute girls giving out tissue paper with an ad on it. Never pay for tissues again, but beware, folks. It all comes with a price.

What can the Estonians learn from this? First off, I remember working in a book store chain with corporational aspirations of branching out into Cinema and of becoming the top of the Entertainment Sales Biz in the Baltics and then in all the Europe. It sounds all great, but then they pulled half their books off the shelves to make more cover space and they proudly said that “an holiday ad-campaigns life span is 3 years”. Holy shit! 3 years of the same damn girl holding a book and smiling in front of a fireplace? In three years that girl has gone through puberty and is already worrying about career prospects! You can’t pull this thing off in Japan, as people would lose confidence in the company right away. What do you mean they are showing the same ad campaign as last year? Are they going bankrupt?

It’s a tough sales world here in Japan. But it all comes with a tons of waste and a hefty price tag, as the icebergs are crumbling and there’s a huge heatwave in Siberia right now. Nobody talks about those things in the news, no sir. The biggest news story of the weekend was that some politician was seen coming out a hotel with a strange man and that a new starlet posted “Fuck off!” on Twitter. After the news there was a show of Some People eating fried meat at Some Place in Japan and saying OISHIIIIIIIIIIIIii!! (TL note: it means delicious). Get The Money And Fuck The Planet.

O Katya, where art thou?

I am right here, still in Japan. I’ve just decided to work hard at my work and been under the weather a bit for not getting good sleep due to the god damn heat. It’s ridiculous! +30 all the time, day and night, rain and shine?

The trick is to keep humidity the down and air the rooms before sleeping.  Also cleaning a lot.

Anyway, I’ve been taking pictures of good ol’ promised land over here and things are looking up again. See ya soon!!

ELECTION SEASON

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Man I hate ELECTION SEASON in Japan. It’s loud, there are people in front of stations blaring their little propaganda and the politicians let their goons do all the talking while the politicians themselves just wave and shake hands. It’s telling as there’s a certain someone at the Diet who has to explain what happened every time she opens her mouth and no, she didn’t get herself tangled up in some political scandal again. I am talking of the Defence minister Tomomi Inada right now, because christ, I don’t even speak Japanese that well and even I know that she’s in trouble almost every other week since her face’s on the news again and those damn assholes at the political Wide Shows are pulling off stickers off the poor-man’s powerpoint (no seriously, they got boards with stickers on them and the MC goes all like “And now this is her rebuttal…” in all dramatic fashion as he pulls and reveals whatever was said. It’s ridiculous! People really watch this kind of crap?)

“It was a misunderstanding,” Ms. Inada would say to the camera 6 in the morning, eyes tired and weary. Poor lady, as you gotta be tough when you get involved with Japanese politics. It’s good ol’ 50’s campaign rallies mixed with some Post-9/11 Brave New World’s sensationalist media mongering.

But on the other hand, we got some good news as well – it’s really nice and warm here in Japan, +30 degrees Celsius and over every day. Drink some water and stay cool, folks!