It seems that the Japanese media frequently reports that “the strengths of Japan are being praised by the world” or “what is commonplace in Japan is being praised by the rest of the world”. An example of the former would be locker room cleaning at the 2022 World Cup, and an example of the latter would be Japan’s trains never being late for no reason.
Of course, I’m not saying that cleaning the World Cup is unnecessary, or that the railways should be more inconvenient. I am not saying that such reports are unnecessary. I don’t want to make a desk theory that excessive patriotism will lead to war. It’s not that I want to lower Japan’s reputation because Japan is such a hell of a dystopia.
However, I see absolutely no value in the fact that “Japan is acclaimed by the world.” This is because the evaluation is based on the “other person’s axis”. Even if no one in the world recognizes or notices that you’ve cleaned the locker room, it’s worth it. If the next person who uses the locker room notices it, that’s fine, and even if they don’t notice it, that’s fine. Even if no one praises the fact that Japan’s railways function as infrastructure and are convenient, no matter how you look at it, it will be more convenient. Isn’t that fine? No matter what the world says, there is no need to change Japan’s good points or force Japan to conform to global standards. On the other hand, just because someone said that a certain part of Japan is inconvenient, you don’t have to forcefully change something. If you decide that it makes sense, take that opinion as a reference. Instead, just saying, “I’ll change it because someone told me to” is too much for others.
In the age of globalization, it is natural to have individuality. Everyone has their color, habits, and flaws. It’s the same with countries. Japan doesn’t have to be like other countries. It’s good to incorporate the good points of other countries and learn from the failures of other countries. Of course, things like discrimination and persecution, for example, have to change. If Japan is headed for war, it must be stopped at all costs. War is murder, and innocent civilians become collateral damage. War should not be endorsed for any reason. However, in terms of other aspects, if you force yourself to imitate something or care about someone’s gaze and evaluation, you will not be able to do things that are unique to Japan.
I saw an advertisement that said, “Let’s enjoy traveling overseas in Kobe.” However, what people want in Kobe is not the historical streets and architecture of Europe. Much less the exotic cityscapes and lively scenery of China. As a city where many foreigners lived, people probably go to Kobe to see how Japanese culture and Western culture merge. If you want to travel abroad, go abroad. If you can’t go because you don’t have the money or the time, you can watch videos on YouTube. Alternatively, if you go to an artificial theme park like Huis Ten Bosch or Shima Spain Village, you can feel like you’ve traveled abroad. That’s probably not what Kobe wants. It is important to bring to the fore the experiences that can only be had in Kobe to attract tourists.
Respect is more important than respect, isn’t it? It’s natural to have individuality. It would be boring if the whole world became uniform. Japan’s shortcomings should be fixed, and Japan’s strengths should be enhanced. However, if you care about the evaluations and gazes of others in the process, you will lose even more of the goodness of Japan. And isn’t it important to respect each other’s colors? For example, I am not advocating a war that produces nothing but destruction. Right-wing or left-wing, liberal or conservative, if there is a certain reason for their opinion and it is acceptable to society, it should be respected.
Now, this is a bit off-topic, but in the context of “Japan is respected by foreign countries,” it can be read as “It is meaningless unless it is respected by foreign countries.” Rather, it is necessary to recognize and cherish each other’s values, saying, “I will respect and accept the uniqueness of Japan. In exchange, please respect the uniqueness of Italy.”
Of course, if others say, “I will do my best to become a Japanese person respected by the world,” I will respect that. But I can’t respect you. My opinion and his opinion are different, so I respect him, but I can’t respect him.
What Japan, all other countries, and all people should aim for is not to be evaluated by others, but to value one’s individuality and what only one can do. ‘s opinion.
In my opinion, referring to what the Japanese philosopher Yoshimichi Nakajima said, “Everything you do to be liked by others is morally good, even if it is beautiful.” It is not an act.” Of course, I’m not saying that the Japanese national soccer team cleaned the locker room out of concern for others. Only they know the true meaning, and even they may not grasp it. I remember that Yoshimichi Nakajima’s book ended with the conclusion that “we must value and seek moral good behavior above all else”. If I’m misremembering, please correct it.
“I decided to study in America because I wanted to be evaluated by my friends,” is the opinion of others. “I have a dream that I want to fulfill, and I decided to study abroad in the United States because it can only be realized in the United States,” is my own opinion. The result is the same, but the motivation is different. And it is the latter that should be truly appreciated.
Therefore, there is no reason to be overwhelmed by reports that Japan is highly valued and respected by the world. The future of Japan is entrusted to everyone living in Japan. The report only conveys the facts and their opinions, nothing more. And instead of aiming to be “a Japanese who is respected by the world”, rather than aiming to be a “Japanese who does not embarrass the world”, he wants to reach the person he admires. You should aim to become And if we do what we need to do properly, someone will evaluate us appropriately. You don’t have to worry too much about people who keep dragging you down. Ultimately, if you do what you should do and it is appreciated, you should see the person who appreciates you as an important friend.
Furthermore, whether you are Japanese or not is not something you can choose for yourself, except when you are naturalized. It just so happened that I was born in a place called Japan, where my parents are Japanese. I didn’t work hard to get it, so there’s no need to be overly disparaging, but I don’t think it’s something to be overly proud of either. It’s good to be patriotic, and it’s better if you like your situation, but I don’t think you have to force yourself to be proud of where you happened to be born. . Of course, it is also possible that you were born in another country, just by chance that you became Japanese. In either case, do not overdo it. I think it’s the same as whether you’re going to be with a classmate you don’t like at school, or whether you’re blessed with a classmate. Because it’s a matter of compatibility. Classrooms just happen to be places where people of the same age gather in the same area, but so is the country. It’s just that a mother who happened to be pregnant in that place happened to give birth there, so even if you don’t like it, or even if you like it, it’s not something you should be overly proud of. I think it’s much healthier to be proud of what you’ve worked hard for (for example, educational background, work experience, overseas migration, language skills, etc.).
Let’s live on our axis. Do what only you can do. If you do, someone will surely be watching.