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Japan - People dying alone in a no-relationship-society

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Japan - People dying alone in a no-relationship-society

Postby ethan_sg » Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Japan is an example of how bad things can get and what the world may one day come to if we keep going at this rate. Japan's just at the forefront of it. Extreme isolation and soullessness. See the link below.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/no-of-people-dying-alone-rises-in-no-relationship-society

No. of people dying alone rises in 'no-relationship' society
KUCHIKOMI FEB. 15, 2011 - 03:00AM JST ( 50 )TOKYO —
This country’s solitude is reaching alarming proportions.

Consider the number of people dying alone: in 1987 in Tokyo, 788 men and 335 women; in 2006, 2,362 men and 1,033 women. Every day, of late, 10 people on average die alone in Tokyo.

It has been a prominent issue since January 2010, when NHK aired a documentary titled “Muen Shakaiâ€￾ – literally, a “no-relationship society.â€￾ Traditional community relationships withered with modernization in the late 19th century and died in the mid-20th. Family relationships are faring little better. An economy denying many people a foothold, combined with communications technology that joins us virtually but isolates us concretely, have left the individual largely on his or her own – for better and for worse.

Dying alone is something one naturally associates with the elderly, but Shukan Jitsuwa (Feb 24) finds it increasingly common among young people too.

A certain “A-san,â€￾ a 37-year-old Tokyo IT professional, offers a cautionary case study, though he survived. His social instincts never developed, his work keeps him glued to his computer screen, and although he lives in one of the most crowded cities on Earth, people are simply not part of his life. Convenience store bentos see him through three meals a day; the containers pile up in his apartment because he fell out of the habit of taking out the garbage and there was no one around to prod him. It’s not the healthiest lifestyle, and last year when the flu was going around, he succumbed. His fever rose. Helpless, he eventually lost consciousness. He might have died if his octogenarian parents, worried over his failure to answer his cell phone, had not paid him an unaccustomed visit, and called an ambulance.

There’s a company called Keepers whose business it is to dispose of possessions left behind by those who die in solitude. Its director, Taichi Yoshida, tells Shukan Jitsuwa, “Lately we’re seeing more young people dying alone. Nearly 20% of our business involves people in their 40s and 50s.â€￾

One thing he’s noticed: “Many young people who died alone owned several computers but not a single TV.â€￾

And something else: “Nowadays there’s a style of dining that exists somewhere between dining out and dining in. When you go out to eat, you interact with people in the restaurant. When you cook for yourself, you make some sort of personal connection in the store where you buy your ingredients, with the staff or with other customers. But when you eat prepared foods exclusively, something you just pop into the microwave, you connect with nobody.â€￾

Modern hyper-convenience, by making isolation easy, indirectly encourages it, he finds.

Yoshida’s unusual calling has made him philosophical. “In today’s Japan,â€￾ he observes, “neither the family nor society has any control over the individual. Things are set up in such a way that the individual can live exactly as he or she likes.â€￾

That sounds good, but the isolating impact of absolute freedom has yet to be sufficiently explored.[url][/url]
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Postby Jester » Sat May 26, 2012 7:54 pm

Good post. Scary.
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Postby Falcon » Sun May 27, 2012 5:50 am

The same trend is happening in Taiwan - and Singapore and Hong Kong. There are plenty of single, overworked men and women in the 40's, 50's, and 60's in lonely high-rise apartment units. What happens afterwards? Many elderly folks are getting thrown into cramped nursing homes without anyone they know. I have personally seen this with my own eyes in all over Taipei, and even in the south. My family had often taken me to big, well-kept homes of elderly Taiwanese ladies (called "a-yi's") living all by themselves. :(

Another reason for Winston to get out of there. Urban Taiwan is not a good environment for people of his demographics.
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Postby ethan_sg » Sun May 27, 2012 6:27 am

You're right about the trend, Falcon.

Interestingly the situation for the elderly seems to be very different in China. There is so much happening on the streets in China, there is so much space for spontaneous and free social activity and interaction on the many endless streets in Chinese cities that it really hits you that in China, the streets belong to the people.

They also have what they call 'city squares' in many Chinese cities in China where you see families playing, children and the elderly flying kites, friends hanging out with each other and so on. Unlike in developed countries where it seems that 'public space' actually belongs to either the government or large faceless corporations where there are so many regulations on what you can and cannot do and costs imposed if you do anything and private space which you are not allowed to enter, in China you see that the streets belong to the people.

The elderly seem to be full of vitality in China. You see them walk for miles and not get tired in China's pedestrian friendly streets. You also often see them dancing together on the streets or doing 'tai-chi' or some other form of exercise. Many of them seem to have their own pockets of community and a strong network of communal support. It also helps that there is an 'instant familiarity among strangers' among the elderly in China.

Compare this situation with that of countries like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and so on and the differences are so stark and the correlation between development/commercialization and social isolation and alienation so consistently high that you cannot help but conclude that development/commercialization and extreme urbanization is indeed like a disease that is really gradually killing the humanity in all of us.

In China what also helps is that many cities are new phenomena (I don't mean that the cities are new, many are not, but that they've only been urbanized recently in the modern sense of the word 'city') and so many cities still retain pockets of 'village-like' communities in small streets such as the 'hu-tongs' in Beijing.
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Postby djfourmoney » Sun May 27, 2012 6:37 am

Harriet and Robert Wolff talked about this very subject and this book -

http://rdwolff.org/content/americans-li ... ns-podcast

http://www.amazon.com/Going-Solo-Extrao ... 1594203229

Single and Individualism go hand-in-hand. Those that don't find it difficult to find a reasonable boyfriend/girlfriend over-value being single and enjoy being alone. Guess what happens? They tend to decide things on a individual level since they are only considering themselves and nobody else. Not even family members in some cases.

This of course leads to no children being born. This is the downside of a modern society that doesn't properly address the consequences of allowing women into the workforce. Not that I am against this, its just when birthrates started trending down, Governments went after band-aid fixes to encourage child births.

Since our system is so terrible (no paid maternity or paternity level) religion, immigration and poor choices keep our birth rate up.

We have no sense of community in America overall, only in certain settings but during the mundane/day to day stuff. Really only crisis brings this country (and most countries) together, sad commentary.

Japan as a few disturbing trends actually.
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Postby djfourmoney » Sun May 27, 2012 6:43 am

ethan_sg wrote:You're right about the trend, Falcon.

Interestingly the situation for the elderly seems to be very different in China. There is so much happening on the streets in China, there is so much space for spontaneous and free social activity and interaction on the many endless streets in Chinese cities that it really hits you that in China, the streets belong to the people.

They also have what they call 'city squares' in many Chinese cities in China where you see families playing, children and the elderly flying kites, friends hanging out with each other and so on. Unlike in developed countries where it seems that 'public space' actually belongs to either the government or large faceless corporations where there are so many regulations on what you can and cannot do and costs imposed if you do anything and private space which you are not allowed to enter, in China you see that the streets belong to the people.

The elderly seem to be full of vitality in China. You see them walk for miles and not get tired in China's pedestrian friendly streets. You also often see them dancing together on the streets or doing 'tai-chi' or some other form of exercise. Many of them seem to have their own pockets of community and a strong network of communal support. It also helps that there is an 'instant familiarity among strangers' among the elderly in China.

Compare this situation with that of countries like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and so on and the differences are so stark and the correlation between development/commercialization and social isolation and alienation so consistently high that you cannot help but conclude that development/commercialization and extreme urbanization is indeed like a disease that is really gradually killing the humanity in all of us.

In China what also helps is that many cities are new phenomena (I don't mean that the cities are new, many are not, but that they've only been urbanized recently in the modern sense of the word 'city') and so many cities still retain pockets of 'village-like' communities in small streets such as the 'hu-tongs' in Beijing.


That is until you get to the boxes poor people live in Hong Kong - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... tches.html
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Postby ethan_sg » Sun May 27, 2012 7:23 am

Yes thankfully this is less likely to happen or less likely to be as extreme in mainland China because unlike in Hong Kong, China has an abundance of space in the form of rural land. What is likely to happen in China is that cities will continue to expand to accommodate the demand for land that comes with the increasing urban populace.

You'd be surprised, even a 'rabbit-hole' in Hong Kong can cost up to a million US dollars now. Talk about the stellar cost of living in developed Asian cities. In Singapore now, due to government tax, a brand new car, even if it's a really crappy Japanese car would cost a minimum of about $120,000 USD, I kid you not.


djfourmoney wrote:
ethan_sg wrote:You're right about the trend, Falcon.

Interestingly the situation for the elderly seems to be very different in China. There is so much happening on the streets in China, there is so much space for spontaneous and free social activity and interaction on the many endless streets in Chinese cities that it really hits you that in China, the streets belong to the people.

They also have what they call 'city squares' in many Chinese cities in China where you see families playing, children and the elderly flying kites, friends hanging out with each other and so on. Unlike in developed countries where it seems that 'public space' actually belongs to either the government or large faceless corporations where there are so many regulations on what you can and cannot do and costs imposed if you do anything and private space which you are not allowed to enter, in China you see that the streets belong to the people.

The elderly seem to be full of vitality in China. You see them walk for miles and not get tired in China's pedestrian friendly streets. You also often see them dancing together on the streets or doing 'tai-chi' or some other form of exercise. Many of them seem to have their own pockets of community and a strong network of communal support. It also helps that there is an 'instant familiarity among strangers' among the elderly in China.

Compare this situation with that of countries like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and so on and the differences are so stark and the correlation between development/commercialization and social isolation and alienation so consistently high that you cannot help but conclude that development/commercialization and extreme urbanization is indeed like a disease that is really gradually killing the humanity in all of us.

In China what also helps is that many cities are new phenomena (I don't mean that the cities are new, many are not, but that they've only been urbanized recently in the modern sense of the word 'city') and so many cities still retain pockets of 'village-like' communities in small streets such as the 'hu-tongs' in Beijing.


That is until you get to the boxes poor people live in Hong Kong - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... tches.html
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Sun May 27, 2012 7:10 pm

This post reminds me of this video I saw about elderly cage dwellers in Hong Kong:


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU4jjdRzy3w[/youtube]
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Postby djfourmoney » Mon May 28, 2012 8:40 am

NorthAmericanguy wrote:This post reminds me of this video I saw about elderly cage dwellers in Hong Kong:


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU4jjdRzy3w[/youtube]


This is the video I saw, shocking actually.
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Postby All_That_Is_Man » Tue May 29, 2012 9:09 am

This news doesn't phase me as I have always been instinctively independent and have never once based my value, my happiness, and my accomplishments in having a girlfriend. "Dying alone"... boo hoo. Cry me a river, ladies. Seriously.
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Postby ethan_sg » Tue May 29, 2012 2:03 pm

No one's going to feel sorry for you if you die alone, don't you worry about that, especially since if you're dying alone it means virtually no one knows or is at least close to you.

I don't think the issue here is about feeling sorry. The issue here is why society, and in particular Japanese society in this case is becoming so warped that more and more people are becoming so isolated that they die without anyone really knowing or caring about their deaths.

Living alone may be the lesser of 2 evils if the alternative is to live with some femi-nazi self entitled bitch. Then the question to ask would be why then are there so many femi-nazi self entitled bitches around, which is from what I've read, a big contributory reason to why so many Japanese men are left single and alone? I mean it's not satisfying to live life without being close to anyone. Life is about meaningful relationships, no man is an island.

Thankfully for me I've found a great girl to spend my life with but for many on this site and in developed countries, this applies.


All_That_Is_Man wrote:This news doesn't phase me as I have always been instinctively independent and have never once based my value, my happiness, and my accomplishments in having a girlfriend. "Dying alone"... boo hoo. Cry me a river, ladies. Seriously.
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Postby S_Parc » Tue May 29, 2012 2:38 pm

ethan_sg wrote:Living alone may be the lesser of 2 evils if the alternative is to live with some femi-nazi self entitled bitch. Then the question to ask would be why then are there so many femi-nazi self entitled bitches around, which is from what I've read, a big contributory reason to why so many Japanese men are left single and alone? I mean it's not satisfying to live life without being close to anyone. Life is about meaningful relationships, no man is an island.


Well, Thoreau and other transcendentalists may disagree on 'man being an island' vs being a conformist in a modern, Femi-Nazi corporatist state. I think until the mainstream starts to awaken ... an island it may be, in the end.
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Postby ethan_sg » Tue May 29, 2012 3:14 pm

I agree with that choice but what about going overseas to a place where it's easier to meet less brainwashed, less corporate, more real and down to earth human beings, which you generally find more of in less developed countries, as opposed to just staying alone in an island but be surrounded by zombies.


S_Parc wrote:
ethan_sg wrote:Living alone may be the lesser of 2 evils if the alternative is to live with some femi-nazi self entitled bitch. Then the question to ask would be why then are there so many femi-nazi self entitled bitches around, which is from what I've read, a big contributory reason to why so many Japanese men are left single and alone? I mean it's not satisfying to live life without being close to anyone. Life is about meaningful relationships, no man is an island.


Well, Thoreau and other transcendentalists may disagree on 'man being an island' vs being a conformist in a modern, Femi-Nazi corporatist state. I think until the mainstream starts to awaken ... an island it may be, in the end.
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Postby PeterAndrewNolan » Tue May 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi Winston,
actually a colleague and I talked about this 2 years ago. I have a bad back and I injured it and slipped a disk. I was confined pretty much to bed for two weeks. My mate came to bring me food and also to take washing to the laundry and things like that. This is because I do not have any friends in the building I was living in.

I was thinking at the time that some enterprising man should start a service where he offers help to single men (or even women I guess) who are ill or in need. Just a cell number to call in the local area. In most cities in Europe people live so closely together that a cell phone number to call in case of need would be a useful thing. This is the sort of job ANY man could do. Especially students or men working from home.

I would really encourage young men to start businesses in their local communities. The businesses that could be started are endless. Another example is simply doing normal household chores. For example getting the shopping or washing and ironing shirts or taking them to the laundry to be washed and ironed. I would pay a student EUR5 a throw to bring my shopping to my place and EUR5 a throw for taking my shirts to the laundry and bring them back. Since I live mostly in an area with HUNDREDS of apartments around me I am surprised some enterprising young lad has not figured out to print up business cards, create a web site, and offer these kinds of services to the people living right around him. Single men value their time over their money mostly. Especially older single men like me.

Another example of how society is breaking down. My fav#3 went home to the czech republic for christmas a couple of years back. There was a LOT of snow. So much that she could not get out of the house. Her brother refused to dig the snow and clear a path because he did not want to go out and "women are equal" anyway. So she dug the snow. Because she is female and she is smaller and weaker she got a very bad cold that turned into pneumonia when she was back in Frankfurt. As per usual we were trading texts etc and she did not say one thing about being sick.

When we caught up for a dinner date she was in TERRIBLE shape but said she was MUCH IMPROVED. I asked her what happened. She said she ran out of clothes and almost ran out of food in her apartment because she had been in bed FOR A WEEK!!! I was FURIOUS AT HER. I berated her severely and told her that she should have called me or some other friend to help her. I was just ONE HOUR by train away at the time and had nothing else I was doing. I would have been more than happy to stay at her place and look after her of hire a car to bring her to my place to look after her. My place is much larger so it would have been easier.

After I calmed down I asked her why she had not called me or any of her friends. She said "If I called someone to help me when I was sick then if they were sick and called me I would have to help them."

I was STAGGERED at the comment. I really was. I explained THAT IS WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR!!!

That is how bad it is getting. And this is the NICEST woman I have ever met. The nicest temperament I have ever seen in another human being. And HOT too! Men would fall all over themselves to help her.
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Postby PeterAndrewNolan » Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm

ethan_sg wrote:Life is about meaningful relationships, no man is an island.


Indeed.....when I was doing Landmark in 95 I was doing it all about "relationships". I started it because I wanted the relationship with my wife to work and it was not working due to her nastiness towards me at the time. But once that was "sorted" I spent a lot of time working on relationships with other people. What I found was that we exist very much as a function of our relationships with other people. When you are being related to someone else you are "more alive" as it were.

I did so much of this that I earned the nickname "Mr. Relationships". In my work that has taken me all over the world the same comment comes back over and over again. "I have never met a man quite like you, you are different".

Example. I was working at a client and had been there for about 8 weeks. The project manager asked me to join him in a meeting room and shut the door behind him which I thought was very odd. He then proceeded to tell me that he had a very difficult and very serious personal issue and he would like my advice on it. I was shocked and asked him why would he be asking me, a BI consultant, for advice like this. He answered "There is something about you, I have never met a man like you, I do not know any men like you. I know I can trust you. I think you will give me good advice that I can use." I pointed out that he had only known me a very short time and that though I was very flattered I openly wondered if he really did not know someone else more appropriate to talk to.

He said not....and so I agreed to listen to his problem and give him the best advice I could. He was ever so grateful. I think the entire conversation was about 30 minutes. We remain firm friends even though this was some years ago.

Like I said...I was very surprised.
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