Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Personal Update #4 : What am I reading ?


I wanted to read something semi-serious so I noticed that Kinokuniya seems to be promoting this book entitled There's no such thing as an easy job by Kikuko Tsumura. I thought that it would be a useful fun light read on how oppressive the Japanese workplace can get for this new generation of young Japanese workers. Perhaps hidden in the novel are useful lessons on career management.

 There's been a lot of disturbing sociological information coming out from Japan that Singaporeans should take note of that will make me read ay Japanese book on the work culture and their failed caste.
  • The idea of defeated men retreating into their rooms to play computer games was first discovered in Japan. Hikkikomori is an economic phenomenon and I actually wanted to pin the blame at the Plaza Accord that was signed with Americans to take away opportunities from a generation of Japanese men. It has always been believable to me that Singapore can achieve it's lost decade if Singaporeans collectively choose a slower pace of life at the elections ballot. Like what LKY said, if you have slow growth in Singapore, might as well have slow growth in Australia.
  • Now, something more disturbing has surfaced. The 8050 problem is that now Japan is facing a generation of unemployed 50-something folks living on the pensions of their 80-something parents. 
As a parent, this scares the shit outta me! As a hardcore otaku gamer myself who know people who firmly belong to the "useless caste", the idea of my dividends supporting my two unmarried kids, locked in their rooms with their Playstations in their 50s gives me plenty of nightmares.  

Fortunately or unfortunately, the novel by Ms Tsumura was not as dark as I envisioned.

It is a light and happy read that features the journey of the author through five really fantastic jobs that anyone who FIREd would kill for. This should really be a book in a fantasy section - the jobs do not require skill, does not take up a lot of time, and feature corporate cultures that probably do not exist in Japan or Singapore. If these jobs do exist in Singapore, I would actually do it for the tiny wage and continue to be an investment trainer just for the really decent folks featured in the novel who are impossibly nice! 

( These jobs pay about $1,500 SGD pm or whatever the minimum wages are in Japan. )

And yet, the stupid author quits after each one after a really short stint. The climax of the novel was satisfying as there is, in the end, a really valid reason why the author did what she did.

Even up till I do not understand why I enjoy reading Japanese Literature in English. The plot is often not half as exciting as Japanese Manga but it has a cutesy and uplifting feel. 

Like drinking camomile tea. And talking to the Detroit Metal City guy when he's not Krauser.

I was pleasantly surprised that There's no such thing as an easy job is the number 1 fiction bestseller in Kinokuniya. 

Do get a copy as it would make a pleasant read this holiday season.

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