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Japanese Life – Entertainment

japanese Besides nano technology and other kick ass stuff that our Asian counterparts come up with, Japan is also famous (or infamous) for many other things that puts them under the queer category.

For starters, they have a suicide club. Yes, many of our countries probably has suicide spots (locations that are frequented by the like minds) but not a huge group of people getting together to decide why they should die and perhaps how as well. A brain storm session on why hanging off a robe is better than jumping to your death with brains spilling over. Now this news was years ago, the club probably has gone extinct though I doubt its complete disappearance. They probably have active suicide societies planning their next venture into the after-life in some dark alleyways of Japan, and of course in hushed voices.

Its Japan, trend may change but nothing fizzes out fast. Remember Tamagotchi way back in the 90s? That was one awesome virtual pet that came outta Japan. Though introduced in the 90s, it still is running in the Japanese market with newer versions. Anyways, that’s a different story.

Now however, they have stopped coming up with ideas to end their lives but instead to enhance their existing lives in rather "interesting" ways.

040930_boyfriendpillow_hmed_hmedium They have turned to “pillows” for emotional needs. These are not ordinary pillows but rather pillows that are shaped as an arm adjoined to a male’s torso. They even have a name for it. It’s called the ‘Boyfriend Arm. Females apparently snuggle to bed with this pillow. This is what the users have to say, "It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me". 

If you think that was fairly “interesting”, the youth of Japan do not quite stop there. The women are delusional and the men head elsewhere.

Japan is where most of the video games originate. Or at least the widely played games are from there. They have a whole range of games that go from Role Play Games to Racing Games to regular Sports Games to Simulation Games. These Simulation games have several other sub genre games. One of them is the Love Sims. These Love Simulation Games are pretty much all about hooking up with a virtual girl/boy and ‘being there’ for him/her all the time. Literally all the time. Besides the time she ‘goes to bed’ you should never leave her. In other words, cannot afford to switch off the game or end it cos she will ‘leave’ you. For many of the younger Japanese these games work as anti depressants. For games like the simulation ones, they do not end unless you shut the system down completely. So, obviously there are many Simulation Game Addicts out there.

Seeing all the single girls hugging their pillows to sleep, one of the gamers decided to bring his addiction to a whole new level. He married the game. You heard me right. He indeed married a game. This Japanese youth was playing a dating sims game called "Love Plus". According to the nerd culture of Japan, these obsessive gamers refer to the characters they associate with as "wife". So did this particular fella.  Soon enough he decided to embark on a real future with his virtual wife.  Both these real and virtual characters not only got together, they even went on honeymoon together! Now this bit I am not too sure if they were referring to virtual sights or the fact that this guy carried his Nintendo DS overseas and had shots taken with famous landmarks and his “wife”.

This gamer also feels that more people should come forward (similar to his move) to express themselves hence creating an interesting society. He even ends with this statement: "I think I’ll probably continue playing Love Plus. I won’t cheat."

Arigato-gozai-masta to games and Sayonara to life.

0 20 January, 2010 World Around January 20, 2010

About the author

Born in Singapore and currently pursuing Medicine in China, Usha Amudhan has to her credit Indie Rhythms series in GingerChai. She also dabbles with various other genres of writing. Follow @ushaonthego

View all articles by Usha Amudan

6 comments

  1. salaamreaders

    Well, the Japanese have a long history of suicides.Whether the kamikaze pilots or the samurai, death had always been preferrable to shame for them.

    But yes, this fetish for the virtual is a little weird and disconcerting. But it also proves that the need for companionship is universal but it is our inability, in the modern world of individualism, to deal with the point of view/needs of the other is what prevents us from forging deep relationships with real people.

    salaamreaders

    http://salaamreaders.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  2. rocksea

    Having lived in Japan for 3+ years, I feel that japanese are much like any other people. Yes they have unique costums/culture, extreme politeness, and a superior technology. What you have mentioned in this article is just what anyone with extreme characters would do. Japan has the technology to assist and encourage such characters, may be that is all. I guess kids and adults alike get addicted to computer games and mechanical lifestyle wherever advanced electronic gadgets/technical devices are available. I won’t see this as a generalization of the japanese lifestyle…

    Reply
    1. Usha

      Oops..perhaps I sent out the wrong vibe:s I have been to Japan and I loved it. Let’s just say I was trying to put forth the idea that what many may consider extreme is almost synonymous to normal behavior in Japan. :)

      Reply

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