Jun 2, 2011

Back to the Past

I have written journals about "the Stone Age", which I call the era before the spread of the Internet. ("I could survive in the Stone Age.", "Travel in the Stone Age and Travel in the Iron Age", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "The Reason Why I Won't Buy an iPad", "Sending Letters by Airmail from America") Today I'd like to write a journal about the Bubble Age in Japan.

Do you know the Roaring Twenties in the USA? After the end of World War I, the economic growth of USA was quite rapid and the USA became one of the great powers in the world in 1920s. People in USA enjoyed their wealth and lived luxurious lives, which F. Scott Fitzgerald described in the novel "The Great Gatsby" and other stories.

The Bubble Age was the Roaring Twenties in Japan. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the economic growth of Japan was also quite rapid, and many Japanese Companies became global and bought a mount of assets all over the world, for example Sony used to be like what Apple is now, and Mitsubishi Jisho bought Rockefeller Center in New York. Some people believed Japan would become one of the great powers, just as China is thought to be one now.

Both the Roaring Twenties and the Bubble Age were suddenly ended by a heavy fall in stock and land prices. After the Roaring Twenties, the world got into the Great Depression, and after the Bubble Age, Japan got into the Lost Twenty Years, which Japan hasn't been able to recover from until now.

I lived in the Bubble Age in my youth, so my generation is called the Bubble Generation. We, the Bubble Generation, are quite frivolous and extravagant, and love luxuries. For example European luxury brand products, sports cars, parties at discos (no club), traveling abroad and so on.

In the Bubble Age, most companies hired too many graduates, and now excess personnel has become a burden of companies. I heard a story that on the wall of the ancient Egypt the words that criticized young people at that age. But young people in present-day Japan are much greater than our generation.

They are thoughtful, diligent and modest. We just played for our plessure in our university days, but they do volunteer activities for society. In my company they are realistic and work hard. They seriously care about the environment and never want to drive sports cars, which waste a lot of gas.

They might think our generation is quite silly, but I really respect them. At the same time I take pity on them, because they haven't experienced good economic times. But they'll say to me "We don't care at all."

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