Gaijin Smash

My Kids Are Emo

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on February 6, 2006

I was leaving school one Friday afternoon when I ran into a pair of sannensei girls. I hadn’t seen them in a while, so they came over to talk to me. One girl was obviously quite stressed out though. As sannensei, most of their year is devoted to studying for high school entrance exams. They quit their school clubs halfway through the year so they can double up on cram schools. And as the tests loom closer, their stress levels get exponentially high. For these two girls, they had entrance exams the following Monday, so they were particularly freaked.
As usual, I tried to reassure them by telling them they were good, smart kids, and I was sure they’d do fine on their tests. The one girl though was wigging out beyond all belief. “No, I’m going to fail. I’m sure of it. Maybe. Well, I might have a chance. But come to think of it, maybe not. Or — argh! It’s too stressful. I just want to kill myself.”
Jesus Christ, that’s not funny.
I told her she shouldn’t even joke about that kind of thing. “Well, it’s true,” she says. “Maybe I’d be dead, but I’d be stress-free and happy.” Note to Japan: you all need a vacation. Right now. Just drop whatever it is you’re doing, and board the first plane to the Bahamas. Do not come back until you are three shades darker, and don’t even know what the meaning of the word “overtime” is.
Actually, I think Japan is way past this point. They should just dump the purest, strongest weed in the water supply. Grind it up and sprinkle it in the rice fields. Drastic measures are needed.


Mother: Son, are you doing your homework?
Son: Yeah I … fuck it, I’ll do it later. I’m hungry, when’s dinner?
Mother: I’m not gonna cook tonight. Here’s 500 yen, go to McDonalds.
Son: Cool. Wait, does McDonalds do delivery?
McD’s: Fuck you son, we’re doing it Japanese style now – we give you the cow, you kill it and cook it yourself. Make your own damn Big Mac.
When I first came, these kids were ichinensei. I’ve watched them go from energetic, happy twelve year olds to the soulless zombies they are today. The girl I was talking to, three years ago, I remember she’d be the first one to enter a class and the last one to leave. She’d always thrust her hand in the air and say “Hai! Hai! Hai!” to answer a question, regardless of whether or not she actually knew the answer. Three years later and she’s CRAAAAAAAAWLINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG IN HER SKIIIIIIINNNNNNN and joking about killing herself. Granted, teenage ANGST! is nothing specific to Japan, but it’s of a very different nature. When I was 15, I remember my big three concerns were:
1. Becoming the Street Fighter II champion in my neighborhood.
2. Finding a date for the school dance.
3. Making sure my kicks (sneakers) were cool and name brand, like Nike or Reebok. Because coming to school sporting Puma’s was the kiss of death.
However, for Japanese kids, the list goes something like:
1. Finishing all their school homework, and then finishing their cram school homework after that.
2. Passing the high school entrance exams so they cannot fuck up their entire lives at the age of fifteen.
3. Not dying.
And people ask me why I don’t want to raise kids in Japan.

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15 Responses

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  1. Neil said, on December 27, 2006 at 12:46 am

    Yeesh, they really -do- need a vacation.

  2. Kelly said, on December 27, 2006 at 2:01 am

    The first time I read this on O9, I was like, “Holy crap, is it THAT BAD??? OM Freaking G.”
    Now, I’m like, “screw the weed, we need to go straight to the angel dust and vodka mix.”
    Would that kill someone, by chance? The population is downsizing anyway….

  3. Saiyanid said, on December 27, 2006 at 3:50 am

    Eh…too short, more!! Though I agree with you about he weed thing. Haha, in all seriousness they should know that worrying about stuff like that won’t change the outcome. I don’t freakout in my finals for college and I pulled 3.5 overall.

  4. Richard said, on December 27, 2006 at 5:53 am

    With a high damn population it’s so hard to reach High School even?? I thought University was hard enough..sheesh…No wonder when all the Japanese come down here in Cairns, Australia, it’s so hard for them to relax themselves..
    Nah not holidays..they need a fair go.

  5. SP said, on December 27, 2006 at 8:20 am

    Shit Az! leave Linkin Park alone! Some of their ish is actually quite good, and Im an inner city black guy so you know that means something. Shit exam stress aint specific to Japan, its the same, if not worse in the US and in England. Bother teritories have kids commiting suicide over exams. Shit I know I wanted to kill myself when I was doing my gcse’s. That Japanese list is the same for every damn MEDC or first world country or whatever we are calling ourselves now.

  6. Mr. Bomberman said, on December 27, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    Hell no.
    Crack with Absinthe..
    Wait, is that too extreme?

  7. dooomsought said, on December 27, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    the things I miss out on being a genius…

  8. Patrick said, on December 27, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    I thought the water was already laced with crak, with all the crazy shit that they do over there. Maybe the whole country should just disband, move to the Midwest, and become farmers.

  9. Captn_Muesli said, on December 29, 2006 at 8:33 am

    When I told my japanese friends I was happy that summer vacation was coming soon more than half thought i was crazy…
    what i thought: drinking, meeting friends, not even think of school for 6 weeks
    what it’s like in japan: go to cram school, go to club training and camp and do your homework. and maybe, maybe some afternoon go out for karaoke with your friends

  10. Gwen De Mediola Lawliet said, on January 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    holy crap and I thought I had it bad when I was in that age. Then again I was not worried about not having vacations, I love vacations. I was worried about a few things 1)watching my favorite novela and know the lastest gossip in mexico to impress my classmates on how much I knew about my motherland 2) read a bunch of books 3) go to school and not getting scorred at

  11. Gwen De Mediola Lawliet said, on January 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    holy crap and I thought I had it bad when I was in that age. Then again I was not worried about not having vacations, I love vacations. I was worried about a few things 1)watching my favorite novela and know the lastest gossip in mexico to impress my classmates on how much I knew about my motherland 2) read a bunch of books 3) go to school and not getting scorred at

  12. Olga said, on April 11, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I come from Greece and this has happened here. Some 7-8 years ago -when I was in Highschool- there was a big change in the exam system. This raised many negative reactions and a sudden anxiety among the students -I’m not sure if it was justifiable or it was the panic the channels spread- leading to increased pressure and out-of-school lesson hours. I remember back then that some students around Greece actually killed themselves, not standing the stress.
    Apart from that, in general we enjoy life a lot so I think this zombifying-of-Japanese-kids thing is indeed a bit scary.

  13. Anonymous said, on July 24, 2008 at 10:04 am

    ahhh! I know that feeling, often the thought just comes into your head” it would be so much easier if I was just dead, rather than studying”
    Well at least government officials aren’t going round telling the kids that their exam results are worthless because too many of them are doing well, like they are over here in England. It’s really demoralising. to be honest.

  14. Anonymous said, on July 24, 2008 at 10:04 am

    ahhh! I know that feeling, often the thought just comes into your head” it would be so much easier if I was just dead, rather than studying”
    Well at least government officials aren’t going round telling the kids that their exam results are worthless because too many of them are doing well, like they are over here in England. It’s really demoralising. to be honest.

  15. JAB said, on April 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Someone needs to let the little Japanese duders and dudettes know that A’s may be nice, but C’ get degrees. I’ve never worried about schooling and I’m doin’ aight.


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