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Sep 30, 2019

Your life is yours, but you live for others – Most people struggle to become “someone other than themselves.”

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Your life is yours, but you live for others – Most people struggle to become “someone other than themselves.”
This article of Futoukou Shinbun’s interview with Mr. Ayumi Yasutomi is very good. As I quote the minimum from the article, I do want you to read the full text in the reference source. In the reference source, Mr. Yasutomi refers to futoukou (school no-attendance) and says that it is quite normal to become futoukou or hikikomori(social withdrawal) because the crazy system of modern society is unacceptable. I feel the same way.

In fact, my son went to elementary school for a few days a week. I thought that the number of days of attending school was just right for my son and I asked the school to accept it. Even when my son said that he never wanted to go to school, we felt it was no problem, but rather we thought that he should not go to school.

My son found a job in a company and has worked hard. However, I think that since basic income society will come in the future, he had better think of working for a company as part of social studies and do what he really wants to do. If you could suppress your real feelings all your life and continue to lead a life as a salaried worker you are really not interested in, you would be crazy. 

However, such crazy people are an overwhelming majority in this world. In this sense, I am impressed by the “great patience” of people in this world. The slavery state of working from nine to five is called “White.” I have expected that somebody will appear to change this crazy society. Then the “Reiwa Shinsngumi” made a debut in the political world. I feel that this political organization will become the core in structural shift of the society. Such being the case, what Mr. Ayumi Yasutomi points out in the article hits the nail on the head in social reformation.

Most people struggle to become “someone other than themselves.” Where does this impulse come from? It is due to the attitude of parents or teachers by whom children have been induced to become so ever since childhood. They give a consistent message as follows. “You are no-good now. You should make efforts to become better.”

Although your life is yours, you have to keep making efforts to become a son (or daughter) your parents boast of. 

Your life is yours, but you have to make efforts to become “a son (or daughter) your parents boast of”. Those who give it up so early will become complicated-type people. In some cases, they might become futoukou or hikikomori.

Those who have managed to do it will be like what Mr. Yasutomi used to be. You are unhappy in either case. Don’t you stop living for others? I think that nothing is more unbearable than life in which you keep currying favor with others. You are always scared about how others respond. This is really a painful life. I advise you to stop playing a role of self-image expected by society and instead honestly express yourself “as you are.” What you don’t like to do is perfectly acceptable.

When answering a phone call, I find some people talk in two octave higher tone. When I hear a royal family member talk on TV, I want to make fun of the person by saying “Do you always speak in that manner even to your friends?” What I want to say here is if they always talk to anybody in that manner, it is natural for them. However, if this is not the case and they speak in that manner in expectation of being seen as special person by others, they play the royal family. We can say that it is a very stressful way of life. 

If people live their own life, they show the same face to others as well as to families, and speak to anybody in the same manner. However, since most people perform as “someone other than themselves” they get stressed. They take out their frustration to the weakest in workplace or at home. That is bullying.

A society without bullying where the most vulnerable people can be taken care of is unlikely to be created unless most people can honestly express themselves.

Masatoshi Takeshita
September 23, 2019

Shanti-phula has indicated some parts of the following text in black bold-faced type or in red letters.

English translation of an excerpt from a Japanese article: Futoukou Shinbun – January 15, 2018 –

Reason why futoukou can start life more easily than Tokyo university students
By Ayumi Yasutomi, professor at Tokyo University

Futoukou Shinbun

Reason why futoukou can start life more easily
than Tokyo university students
By Ayumi Yasutomi, professor at Tokyo University

We post an interview with Professor Ayumi Yasutomi, Institute of Oriental Culture, Tokyo University. Prof. Yasutomi has worn a woman’s dress since 2013.

– Prof. Yasutomi, you point out in your book: “People feel painful because they pretend to be someone other than themselves.” Why did you point out like this?

“To become oneself” is not so-called “self-discovery.” It is a futile attempt to do “self-discovery.” <snip> In the first place, people cannot become anyone else other than themselves. They are already themselves. However, many people pretend to be “someone other than themselves” by using imagination power. Just stop it. That’s all.
–Did you also have suppression from your parents?

Yes. In my case, I perfectly got wrapped up in the system to which my parents wanted me to adopt, went to Kyoto University and worked for a top company. However, even though I passed Kyoto University and got a job in a top company, I was not happy at all.

I really wanted to enter the university, but when I made it in, I felt just relieved. I was not happy because I was not “myself” at that time.Even if anyone else other than me made a success, I was not happy.

There is a game “Pocket Monster.” It was not I but my pocket monster (which was made to adopt to society) that fought a battle in entrance exam or employment. Even if making a success, I was not happy because it was not I but my pocket monster. This is true for most people, not just for me.
–Even if you can get back to yourself, the world wants you to live as Pokemon.  We think that it is a hard battle for you to fight against the world and become yourself.

You don’t need to fight back. Just recognize the fact“these guys are Pokemon.” If you can think “these guys are crazy,” it would be OK. But as long as you think “I am crazy,”  you would continue to suffer, I think.
<The rest is omitted>

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