Tuesday, May 22, 2007

revolutionary critical mass

As I sit eating my microwavable cheese and ham and egg naan I can't help but think about the impending revolution that is reaching critical mass in Japan. Some Japan-watchers might think I'm talking about the coming militarization of Japan that the prime minister and his companions are pushing for at the moment. That is frankly a little scary, and it will ultimately lead to a change in the way Japan sees the world. But, no, I mean a far deeper change I can see all around me. Tokyo, and thus by some extension the rest of Japan, is on the cusp of becoming a truly international city. I can hear that in the myriad languages I can come across down town, I see it in the faces of the millions of foreign people streaming past me in the train stations with a look of wonderment on their faces, I can sense it in my kids classes that seem to be quite full of multiethnic children these days. In most countries in the world, seeing a huge mix of the world mingling on the streets, and children of different ethnic heritage in a classroom shouldn't be and isn't surprising. Japan has been stereotyped as a homogeneous society, but the foreign population is reaching critical mass. When you can see a white guy working at McDonalds in front of your house, you know its about to happen. A Japan that truly begins to become a new country with a new culture that will lead to a new way of seeing the world. Change is coming.
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