The mayor of Osaka not only forces teachers to stand and face the flag while singing the national anthem. He wants to fire any public worker who has a tattoo.
Usually this would mildly annoy me. However, half my income, ie. Ryota's income depends on this issue, what with him being a public worker with tattoos and all.
Toru Fuckface Hashimoto's father and uncle who are both dead have been said to have been associated with the yakuza and Hashimoto himself was raised in a poor area and probably labelled "burakku." So now he has a hard on for anyone working in the public sector who is mobbed up. Fair enough, Daddy issues, I get it. But firing anyone with a tattoo?? Come on now, this is 2012 where tattoos are clearly gaining popularity for cosmetic reasons, even in Japan. Pop singers have them, surely that means something in this damn country!? Maybe if AKB48 all get matching tatts then wankers like Hashimoto may change their minds...?
A postman in Osaka was fired for having a beard. Is it only me that sees this as a problem...? Luckily he fought the system, won, and got compensation and his job back. Of course he will probably be scrubbing post office floors for the rest of his life, but it's the principle that counts.
Kids at school will be held down kicking and screaming while make-up is scrubbed off their face and their hair is sprayed black if they've dyed it... I've seen this being done, and that girl was literally clawing and screeching to keep her individuality as it was erased so she could fall into line among the other faceless, indistinguishable black-haired girls. I hated watching it, but I live in Japan so I have to follow the rules to a certain extent and kept my mouth shut.
Is the lack of individuality the reason why Japanese society functions?? What would happen if we were to scrap the rules about looking/acting the same?? Would everyone's brains explode??
Ryota sometimes say to me when we have a difference of opinions (which is often!), "We're not a good team, we don't have the same thinking!" But I want to scream at him, "If I had the same thinking as you all the time, I would die of boredom." I like arguing. I like people who are different. I like individuality! Not to say Ryota is a lemming, there are times where I'm more Japanese than Ryota, but just some issues where he is totally into conformity. He has his bi-annual health check this week, and once again we shall put tape over his tattoos and he will tell the doctor he strained a muscle... in his back, and err... arm, yup, same as every other check Doc!
I really want him to not cover them and see what happens but I fear we're not far enough yet, we need more bearded posties and less Hashimotos before that will ever happen.