Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Shibuya/Corey Hart connection

Shibuya - the district of Tokyo that never sleeps with its bars, clubs, and ko-gals mixed in with the other 2.4 million people that grace the gates of Shibuya station every day (that only makes it the 3rd busiest in Tokyo, btw).

Corey Hart - a one-hit wonder from the 80's who looks sorta like a certain Tom Cruise that left a legacy that has far surpassed his name, which has deservedly faded into antiquity alongside such novelties as the pet rock and those stupid spring shoes that that kid was wearing in the 50's portion of Back to the Future... yeah, you know what I'm talking about. What's the connection you ask?

So walking around downtown Tokyo today, I had a realization about 2 things. The first is the aforementioned connection, which is that way too many people in Tokyo (especially Shibuya) walk around wearing their sunglasses at night, which apparently makes them cool. Woo. Then again, I at one point reveled in the fact that I had glasses light enough for me to dub them the party glasses and wear around at night, that is until that riot patrol cop broke them after a UMD basketball game. Boo cops!!!

The second realization was something someone mentioned to me the other day and just sunk in - there are a lot of foreign workers in the service industry in Tokyo! Every place you go you'll see a "now hiring" sign in the window, and since apparently there just aren't enough Japanese people that are interested in filling said positions Chinese especially are starting to snatch these jobs up. At a few restaurants and even the hotel I stayed at last week, there were either Chinese or Korean staff. One place seemed to be entirely run by Chinese, even through management. Of course Chinese people have been running Japanese restaurants in the States for years, but a Chinese-run izakaya here in Japan? I also ran into people of all different races and creeds working Akihabara today on my mission to get a new ipod (which is sweet btw). Maybe they could work on getting a Thai massage maid cafe going or something... I'm sure that'd be a hit.

So yeah, there's supposed to be a shortage of well-paying good jobs in Japan here I think, and I know there are less people taking jobs due to the declining population thing, but I guess there are still jobs out there and people are taking them... just not the people I, or probably you would expect. It makes sense that there'd be a bunch of Chinese/Koreans in there first though as I think it'd be easier for Japanese to accept them due to having a similarly Asian face to stare back at them. And that's all I have to say about that.

1 comment:

Ian Lewis said...

Yah, I notice this every day. This is especially true at convenience stores and the like. I seem to see Koreans, Philipino, and Chinese the most. It feels wierd, being a foreigner in Japan who is used to being treated as a non-native by cashiers and service folks, when I start speaking Japanese to the cashier and they know less Japanese than I do.