Tag Archives: japan

Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

I actually got to meet Jason DeRulo after the concert last week– we talked ethics for a hot sec.

Do you think your goal as an artist is to be the most profitable tour or to express yourself and bring the most joy to your fans? Continue reading Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

Money apparently CAN buy you happiness

The Vice Guide to the Japanese love industry revealed Japan as a country where both time using electronics and time spent furthering one’s career has begun to trump time spent on human relationships, and where people are willing to commoditize absolutely anything. The combination of these two traits leads to a culture where it is plausible to have a thriving industry of recreational love and affection.  Do I think these types of relationships are better than relationships of the past? Personally, no, but at the same time how can one deny the influences mass consumers.

Continue reading Money apparently CAN buy you happiness

In Japan, stock prices for hugs went up $10 yesterday…

When, I started playing the Vice video, my roommate way dropping by to say hi and missed the first minute. He then asked me to replay it, so we watched it together. A variety of very confused looks, bursts of laughter which were more or less nervous and the statement “this was one of the most messed up things I’ve seen in my life” followed. Continue reading In Japan, stock prices for hugs went up $10 yesterday…

Too Busy for Meaningful Relationships

The first time I saw this video, it seemed clear to me that the reason behind the decrease in meaningful relationships in Japan was the changing gender roles. I had the impression that the current bi-gender system that has been around for thousands of years had a purpose. For a long time I believed that the expression “opposites attract” also has a societal significance: that the social constructs of male-ness and female-ness were beneficial for society. In other words, two parents responsible for opposite roles in a family were a necessary part of a healthy family structure. While this may or may not be true, I believe I have come to find a deeper understanding of the economic/social drivers for changing gender roles, and it all revolves around one thing: We are becoming too busy for meaningful relationships.  Continue reading Too Busy for Meaningful Relationships

The Role of Technology in Relationships

First off, I was definitely disturbed by what I saw in Ryan Duffy’s The Japanese Love Industry video. The contents were bizarre and eye opening for sure, but I think the video also needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Japan’s culture is very different than ours. Continue reading The Role of Technology in Relationships

The American Dream

american-dreamWhat is the American dream? The white picket fence, nice house, two splendid children (a boy and a girl), and a wonderfully domestic wife to come home to. This is the ideal image that people have strived after for decades, but does it still apply to U.S. society today? Continue reading The American Dream

A World Without Love?

I can’t decide what’s more unsettling, the demand for snuggling or the actual occupation of a professional snuggler. After watching Vice’s short segment, The Japanese Love Industry, I realized how immediate all of the dystopian novels I read in AP Literature junior year of high school are. Sure, I disagree with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to some extent, but maybe societies are evolving to a future where “self-esteem” is valued before “love and belonging”.  Or maybe the Millennials hierarchy of needs does not even include “love”. Continue reading A World Without Love?

I am Profoundly Disturbed…

I would hope that the attitudes towards marriage and dating in Japan are not a sign of the future. Japanese culture is very unique, and throughout the video, it seemed like people valued other recreational aspects of their life over a lover because of the  changing attitudes, media, and political culture in Japan.

I found it really interesting that Japanese culture values and accepts artificial reality. The narrator noted that all emotional and sexual phenomena of dating and relationships are replaced by commercial services and products. As an American who has experienced and grew up on traditional relationship values, the Japanese mindset and experiences may seem odd. T

he Japanese value convenience in physical and emotional relationships. This adherence to convenience seems to trump other aspects of life that Americans may value, such as the quest for a soulmate.

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Ryan Duffy, the narrator, exclaims over and over again that he is profoundly disturbed by his experiences. He has every right to be. The commercialization of relationships in Japan contradicts everything Ryan has experienced in his life. This clip is mindbending– it shows the potential of rising social norms and social attitudes on innate  and seemingly rigid concepts like dating. drinking snapping turtle blood seems ridiculous too, but if you grew up in Japan, would it really be that surprising? You have to consider the power of culture before you judge an establishment or action.

This video reminded me of a Donald Glover standup bit, where he discusses dating with different races and cultures, and how they affect our outward demeanors:

And yes, the dominatrix did take a shit and eat it, but it is also important to distinguish between fetishes and socially acceptable mindsets. We will leave it at that.

But how big of an affect does culture really have on dating and relationships?

We can all go in-depth about Bucknell’s hookup culture and how it expedites and twists real relationships. I am always a proponent of doing what you think is the appropriate, or “right” thing. I personally find it interesting to learn all the intricacies of how different subcultures view relationships.
Equally important is to be aware of your surroundings and how they affect other’s perceptions of your actions. For instance, there are unique different taboos and dating rules at Bucknell, which may differ from a school like BYU– I would assume a late night drunk text is more frowned upon at BYU.
Do I think relationships have changed because of the technological age? Yes, but at the core, all relationships are driven by motives such as love and emotion, physical desire. Social norms are responsible for how we act towards each other, and in the case of Japan, if convenience is most important to people, then relationships and dating will be based and judged on their level of convenience.

We Still Got Time For That

Watching the Vice video made me wonder: will Millennials ever have normal relationships? We’re a generation of people attached to technology and engrained with the idea of following our dreams and changing the world. Thus, like the Japanese, where do relationships fit into that? Our answer:


So we’re doomed? That’s it? Wrong. Amiss our generation of hook up and online dating culture, there has been a decline in the divorce rate. This could suggest that because people are waiting to get married until they have achieved their highest priority dreams. This leads to getting married at a more mature age which would mean those entering marriage would have thought about the meaning and their spouse a bit more than they would have at a younger age. Such a statistic could also suggest that the changes in gender roles have made marriage easier. For example, it is now socially acceptable for men to be the stay at home parent or the parent with a career that can revolve around child raising. It’s no longer a fight of inequality of roles but simply what each person in the relationship would rather do. Arguably this leads to seeing each other as equals thus less fights thus less divorce.

In conclusion, everyone relax a bit. The world isn’t completely engulfed in commodity sex, cuddles and conversation. Your Allie and Noah story could still happen (I just wouldn’t necessarily suggest heading to Japan to find it…). Do what your parents told you and chase your dreams, your significant other will come along eventually and now there’s a better chance of you two being together forever.

Blog 6- Are Relationships and Interactions Changing?

The BC noticed that many of the previous blog posts revolved around questions relating to social norms and the cultural changes that are affecting the world today.
This reminded Matt of a video, “The Japanese Love Industry” he had seen on the news magazine, Vice, which tries to be an edgy journalistic enterprise across many platforms and which challenges staid news conventions.   Some of the posts from week 5 indicated a general concern that normal relationships, be they collegial, familial, friendship, or romantic, are withering.  Is Japan offering us a glimpse of a possible future America?  Please watch it.
WARNING: at minute 12, as the reporter meets with an organized-crime-sponsored sex worker, the content is graphic and about fetishes.  You can stop there.  Jordi was unsure whether to use the video for this reason, but its overall point is interesting about how a declining birth rate is perhaps linked to the commodification of interaction and intimacy.

Continue reading Blog 6- Are Relationships and Interactions Changing?