Japan, Excessive, Contribution

13/May/2023 in Tokyo

*Japanese ver

These brown bags

Inside, menstrual pads, tampons, sanitary items for women

Anyone can take it for free

I firstly saw this a couple of years ago here

The important point is
I saw this here in the corridor of the local gov building

Perhaps I should have thought that there were women in this country who couldn't afford these items & needed public supports

But what I've firstly thought was
some fresh surprise

Fresh surprise
because I felt like some change was going on

In this country, this woman's matter was very much avoided
Nearly taboo, probably

But these items were put in this public space

& it's free

& it's all done by a local gov/public sector,

in other word, public money/tax was used

in other word, some sort of public agreement was made or expected

.......These elements all seemed to me an attitude in the society was changing

And noticing a change means noticing how absurd the previous state was

Something I quickly became aware in Europe was

women there mentioned their period

Obviously it depends on individuals and, I'm not female, so they didn't go into deep

But seeing them just mentioning it quite casually was some sort of surprise for me

In Japan I had never heard of even a word related to this from any women. Even by this day

Some old memory came back;

When I was student, I worked in a small shop for a while

And I was told, when female customers bought sanitary products, put it inside a paper bag

in order to hide it

The reason behind was
"for privacy"
"for consideration"
"for.....any 'sound-good' concepts" that people in this country love

Back then I never wondered why & just put it in a paper bag whenever female customers bought items

And no women said not to

......Actually one woman said "No need". It was so exceptional that I still remember by this day

I'm not female, and so I don't really know what Japanese women think about this "special treatment",

No idea if they are happy or not,

Also no idea if this happens only in Japan or not

And obviously if Japanese women are happy, just continue

But when I saw this free items on the corridor in local gov building and remembered I put it in a paper bag for female customers in a shop, I thought this kind of "special treatments" was excessive and it must produce some distorted notions, like

"This is a hidden matter"
"This should be secret"
& "This is taboo"

Everything in this country is excessive

Excessive kindness
Excessive consideration
Excessive politeness
Excessive attentiveness
Excessive carefulness
Excessive softness
Excessive packaging
Excessive cleanness
Excessive sweetness
Excessive announcement
Excessive Kawaii

.......all these "unwanted" favours

Even if it's based on 100% good-will, it can conceal something important in the end

And people who do this out of good-will don't notice it

don't imagine it

& can't accept this simple fact that good-will can bring bad result

Unwanted favour seems something people in this country find extremely hard to understand

Once getting out of this country & see it from the outside, "politeness", "kindness", "consideration"......all these good-looking things in this island looks somewhat unhealthy & ugly

.......However, after all these my usual gloomy contempts & complains about people in this country, probably I have to admit one simple fact that "excessive" becomes possible only after minimal standards are met

Probably all excessiveness in this country is actually a part of their achievement

And my problem is\ I find it very hard to accept & appreciate

I know the reason

Because I feel I've been a just a consumer

Only consuming what they have achieved so far & never give anything back to them

Never contribute anything to this country