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As Takako told us, Japanese youth is changing. They are more open-minded, this means that they study, travel and even work abroad. She thinks that the image that we have of them from Europe is silent and very polite though distant, but not so. They like to be close and loving but its society something traditional not accepted it well. Usually they are not overly religious predominating the faithful Buddhist and Shinto as well as participation in the ancient traditions as the diffusion of kabuki, their national theatre.
On the other hand, the family remains the basic pillar that holds the Japanese youth. Traditional cut, parents not like international weddings preferring those carried out among Japanese keeping the idea of having a single child.
Japanese, although they don’t travel as much as the Europeans, at the end of their studies decide to have their international or even volunteering experience although this is not very widespread. They often choose to study one year in USA or Australia since the Government provides scholarships and they like going to these countries. In the case of volunteering, which through a popular agency called JICA, preparing them through a 2-year course, they prefer to go to Cambodia or Thailand where play child care work. On their return they choose work related to laws, economic or diplomatic as is the Takako do. Other common jobs are working for multinational cars companies like Toyota or at banks where they begin with an initial salary of 1500 euros.
Japanese youth gets distracted taking part in different clubs where, on the one hand, can participate in competitions like football and other more focused activities to communication as the appointment of tea, the moment to engage with other young people of their age. They also love to travel and those who lack economic resources like travel to Korea, a country near. Culture and technology are also interest for them.
One of the important moments in the life of the young Japanese is the seijinshiki. A ceremony that takes place at the age of 20, the age of majority in Japan, and it is held in January every year. Costumes of the participants include a kimono, profusely decorated with flowers or other issues in the case of women, and skirt/pants called hakama for men. This single special clothing is used in special occasions as this event or at weddings and either rent or is inherited from parents.
The preparation of the ceremony begins early in the morning with the ordination of the costumes and the makeup in addition to traditional elements. Later on the 10:00h begins the reception at the town hall where the mayor welcomes the group of young people with a speech of welcome while congratulates them. Takako points out that this act is important for a young person, because it not only allows to experience the Japanese traditional culture, but it also let them to meet with other childhood friends. The event continue then with the lunch and of course, given his age of majority, it is allowed to drink for the first time the traditional Eastern drink: Sake. Later, already in casual clothes, continued with a dinner and party.
Takako disagrees about this late arrival to the age of majority, as in other countries with 18 is possible vote, smoking, drinking, etc. Perhaps the advantage is that they are more mature at this age. We ended our interview with Takako celebrating 400 years of the relationship between Spain and Japan with a toast.
Written by Eurodesk Qualifies Multiplier, Valencia