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Superlegitimacy: passion and ecstasy of a Tokyo train driver - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Tue, Jul. 20th, 2004 09:45 am
Superlegitimacy: passion and ecstasy of a Tokyo train driver

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fidgital
fidgital
Tue, Jul. 20th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
The Shadow of Superlegitimacy

Fantastic entry, Nick, absolutely fascinating.

I deal with the Japanese every day, both for my music and for my "day job", and I see a lot of what you talk about. Particularly, I've really appreciated how the record label and music promoters I deal with in Tokyo really have a superlegitimacy which makes them push very hard to make their artists successful.

Unfortunately, I've noticed a flip side to this: An attempt to preserve a facade of honour without the real qualities of honour; the sogo shosha employee who spends 14 hours a day at the office yet but only really works for 6 of those hours (if that). The other 8+ hours are spent marking time because they believe that long hours are expected of them.

I believe that these people don't really "get" the concepts of honour and service in the foundation of Japan. They see some of the superficial qualities or effects of that honour, and they ape those qualities. Unfortunately, they completely miss the point, and "fake it 'til you make it" is just not going to work for these people.

I've also noticed that while these people do not advance to high station, neither are they exposed for the fakes that they are. They are tolerated; they are encouraged to do better; they are honoured for each small accomplishment as if they truly were performing to the best of their ability. And perhaps they are, though I'd prefer to think otherwise.

Anyway, I could go on on the subject, but I just wanted to post a little footnote to your great article, sadly pointing out the light of superlegitimacy does not fall on all.

-!<.
Fidgital


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