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Suffering as a Virtue

  • Until the 1980’s, when Japan lost its way, was there ever a time when the general population didn’t suffer?

    • Cultural icons such as Oshin came from seeing suffering as a virtue

    • Which nation considers a bare room with reed mats as spiritually pure?

  • Suffering is very personal

    • Explains why Japanese don’t contribute to charities they can’t see, but DO help those in their own circle

    • Media and education have part to play to improve Japanese public awareness and civic duty

    • People need to see EVERYONE suffering equally, or socialist complex kicks in (e.g., bosses need to take buses too)

  • Result of suffering is the victim mentality

    • Both are very powerful tools when dealing with people in authority

    • Visas, wage negotiations and loans, divorces and criminal cases

    • Power and confidence are a threat to victims, wield both quietly

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