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Episode 3: Bubble Economy

Episode 3, 1990. 30 years ago. I was a “salary-man”, which is usually said as a company worker in Japan. This country was in the middle of a bubble. It was a time when a naive guy in his mid-20s was fascinated by demons. After work, I went to downtown for a drink every night, dancing at a disco to hit on girls. Japanese economy will continue to grow! Stock prices and real estate will keep rising! Much more salary will be expected! Party will last forever! No one doubted that.

In the 1980's I graduated from high school, failed the entrance exam and got left back, and entered a local university in the next year. During my four years at the university, I was slacking off, spending time in part-time jobs and playing the band. In the spring of my fourth grade, I rushed for a job hunting, and fortunately I was hired by a company in Nagoya area. My friend said it was a miracle. Just five or six years ago, who could have imagined me wearing a suit and working every morning at work? “Oh, you became a working professional” Every time someone said so to me, I felt embarrassed and at the same time, miserable. Is it really OK like this? There were many chances to be a rock musician or a drama player. However, the environment changed me without mercy. Four years after joining the company, I became a very ordinary salary-man that anybody can hardly imagine from my high school days. When the Japanese era changed from Showa to Heisei, the world of “Shuchi-Nikurin” which means a big fuss full of alcohol, full of bawdy, dirty, naughty things. Yes, that was the bubble economy as I mentioned in the beginning.

The Rolling Stones first came to Japan in February of that year. Paul McCartney also made his first solo tour to Japan over 10 years since his deportation for marijuana in 1980. I went to see the Stones at Tokyo Dome all the way from Nagoya. I can only take a seat far behind the arena, and I have a slight memory that a bean-sized Mick Jagger shouted on a distant stage. I don’t know whether the concert was disappointing, the girl who I took the concert broke my heart on a later date. In the bubble era, wasting much money, drinking and drinking, all-you-can-eat, and after all there is not a good memory. Only emptiness remains.

Outside Japan, it was a turbulent era. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in the previous year and the thawing of the East and West Cold War, the Soviet Union began preparing for the dissolution in 1991 with Gorbachev as the leader. South Africa's Nelson Mandela was released from prison for the first time in 27 years. Iraq invaded Kuwait and it was a trigger for kicking off the next Gulf War. Japanese prime minister Kaifu, was criticized by alliance countries because Japan helps the US military just by giving a lot of money but not shedding blood. While the composition of the East and West Cold Wars collapsed, and the world started exploring a new order and increasing attention to race and human rights issues as symbolized by the abolition of apartheid, the Japanese salary-men shook a bill of 10,000 Japanese yen in the air to show a taxi driver for their easy riding after the last train finished in the midnight. In fact, stock prices began to plunge early in the year, and the bubble was steadily heading for a collapse, but no one noticed when dancing on the Juliana stand.

(note: “Juliana” was a famous discotheque in Roppongi, Tokyo)

For the first time in the year, WHO(World Health Organization), which has recently been spotlighted, removed homosexuality from its list of illnesses. In other words, before 1990, homosexuals were sick by their definition. They are now reviewing coronavirus and making a statement for that issues globally. O my goodness, who could believe them? Such an organization is scum.

(to be continued to Episode 4)


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