On August 7, 2020, I published an article: Disability Pension Should Have Been Provided to the Mentally Disabled Living Alone. As an Alternative, I've Started a Donation Campaign. At the same time, I started to accept donations through online form powered by Donorbox.
To tell the truth, I was making preparations for the international version of the site long before that campaign. From the beginning I knew it was almost impossible to accept donations from Japanese people.
- 1 No donation culture among the Japanese
- 2 Social status is what matters most
- 3 The unknown gets the cold shoulder
- 4 Combustible or bulky waste, you are
- 5 People who don't help strangers
- 6 A developed country where few donations made
- 7 Why do I publish the English version?
- 8 Economic Crisis Since September 2016
- 9 We are not Dark matter
No donation culture among the Japanese
The Japanese don't donate. I learned this lesson through my own experience.
I had used the PayPal Donation service for about four years until shikin-kessai-ni-kansuru-horitsu (Payment Services Act) was enacted in April 2010. Through that service I was collecting donations to support my writing endeavors and other no-profit activities.
But No donations at all, throughout the four years.
The main reason was simply the contents of the site were poor. However, even with this in mind, I was keenly aware that the Japanese don't donate at all.
A bitter experience over a dozen years ago.
Japanese people are also warm
I'm very grateful to the people who gave me the warm-hearted messages. Even now, I still keep them all.
As I know this “bilateral character” of the Japanese, I dare to say:
I assume it's simply because the donation culture is not rooted in Japan. That's why it's not easy to change their attitudes towards donations.
Social status is what matters most
In recent years, crowdfunding is becoming very popular. But, in Japan, it's quite difficult to collect donations via crowdfunding unless you're a celebrity or it's a well-known organization (e.g. Urawa Reds).
Non-profitable organizations and individuals with low visibility are better off with a different type of fundraising.
Because the Japanese have a mindset that places a high value on status, honor and titles. Unconsciously, they tend to put much value on the superficial information (social status, honor, titles, etc.) rather than the real essence of the person's abilities and skills.
So, even if your activity is highly valuable, they will not do it justice. Instead, they will value your name recognition and social status.
Therefore, it's extremely difficult for small-scale organizations and nameless sole proprietors to collect donations via crowdfunding in Japan.
This bias is one of the three major evil practices of the Japanese which I was trying to explain in the article: What Keeps Me from Killing Myself although I'm a Depressed, Middle-aged Job-hopper - Maybe It's Not True Anymore that We Can Start Over as long as We Live... The Last Part. NOTE: Its English edition is not available. It's all written in Japanese.
- Supremacy for New Graduates in Recruiting - Age Discrimination in Employment Opportunities
- Too High Level of Career Skills Required in Mid-Career Recruitment
- Mindset that Places a High Value on Status, Honor and Titles
Unless they fully abandon these traditions, this country could never turn into a merit-based society. Because of these backgrounds, in that country, academic fraud or CV fake happens frequently.
I hope that the country will evaluate people's abilities fairly. If it comes true, CV or personal history will no longer mean much. The potential of its citizens will be fully exploited.
The unknown gets the cold shoulder
I also realized this Japanese biased values on social status through my own miserable experience over a dozen years ago.
At that time, I had successfully survived a crisis of sudden death by overwork at a sweatshop (burakku-kigyo). In a word, I quit that job. I soon took some time off. And gradually my mind and body began to heal.
Back in those days, I was struggling to open a new chapter in my life. It was in my late 20s and early 30s.
Dark matter? No, Dark Company
By the way, there were so many companies that were much more cunning and brutal than sweatshops (burakku-kigyo) : Dark Companies (ankoku-kigyo). I was working at one of them.
They understood the law very well and would never commit any illegal acts, crimes and other goofs. They were circumventing the law, but again never committed illegal acts. So they couldn't get caught out. It couldn't make the news either. They existed in perfect circumvention of the law.
Even if he or she survived, they suffer from heavy after-effects.
Thinking of my comrades, my heart aches and tears well up in my eyes.
Darkness is always present. There must be a few even now.
From the early 2000s until about the 2008 financial crisis, such companies were very common in Japan.
View from different backgrounds
- Continue to Work as a Slave
- Sudden Death From Overwork
- Retire to Survive
I studied “cognitive psychology” in university. My major field was “sensory and perceptual psychology.” In addition, I studied auditory psychology.
After graduation, I went to a technical school of architecture. Then I joined a design office. These backgrounds were quite uncommon in the architecture industry.
However, these unique backgrounds soon led me to realize something. It was the design of “comfort” or “indoor environments,” such as the thermal and acoustic environment design, was absolute fake and sham, even for the most prominent design firms.
Japanese architectural design industry is dominated by the graduates of “engineering” and “art colleges” who never studied cognitive psychology.
It's no wonder that the houses designed by architects are riddled with troubles:
- It's too hot or too cold
- Noisy footsteps upstairs
- The sound of rain drumming the roof is too noisy
- There is a bad smell, etc.
Combustible or bulky waste, you are
Thanks to my unique career, I could notice the shady side of the industry.
I was going to share what I had seen there, and the examples of troubles that architects often committed, with those who were going to have new houses. This would help them to build a well designed and cozy home.
Through this activity, I could stay indirectly involved in residential design industry. I strongly believed so, ans set out to become an architectural journalist.
So I started to contact them.
Illegal dumping of human beings
I called every publisher that specialized in the residential design field. But at the opening, every publisher asked me the exact same question.
Which university do you belong to?
Excuse me, sir, but what's your position?
Are you a professor or an associate professor?
I honestly told them, “I'm a freelancer...” and they immediately said, “We don't accept slush” and hung up.
A deep regret remains for the rest of my life, along with this refrain.
In Japan, the nameless and low-status people are not treated as human beings. They are thrown away as garbages.
Thus, just as I was up against the wall, the 2008 financial crisis and 3 years of economic turmoil from the Loopy Cabinet aggravated the situation.
With no hope in sight, depression developed in April 2010.
And now I'm given a Mental Health Certificate (Class 3).
Unhealthy, non-cultural and lousy life
Under that inhuman system, it has become impossible for a particular type of patient to receive disability pensions. They are the mentally disabled living alone.
Poverty in Japan.
I have trouble getting food and enough nutrition. But, involuntarily, I work as a non-regular worker only to secure a place to live, while being careful not to let my illness get worse. It's unhealthy, non-cultural and lousy life. Off course, the overwork doesn't last long, and the disease re-worsens. It's the endless loop of agony.
People who don't help strangers
Such ruthlessness towards the unknown and lower social status is reflected in a 2018 survey conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
In this survey, Japan ranked 142nd out of 144 in terms of the percentage of people who “helped a stranger” in the past month. It was the second worst.
While I made this graph, I unconsciously nodded my head in agreement. But at the same time, the painful memories of being hung up one-sidedly by the publishers came back as vividly as if it had just happened.
The nameless who were not actually helped by the Japanese will soon realize what this graph means.
That is, they are incredibly exclusive to strangers, those of low social status, and the nameless.
On the other hand, once a stranger gains the trust of community, the kindness and gentleness of Japanese people will be applied to them without hesitation. One of the triggers for this drastic change is social status, such as titles, honors, and name recognitions.
This is probably what is known as tsundere (hot and cold). But the cold attitude is overly ruthless and exclusive; it violates human rights.
A developed country where few donations made
Japanese don't donate. This is also evident from the same survey. Japan ranked 99th out of 144 in terms of donating money to a charity in the last month. It also ranks very low.
Japan has the lowest rank in the Group of Seven (G7). Even among the former G8, which includes Russia, Japan still ranks at the bottom.
Japan's ranking (99th) is roughly the same as that of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
- Brazil : 112th
- Russia: 86th
- India: 89th
- China: 113th
- South African: 100th
In the field of donation, Japan is not yet a developed country.
Why do I publish the English version?
Based on such objective data and my own experience, I knew that there would be "almost no donations from the Japanese." So I had given up on them from an early stage.
In other words, it is the fault of the Japanese government.
On September 1, 2016, “the new grade determination guidelines for mental disorders” sneakily came into effect.
As a result, the grading criteria have become much stricter and very unreasonable only for the mentally disabled (and intellectually disabled).
Instead, they are now graded solely on the basis of their “ability to perform activities of daily living.” This evaluation procedure is a simple point rating system.
The assessment of “ability to perform activities of daily living” is whether you can eat properly, wash your hair, bathe, and shop by yourself, for example. They are quite underestimated, aren't they?
The “ability to perform activities of daily living” consists of seven categories:
(2) Keep yourself and your surroundings clean, such as washing your face, washing your hair and taking a shower or bath.
(3) Proper cash management and shopping
(4) Visiting hospital regularly and taking medication as instructed
(5) Communications and relationships with others without problems
(6) Maintaining personal safety and responding to a crisis adequately
(7) Civil life, such as withdrawals and deposits at bank, using public facilities by yourself and completing the necessary procedures for your social life.
The mentally disabled living alone can perform these easy chores all by themselves. The seriousness of the symptoms doesn't matter.
They don't have family or roommates to live with, so they have no choice but to do these activities by themselves. Otherwise, they would have “died of hunger” ages ago.
Economic Crisis Since September 2016
In 2008, we had the global financial crisis.
However, eight years later, on September 2016, the Great Recession broke out in Japan which plagues only the mentally disabled living alone.
As long as they live alone, their disability pension benefits are always refused or reduced. It is actually an “Economic Sanction” against them.
But, they never do evil things to be sanctioned at all. They are just living on their own. This absurd Economic Sanction is, as a matter of fact, a “Persecution.”
Even in the “Great Depression of the Century” caused by COVID-19, the average drop in Japanese annual income is said to be around 380,000 Japanese yen (about $3,600).
We have already suffered an economic loss of more than 1.5 times that amount since September 2016.
By specific comparison, you can easily imagine how financially deprived we, the mentally disabled living alone, are.
- Imagine your monthly salary is reduced by $475, €400
- Imagine your annual income is reduced by $6,900, €5,800
Can you maintain your life as before?
What would you say if you didn't call this a violation of human rights?
To let the world know about our hardships
The “PUBLIC disability support” system is no longer back on track, I had no choice but to seek “private support,” or donations.
But due to cultural differences, the Japanese almost never make donations. That's why I published an English version of the site. And now I'm calling for help outside Japan.
However, from your point of view, I am just an unknown Japanese, a foreigner, or a stranger. So I believe it's also very tough to collect donations from abroad.
The primary goal of internationalizing the site is NOT to collect donations. It is to let the world know about our horrible situation and the economic persecution by the Japanese government.
We are not Dark matter
We are minorities and don't even try to speak up for fear of privacy, lack of understanding, or prejudice. In addition, it is difficult to distinguish the mentally disabled from healthy people on the outside.
No bright life
Because of our handicaps, not many of us have social success, honor or titles. And now, without any public financial aid, few of us lead bright lives.
I became depressed due to the traumatic experiences in the Dark Company (ankoku-kigyo). I suffer from severe sleep disorders.
This is all I can do
But fortunately, I can write and speak without hindrance. And I understand a little bit of English.
I don't want to yield to the persecution by the Japanese government. When I thought about it, I realized that the only thing I could do was to appeal to the world in English.
“So Many Stars” by “Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66.”
A very beautiful song. But the lyrics can be interpreted any way you want.
How does it sound to you?
It's sweet but very melancholy and I feel gut-wrenching. I still remember my colleagues in the same Dark Company, who shared the dream to become an architect.
Where did they go? They are all dead? How can I tell?
This song always tells me so and brings me to tears.
For their sake, I never give in to the unreasonable economic sanctions. My life is not just my own. I give it my all. But there are limits to what I can do alone.
Besides donations, for example, sharing articles on social media can also be a big help. Any support will be appreciated.