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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Living in the Suburbs

One of the disadvantages of living in the suburbs in Japan, on land that was probably paddy fields 25 years ago, is the lack of a community spirit. Everybody is living here for the first time, nobody's parents lived here, none of the adults who bought their relatively cheap, hastily-constructed properties grew up here.

Garbage in Nagoya Japan

Nobody knows each other, no-one talks to each other, there is no Neighborhood Association or chonai-kai in this neighborhood to foster a sense of community. There is no local festival, there are old people's homes, convenience stores and fishing tackle stores and garbage, lots of garbage: putrid cephalopods, used condoms, broken umbrellas, women's panties, plastic bags full of cat food for the stray cats, McDonald's paper cups, abandoned automobiles and rotting mattresses.

Rubbish in Japan

We are far from the center and perched out on a main road to Toyota a long way from anywhere that needs to be kept clean but worse of all we are close to an untended lot. Untended property left to go to rack and ruin is an open invitation in suburban Japan for every Tomohiro, Daiki and Hiro to dump their debris without a second thought.

Nagoya garbage

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