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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:37 pm Reply with quote
to add on that, elementary schoolers take the subway (by themselves) for distances that most highschoolers in other countries would be afraid to do.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:37 pm Reply with quote
I never would've imagined that the relationship between adolescents and the general public would be considered so safe that it's not uncommon for teens to actually live alone.

Fascinating. It sounds ludicrous for a huge American city like Chicago, New York, or LA.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
He was at school, at his club most of the time. He really only went home to sleep, he explained. I sat back and muttered that I couldn't possibly do the same.


Really? That's what my high school life was like. I was in drama club and rehearsals often didn't end until five or six o'clock, and then everyone would head over to the mall to grab dinner and hang out, or maybe we'd convince the Christian girl in our group to take us to her youth group so we could mack on the girls there (they were all pot-heads whose parents forced them to attend). Most days I left for school at seven in the morning and didn't get home until after nine.
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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 263
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:53 pm Reply with quote
American/Western individualism is a big part of the reason for the differences in trust and safety. There's such low crime in Japan because everyone puts the group and the community above themselves.

Now, I personally believe that there can be a compromise - that intelligent people can make conscious effort to value the individual in some areas, and the group in others, and have the benefits of both types of society and the drawbacks of neither, but that hasn't happened yet. But I think it's possible.

Also, some teenagers live alone - more than America - let's say, 20%? That's still not everyone. For the percentage of anime that focus on this specific type of protagonist, there's the same thing at play as the whole "Why are all the YA books about orphans?" issue. Good parents get in the way of teens having adventures. They either need to be absent/dead, or the bad guys, to give the kids freedom to be main characters.

.......... also, yes, elementary school kids do walk around by themselves. Elementary school boys in their uniforms look like Hotarumaru, or the younger Toushirou swords, in Touken Ranbu, and it's cute, until you realize they're dressing 7-year-olds up like soldiers...
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:05 pm Reply with quote
One of the first shows I watched was School Rumble, and I remember being struck with how the two Tsukamoto sisters lived together in a lovely home that was probably worth at least a million dollars given Tokyo real-estate prices. Sawachika Eri also lived alone, but she had a butler, and we could tell she was not entirely happy with the arrangement when her father came home for a brief visit and drove off again on business. (That scene appears in the OP.)

Soon thereafter I watched Hidamari Sketch where the girls were attending a special arts high school and each had a one-room apartment across the street from the school. It was again quite a revelation to see the four of them entirely on their own making meals (often thanks to Hiro) and living pretty independent lives. Since then I've become accustomed to high schoolers living alone in anime, but it's still pretty remarkable compared to life here in the States.
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Topgunguy



Joined: 08 Dec 2015
Posts: 257
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:46 pm Reply with quote
A western article talking about Japanese media sensationalizing news? Now I've seen everything!
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Karl2



Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:04 pm Reply with quote
As someone that lives in the county of Islands that is Åland (Finland) that only have 1 High School and 1 University and the commute to school is 30 minutes-2 hours depending on which sub county you live in, I can totally relate to live alone in the city and wonder why people complain so much about it, besides benig an convenient reason to not write parents into the story.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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Location: Wales
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
And in America, I definitely couldn't. Japanese kids learn at a very early age that most strangers can be relied on for help. Tokyo in particular has such a dense population that, in public, it's very hard to not at least be within earshot of SOMEBODY. This great trust in common decency and general safety is the main reason why such young kids are given such tremendous latitude with their lives, for better or worse.

I don't know if you were thinking of the same thing when writing this, but I'm immediately reminded of the 2015 Scotland Loves Anime podcast with the discussion of the kind strangers in Hana and Alice and "omotenashi".

Me, I've never travelled anywhere without friends or family for longer than a day.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:14 pm Reply with quote
This is something that I've wondered about myself for a long, long time, so I'm glad to finally see a definitive answer on it.

It does happen in the U.S., too, but it's apparently much, much rarer. All of the cases that I've personally known about have involved teens at the lowest end of the socioeconomic scale and more cases of necessity than choice: thrown out by parent(s), couldn't stand to live with a parent and the new stepfather/mother (often for abusive reasons), parent(s) dead or in jail, etc. Even knew of one case where four 16-17 year olds were living together in a house with no adult supervision. (And it's not out of the question that they were squatting.)
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:31 pm Reply with quote
One has to wonder how this ties back into the school having such a large involvement in the kid's lives outside of school as was the subject of a question recently.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:32 pm Reply with quote
I dare say that the practices described in this article would be legally questionable in many jurisdictions. An adolescent being granted possession of a door key is the closest analogue that one may find in societies like ours.
Shiroi Hane wrote:
Me, I've never travelled anywhere without friends or family for longer than a day.

Heavens, that must be why I've yet to see you at London MCM!
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Re:SOUL



Joined: 02 Mar 2016
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:39 pm Reply with quote
I think it's a matter of opinion. I was independent from an early age and was going to school by myself by the time I was 8 which my partner thinks is shocking. Even before I hit my teens I could do things for myself that parents probably did for their kids and as a university student I don't see what's so lonely about living by yourself. Maybe it's the western culture of having to go out on Fridays and Saturdays to have fun with friends.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:40 pm Reply with quote
Wow. I always wondered about this, and I'm still baffled, even with the answer. I'm 23, and I'm still in no position to live on my own. If I had to do it while I was in high school, I might have crashed and burned within the first day.
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John Thacker



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 536
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:48 pm Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
to add on that, elementary schoolers take the subway (by themselves) for distances that most highschoolers in other countries would be afraid to do.


There's even a television show Hajime no Otukai (My First Errand) which features children at preschool ages going to the store to buy things for their family. Some of the kids are two or three years old.

In reality, the United States is easily safe enough for similar practices as Japan (maybe not as young as two), considering that the US crime rate is far, far lower than it was from 1960 through the 1990s, time periods when children and teenagers moved unaccompanied far more than now, including on trains and airplanes. It doesn't have much to do with the crime rate, rather it has quite a bit more to do with what is seen as socially acceptable, and as part of that, what will get you arrested or informed upon to CPS.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2041
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:59 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:
In reality, the United States is easily safe enough for similar practices as Japan ...


Need I point to the elephant in the room? Nowhere in Japan you will find in the street illegal drug dealers and even if a kid managed to bump into a yakuza with some wares, I think it would be (in japan) unheard that said adult gave the kid "a free sample".
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