I read an interesting article about why the Japanese don’t talk about money in public.
Japanese don’t tend to talk about money. That is true.
Money is not a subject that good people want to talk about. It is ethically believed.
In Japan, the school doesn’t teach kids what money is.
It is a beauty that people work hard even though they don’t get rich.
You may know ‘Oshin.’ It is a TV program of NHK that a poor girl works so hard, lives her life vigorously and gets over all kinds of difficulties.
That has been a good role model in Japan.
This mentality dates back to 400 years ago, according to one source.
It was the Warrior era where many samurai’s fought to govern Japan.
All kinds of people could be a ruler. Toyotomi, the winner, was a farmer before being a disciple of Nobunaga Oda.
In 1584, Nobunaga, a revolution fighter, was killed in Kyoto by his disciple, called Akechi.
Ieyasu Tokugawa, a Nobunaga’s alliance, was staying in Osaka with only a few people so he needed to run from the Akechi army. He gave up on surviving once. This picture is from a TV drama where Tokugawa decided to die.
but, he miraculously managed to go back from Osaka to his town near Nagoya, going through mountains.
On his way back, Tokugawa was attempted to kill by not only his enemy but farmers who wanted money.
This experience became the basis of how he governed Japan.
He wanted Japanese people to have little money and live poorly ( or frugally )!
He closed the country to the world for 300 years.
He divided the society into 4 classes (samurai, farmer, artisan, and merchant ) and prohibited them from moving.
He made other lords live poorly to establish a system called Sankin Kotai. Sankin Kotai (参勤交代) makes lords come and see Shogun in Edo(Tokyo) every other year.
Those lords got poor by spending a big money on bringing many people to Tokyo. This spending was a strategy to get rid of money from lords who might decide to fight against Tokugawa.
This is the basis for the mentality to work and live poorly.
It still works under the contemporary Japan.
This theory makes sense to me.
Thank you for reading!