Y1 Vol 1 Chapter 1 | The Structure of Japanese Society

I know this is kind of sudden, but, please, it will only take a moment. I want your honest opinion.

Are people equal or not?

A proper society will constantly strive for equality. There are those who clamor for men and women to always be considered equal. As a result, we raised the employment rate for women, we made specialized subway cars only for women. Sometimes, women will even argue over the order of names in a family register. The public opinion of people with disabilities has also changed. We’re now told that we should not use the term “disabled people” when referring to them, so as not to discriminate. Nowadays, children are taught that all people are created equal.

But is that true? I have my doubts. If men and women have different abilities, then their roles should also differ. People with disabilities are still disabled, no matter what polite euphemisms you use. No matter how you try to avert your eyes, the meaning of the word does not change.

So, my answer would be, “No, we are not equal.” To be human is to be unequal. Equality does not exist.

Long ago, in a bygone era, a great man said that heaven does not set one man above or below any other. However, he did not necessarily adhere to the idea that everyone is equal. Did you know that there is more to that famous passage? The rest goes like this: Everyone is equal when they are born, so I ask, why do we see differences in position and status? And it continues: Do you or do you not encourage learning to create a difference? So then, education creates

an imbalance. The point’s spelled out there, in the incredibly famous work Gakumon no Sume. Even though this is the year 2015, the modern era, nothing about these teachings has changed. The situation has only grown more complex and fraught.

In any case, we are human beings. We are living, thinking creatures.

I don’t think it right to simply say that we are unequal and then live our lives based on pure instinct. In other words, though “equality” is a complete lie, we cannot accept inequality, either. Right now, I’m trying to come up with a new answer for humanity’s eternal question.

Hey, you there. You, the one reading this book right now.

Have you ever given serious thought to the future?

Have you ever considered the purpose of going to high school or to college? Though the future may seem hazy right now, do you think you’ll find a job someday? That’s what I used to think. Back when I finished my compulsory education and became a high school student, I hadn’t really considered the future. I’d only felt joy at being nearly free of obligation. I didn’t consider the incredible influence that school would continue to have in my life, on my future. I didn’t even understand the purpose behind studying language or numbers.

Written on August 15, 2022