Skip to main content

What does "long life" mean to Japanese people?

When my boyfriend, who is British, and I went to Indonesia, one guy asked us;

"Why can British and Japanese people live so long? What do you think is the secret?"

That Indonesian guy is an English teacher, living in a beautiful house with his wife. I thought that it is universally common to think about their lives and health after they got enough money to live.

How long can we live?

According to WHO, Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world, men live to 81.1 years old on average, women live to 87.1 years old. British people live to 81.4 years old on average.

So, what is the secret to a long life? I started thinking about what we commonly have between British and Japanese.

The secret to a long life

First, I came up with the tea. Japanese love drinking green tea while British like drinking black tea. Fish and veggie diet may be another answer, too. Besides those, the fermented food also is one of the reasons, Japanese daily use fermented ingredients, such as soy sauce, soybean paste, or sake(rice wine).

What do we do with our long-life?

People always dream about living longer. Now we can potentially live much longer than before. Some of the Japanese people even believe that there is a right to live to 80 years old at least.

Then, the Japanese start thinking about how we can stay young and healthy, not only living longer. Health and fitness market is huge in Japan. On TV, there are lots of ads of supplemental tablets for being a good shape, keeping their skin smooth, relieving joint pain…

Is early-retirement realistic in Japan?

In the last decade, more and more people have an idea of early retirement or "semi-retirement".

The life after retirement used to be seen like a waiting room for ending your life, but it is not, now. Even if you retire at the age of 60, you will still have 20 years to go, possibly. The word "retirement" became to have a positive meaning for the Japanese.

When they were guaranteed lifetime employment, people never doubted that they would work in the same company until their retirement. Now that company policy is breaking down, they start flexibly thinking about their work, life, and retirement.

I have read some blogs whose authors early retired or semi-retired and living on what they really want to do. Living longer and staying functioned changed the meaning of retirement. Although early-retired people are still the minority, people's mind is slowly shifting towards what the meaningful life is for them, from just sticking to a company and working hard.


Popular posts from this blog

What can we do to reduce single-use plastic in Japan?

According to the U.N., Japan is the 2nd largest generator of plastic packaging waste per capita in the world, following the USA. You will find lots of products beautifully packaged with plastic bags everywhere in Japan.

Why do I blog in English?

I have been blogging since 2015, talking about the life, languages, travel, wine, football and so on. All of them are written in Japanese. I didn’t have any idea to write in English until 5 days ago, because my writing in English is not good enough.

What made me change my mind was a small comment to one of my blogs.

Why did I start writing on "Medium"

A couple of months ago, I started writing in English which is my second language. I posted some blog articles on this platform "Blogger" which is one of my favourite blogging services. But I started writing on "Medium" two weeks ago.

Now I just want to write down why I started writing there, not here, and also where I am going to write in the future.