Letter: Japanese slang opens a window on the economy


One of the slogans often used among young Japanese people is oya gacha. The slang word consists of two parts; yay means the parents and gacha is a capsule toy machine. It is used to imply that a person’s life is already determined by birth or by parents (“A New Day for Higher Pay,” Big Read, February 18).

My own observation is that the gap between the well-off and the rest has become so huge that it is difficult to climb the social ladder, at least from the point of view of a young Japanese.

Such a situation contrasts sharply with the 1970s and 1980s when ichiokuso-churyu was a term often used, meaning “100mn, all middle class”.

In my view, it is no coincidence that the Japanese economy has lost its once overwhelming dominance over the world alongside this shift in ichioku-so-churyu for oya gacha.

In the ichioku-so-churyu During this period, the Japanese had such high hopes for the future, which paved the way for the invention of products and services such as Walkman and Cup Noodles.

On the other hand, in the present oya gacha period, the Japanese people, especially the younger generation, have no hope for the future and show no willingness to challenge something new, which is the indispensable engine for reviving the economy.

Takatou Rintarou
Gunma, Japan

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