• rio

living with social standards



I have been searching for a way to live while being true to myself in Japanese society. Even before my teenage years, I felt a difficulty in being myself somewhere in my heart in Japanese society, and I have been feeling it even more strongly than before. If you try to go your own way, it requires a lot of energy to persevere. Sticking to your guns is especially difficult in Japanese society where the voice of the majority is believed to be right.


After my study abroad in the US, I started to feel this difficulty even more living in Japan. Looking back at my experience in the US, I realized that I was living every day valuing people's differences and how important that is. I was always surrounded by people who were proud of their individuality which really impressed and shocked me as a person who was always worrying about how others saw me when I did something different. In addition, the people I met in the US usually gave compliments to people who were doing something unique, saying things like “This is cool!” and “This is awesome!” I felt that they have a culture of respecting individuality and that I should do this too. Just like this, my environment changed me. I tried to start not caring about how others saw me too much, so I wore clothes that I never wore in Japan that always made me self conscious about my body, and started to not wear makeup as much. My encounter with feminism also influenced me, which made me realize the options and choices that I have that I never saw before. I think these changes within me have led to me feeling how suffocating society is.