Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • this is downtown Tokyo, Shibuya

  • Notice anything?

  • and  no i'm not referring to the man with the red shoes and the hot pink beard

  • it is in fact that there  are so few people

  • and this is halloween

  • i would say it's roughly a quarter of what you would  usually expect

  • and everyone almost everyone

  • is wearing a mask

  • welcome to japan's new normal

  • 2020  is the year of the pandemic of the coronavirus

  • and everywhere around the world people are having to  deal with it

  • japan is no different

  • they've had they're locked down and a lot of people are doing  much more remote work

  • something they've never had to do in the past

  • there's a lot of unique  situations happening right now that are a first

  • for the japanese culture to deal with

  • but they  are

  • so in this video i'd like to talk to you about

  • what is this new normal

  • as the pandemic touches  every part of the japanese lifestyle

  • what are they doing to adapt and to overcome this very difficult  challenge

  • that is affecting all of us right now

  • so if japanese work culture was going to  change

  • very close behind that was going to be the restaurant culture as well

  • because as much as  japanese people love to work they love to eat

  • and when you would go out before you would usually get  something called an oshibori

  • and that's a hot wet towel usually that you get before your meal

  • you  clean your hands and it's nice and sanitary

  • but now because people are so frequently wearing masks  out

  • they're providing in restaurants mask cases

  • so you can store them until you leave

  • and a lot  of people aren't always using something like the disposable

  • they'll use one like i have where it's  washable and reusable

  • so having a case where you can put it away during the course your meal

  • is  really convenient

  • not all measures that can fight back against the virus have to necessarily be  super high tech

  • in fact one of the ones that they use now less so at restaurants

  • but more at special  events public events things like that. Gyms..

  • is a tracking list

  • so if you go into a public event

  • what they'll request that you do is actually write down your name your address

  • and so if there were  an incident reported where somebody had contracted covid

  • at that special event

  • they can then let any  of the participants know that that is the case

  • and then you can go and have yourself tested

  • low-tech yes but quite effective and it does allow people to take a measure of security

  • knowing that  when they've gone to this special event

  • you know that they're taking it seriously

  • and if something  were to go wrong that there is a recourse for that

  • and hopefully afterwards you're still  protected

  • it wouldn't be a modern pandemic if there weren't an APP to battle the virus

  • and japan  certainly has theirs

  • Oddly named Cocoa given that cocoa is the ingredient that creates chocolate

  • which is both delicious and desirable

  • and Covid is everything the opposite of that

  • the naming  convention doesn't diminish its effectiveness

  • it works by having each user register on the  application

  • and then if any of those users were within one meter of each other

  • in an excess  of 15 minutes and then contracted the virus

  • all the people who are in that similar proximity to each other

  • will be notified

  • the japanese bathroom or perhaps more specifically the japanese  toilet

  • has become a cultural trope worldwide

  • known for being super high tech and providing  you with the latest in technology

  • from the most accommodating bidet to perhaps talking you down  from the edge of a really bad experience at work

  • but not always going high-tech is the solution  in japan here for the problem of the virus and  

  • in fact it's going the reverse direction

  • it's  getting more practical and removing some of these more complex amenities

  • it's not complexity we need  it's a lack of it

  • that prevents the spread so

  • when you go into the bathrooms here you actually notice  that things like the automatic hand dryers that used to be there before

  • are either covered up or  removed

  • and there's the expectation now that you would bring something like your own hand towel

  • or  paper towels

  • i know this for a fact at my gym that you can no longer use the hand dryer

  • they've  gone more analog

  • and it seems to be helping

  • traditional office work be repressed

  • people have had to work from home they've had to work remotely

  • where you've seen actually the virus have an  accelerant effect then on other businesses  

  • is in the delivery service model

  • so before in  tokyo you used to see a few Uber Eats bicycles riding around

  • now they're absolutely ubiquitous

  • it's hard to go out without tripping over them

  • and it's not just Uber Eats now

  • it's kfc it's  mcdonald's

  • it's all these different chains

  • so interesting to note where in some cases  it has repressed certain types of businesses

  • but in others they're now absolutely booming asresult of it

  • perhaps more than hot

  • japanese summer is really really humid

  • it's brutal

  • you're sweating  the moment you step outside

  • and it was really a challenge for me

  • when i first came from living  in vancouver

  • where for the two months of the year where we get good weather

  • it's perfect temperature  it's perfect humidity

  • it's a challenge

  • but last summer it was so notable that when you walked around everyone was wearing one of these

  • and i thought that was particularly cool for the fact  that it's one thing when it's cool to wear one of these

  • and it's not such a discomfort

  • but that kind of humidity to still see people going out and wearing masks and protecting each other was really really significant

  • you have in the japanese culture already this sense that when you're sick  you should wear a mask

  • you see it all the time

  • if you're at an office if you're at a school and  so i think people were willing to take this upon themselves

  • but whereas before it was i'm going  to protect you from the fact that i have a cold

  • now it could run both ways

  • i'm going to protect myself and protect others

  • so an underlying cultural strength that certainly has hadsignificant impact on the spread of the virus

  • If the virus has taught us anything it's the incredible  resilience of humankind

  • when challenged to find  a new place to drink together

  • when their original  locales and gathering spots have been threatened

  • i am of course talking about the zoom nomikai or zoom drinking party

  • that people are now doing  where a lot of people of course use that for remote work

  • many people as well are using it to  meet up with friends that they haven't been able to see so often

  • because of social distancing

  • and from birthday parties to business parties you name it people are meeting up online

  • and making use of that technology in a social way

  • over the past year you've seen japan take so  many different precautions

  • from the increase  in the number of masks that are being worn

  • to the  availability of alcoholic gels

  • to so many people sheltering in place doing the sort of remote  work that they've never done before

  • could you definitively say whether these precautions have  led to some of the lowest death rates in the world for covet 19

  • it's difficult to say it's hard to  say there's a lot of contributing factors there

  • but you could say with certainty that it has  given people some sense of community and security  

  • and that we're all in this together

  • whichwould say is quite a traditionally japanese virtue

  • value even

  • and whatever comes in the  coming months

  • that will continue this feeling like we're gonna get through this

  • and we're gonna  get through this together

  • thanks for watching

  • you

this is downtown Tokyo, Shibuya

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 japanese people high tech tech fact culture

Japan's New Normal

  • 1 0
    Summer posted on 2021/03/09
Video vocabulary