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Truth in Advertising


The ad from Tu-ka mobile phones below shows 100 Japanese men and women representing the current demographic breakdown of the nation. And as the caption on the top says (日本って、おじさんとおばさんの国なんだ!), Japanese has become a country of all old-people.

I have never thought that the Japanese Pop Culture explosion was necessarily a inevitable development, but more of a consequence of the huge baby boom in the ’60s and the proliferation of single-child families in the ’70s. Back then, young people made up about 20% of the population and companies developed products for this huge youth market.

In the next century, Japan will be 20-25% elderly, which could not be a good thing for the youth culture industry. Are we already seeing the effect of this demographic change in the current decline of the music and fashion industries? Tu-ka is working hard to develop special cell phones for technophobic grandparents. That’s manpower taken away from dedication to younger demographic markets.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
January 15, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

One Response

  1. Brad Says:

    I thought it was more like 60-65% elderly within the next few decades. Or is that just hyperbole?

    One positive side effect, though, is that this elderly explosion is lighting a fire under all of the companies with anything to do with robotics, to get their act in gear and get some intelligent robots up and running. Not just Roombas, but full blown Qrios and Asimos in order to be a care taker for the elderly when their children can’t or won’t stick around to help out. Why do you think the robots are all 3-4 feet tall? To be eye level with someone who is sitting down/can’t stand up.

    I’m all for more product dev for us current youngsters (well, I’d like to think I am), but anything that pushes robot development is alright by me.