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Japan’s Newest Holiday ” Mountain Day ” Brings A Great Message

Japan’s Newest Holiday ” Mountain Day ” Brings A Great Message

Japan is commonly known as a country of innovation and natural beauty. Some of today’s most popular cultural objects are Japanese. Westerns can’t get enough J-pop, karaoke, manga, anime, sake and sushi.

And now, Japan has established what is arguably the greatest public holiday ever – Mountain Day, set aside as an “opportunity to come close to mountains and appreciate the benefits of mountains.”Japanese mountain-related clubs like the Alpine Club lobbied for the holiday, and in 2014, the Japanese Diet passed the bill. The first Mountain Day took place August 11, 2016.

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With the advent of the new holiday, the Japanese government is prioritizing its citizens’ health. The Japanese work incredibly long work weeks and take an average of less than nine days off per year. Suicide rates are high, about 60 percent higher than the global average.

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Another cultural value motivating the new holiday is Shinto, the largest religion in Japan. According to Shinto tradition, Kami (Shinto gods) dwell in objects of the natural world like lakes, rivers and mountains. On Mountain Day, the Japanese are encouraged to spend time with family and friends in nature.

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Maybe we can benefit from Japan’s forward-thinking and unplug, really take a break from the everyday to be with loved ones in nature.

Featured photo credit: David Hsu via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 8, 2018

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

Let’s face it.  We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.

We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.

However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.

1. Facebook is eating away at your time.

Facebook is eating away your time

    How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.

    2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”

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    Likeaholic

      When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.

      3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.

      priorities

        Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.

        4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.

        lack of intimacy

          Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?

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          5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.

          mother baking

            Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.

            6.  We’d rather record someone than help them.

            drowning

              A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.

              7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.

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              sleeping your life away

                Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.

                8.  Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.

                wanting what someone else is having

                  There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.

                  9. Sensationalism still sells.

                  free expression

                    With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?

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                    10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.

                    gun to mother earth

                      This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?

                      Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com

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