Post Bubble Culture

After World War II, Japan underwent large-scale industrialization and modernization, leading to great economic prosperity. In order for this success to occur, the Japanese people threw themselves into their jobs. They worked hard and focused solely on the economy, disregarding the social ramifications wrought by  industrialization.

In the 1990s, with the crash of the bubble economy, social issues became prevalent in Japan. Previously, people valued their work more than their personal lives, so when the job market crashed, their lives were left meaningless. This stressful event, perceived as uncontrollable, sparked the advent of the post-bubble culture we see in Japan today which is characterized by new-age social problems.  Initially, Japanese people developed into social phenomena such as otaku, freeters, and hikikomori as a way to cope with economic stress. Ironically, these coping mechanisms have now become social stressors in Japan.

This is a picture of a strange-colored cactus growing out of lava. The lava, typically associated with volcanoes, represents the destruction caused by the economic crash. New, unexpected things have grown not only from the volcano, but also from the economic crash. Now, Japanese society is unsure about how to deal with these anomalies that have resulted from the collapse of the bubble economy.