chapter  10
21 Pages

Crisis with Youth

The tenn "crisis" is a strong one, but there has been a significant increase in problems with young people in Japan over the past twenty years, and the situation is perceived as a crisis by many Japanese. Some young people are riding motorcyc1es in groups----called in Japanese bösözoku--literally, "rough running tribe"--reminiscent of America's Hell 's Angels, while others are on the rampage in the c1assroom, assaulting teachers and fellow students. The underlying causes ofthis rising delinquency appear impervious to a quick solution. Superficially, the lack of direction and sense of purpose of many young Japanese people resemble similar problems in the United States, but in Japan it is directly tied to the pressure-cooker atmosphere in schools, where the competition is almost unbearably intense. Success in Japan, as has been mentioned, is a matter ofhaving attended the right schools. In the highly materialistic society of the new millennium, there is every indication that the level of competition and its unfortunate corollary, juvenile delinquency, will continue to be problematic for the Japanese.