I’ve always been fascinated with Japan’s bubble economy. I think it’s because I came to Japan in 1993, just after Japan’s famous economic bubble burst. I was constantly hearing stories about people getting 10,000 yen an hour for teaching English, GOD (Gaijin on Display) jobs where all you had to do was show up at the office to make it look “international,” and guys getting invited by salarimen they met on the street to ritzy hostess clubs where they drank single-malt whiskey and smoked cuban cigars, all on the Japanese guys’ tabs.
Today’s post is translations of selected comments from an interesting thread that appeared on a blog called Burusoku-vip.com, a site which posts interesting threads from 2Channel, about excesses during the bubble.
There original post is here: http://burusoku-vip.com/archives/1309313.html#more
How did you feel at the peak of the bubble?
1：Did you enjoy wild, salariman merrymaking every night?
Did you get a lot of job offers?
2：Not only did I get a lot of offers, I got paid money for going to recruiting seminars.
3：Guys who graduated from famous universities were invited to soaplands or given trips to stop them from taking offers from other companies.
Actually, it was just Tokyo University, Kyoto University, Hitotsubashi, Waseda, Keio, Sophia, and International Christian University.
4：When I couldn’t get a taxi, I a waved a ten-thousand yen bill.
7：They say when you went job hunting, your savings increased by a million yen.
13: I’m a farmer and we don’t lock our door, but we kept three million yen in a drawer.
14: When we went to visit our senpais, not only did they give us food and alcohol, but they gave us taxi tickets to get home.
16：All the women had thick eyebrows.
17：I was poor, so I was not happy like everyone else was.
In those days, girls said:
I won’t date you if you don’t have a car
Let’s spend Christmas at a top-class hotel
I want a Tiffany ring for my birthday
*There were some exceptions.
19: In the mornings everyone had alcohol on their breath, and I felt the whole country was filled with wasted energy.
20：The late night TV shows were really sexy.
21：I was told “civil servants are losers.”
23：Anyway, the biggest difference was the feeling that if you made an effort, you could do anything.
That’s why we had an image of civil servants and people in safe industries being losers who were afraid to make an effort.
There was a feeling that even freeters who were following their dreams were better than them.
24：Women had thick eyebrows, curly bangs, wore Dior perfume and Chanel lipstick.
I felt like all the women in cities were like this from the time I was in college.
25：Tokyo had enough money to buy up everything in America.
30：Now I think about it, the people who enjoyed the bubble were the winners.
No matter how much money you have, in a recession you can’t enjoy your money, no matter how much you spend.
33：When I hear the word “bubble,” I think of having sex with your girlfriend in a Ginza hotel.
It must have been a happy time.
47：Women’s eyebrows are strangely thin now.
50：My uncle says, In his student days, he could get 1,500 yen an hour just standing in Daiei at his part-time job.
52：I only graduated from junior high, but I didn’t have any trouble finding a job and I was earning 300,000 yen a month within three years (when I was around 20). It’s obvious things are different now.
62：Regular salarimen bought gold bars as an investment.
73：Finish work after ten→Use this for the taxi. And they’d hand you 10,000 yen.
79：I got a one million yen bonus during my first year at the company.
83：Once when I didn’t have toilet paper, I wiped my butt with two thousand-yen bills.
100：Suits with shoulder pads
106：The national government gave 100,000,000 yen to every municipality.
110：There was a company trying to make a moving, flying Gundam.
112：They said that the land in Tokyo was worth as much as all the land in America.
One square meter of land was worth over 100,000,000 million yen.
147：Women in those days said they had an allergy that made their skin itchy if they didn’t ride in an imported car.
154：The working hours weren’t much different from now, or they were longer, but you got paid for your work.
My father never came home until late at night, but his salary was amazing.
He says his bonus was 9.5 month’s salary.
The envelope his bonus came in (in those days they gave you cash) was so thick you could stand it on its end.
156：People, societies, and countries have ages.
The bubble was like a match-making party.
Now it’s the middle of the married years. Death is the only thing ahead.
173：My prof at university asked me, “Where do you want to work? Go can get hired anywhere.”
178: There was a time when school-girl prostitutes were in the public eye.
I feel like it was socially acceptable.
182：Everyone who went for interviews at a part-time job was given a 1,000 yen Quo-card (gift certificate)