Teens! Online!

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TIME: Older people complain about young people's sexual behavior like kissing in public, going to love hotels, and living together. What is your reaction? Chocho: I don't think it's bad to kiss in public. Kosuke: I think that's a matter of individuals' freedom. Mixkick: I think people are free to do anything they want so long it does not violate law and public morality. But we probably shouldn't do anything we would feel ashamed towards our offspring. Daru: Morality is not designed by anybody, so it's natural that it changes its shape as time goes by. It is arrogant of older people to press their understanding of morality on the younger generation. Kosuke: I agree with that. Chocho: That's right, times change ! Daru: On the other hand, I feel there are certain moral codes of the time you have to abide by. Master: I think Western movies have had some influence (on our behavior). American movies have flooded this country after the war. I long for the pre-war days. Young Japanese these days are losing their Japanese-style purity. Mixkick: People go too far, sometimes, though. Mimi: There are certain things I can't condone like enjo-kosai, to date men they don't even like. They are doing it just for money. (Enjo-kosai refers to paid services schoolgirls provide to older men and could range from merely having meal together to having sex.) Chie: More and more people these days act without thinking. Daru: But I am upset when people draw a general image of young people based on the behavior of a limited population. Chie: Right. They make it sound like everybody is doing it. Chocho: What the media describe as today's high school students are often warped. F-Dairi: I agree with that. Master: They never talk about good aspects of today's high school students. Chocho: I am very upset. Mimi: The media violate people's privacy when they search for materials to report. Rin: They have to realize that each person is different. Kosuke: But you can't blame them all to the media. Masa: Media is also to blame. Their job is to write entertainingly. Master: We are to blame as well for believing what the media says. Chie: Young people are sensitive to information, so we are vulnerable. TIME: So, would you say that high schoolers aren't, in reality, involved in such thing as enjo-kosai as much as some people think? Kosuke: I think they are very few. F-Dairi: Don't know how few they are but probably not as many as the media say. Chie: I never heard about anyone doing it (around me). Masa: That's the truth (that only few people do enjo-kosai). Didn't you realize that? Mimi: I don't think there are that many. Master: This is why you have to question the media. Mimi: I knew just one girl who did enjo-kosai. TIME: What did you do when you found out she was doing it? Did you tell her to stop? Mimi: We stayed friends but I did tell her to quit. It's up to them what to do, but I told her that it was in her best interest to stop. Mixkick: We should give them carefully worded message of warning. If we get angry, it often does not work. Chie: I think some girls do it out of curiosity. Enjo-kosai just hurts those who do it. TIME: What do they actually do? Mimi: Don't know the details but she said something like fleeing from the hotel room while the guy was taking shower. She said she wanted money. TIME: Tell us a little bit about ijime (bullying). Chocho: I was once subject to ijime when I was in junior high. Not anymore. Kosuke: Yes, I do see people who are bullying. F-Dairi: People bullied me at one time. Chie: There isn't much ijime in high school. TIME: What kind of ijime were you subject to? Chocho: They put garbage in my shoes, and messed up my pen case, etc. (Students change shoes at school and keep their indoor shoes at school.) F-Dairi: They would ex-communicate me and backbite me. Master: I had my shoes stolen. It's frustrating because you don't know who is doing it. Kosuke: I used to bully people, but now I stop people who bully others. TIME: Next topic. What are you angry at? Anything in the society, school, or individual that you are frustrated with? F-Dairi: I am angry at my mother. After she gave birth to me, she abandoned me. Now, she wants to bring me over to her. Chocho: I am mad at the media. I am upset about their distorted reporting. Mixkick: Election. Daru: I want them to lower the eligibility age. Master: Actually, I want them to lower the age of politicians. We can't entrust politics to those who are like 90. TIME: Tell us what your future plans. Do you have any dreams? F-Dairi: I want to be an illustrator and design advertising posters for CDs and stuff. Chocho: I want to be a funky medical doctor and have a happy family. Master: I wanna join the self defense force or the national police. TIME: Why? Master: I wanna work for my country that I love and for people I want to protect. TIME: (From the evening session.) The older generation tends to complain about young people's behavior in public places, like eating on the train, putting on cosmetics, sitting on the floor and having picnics, against which there are unspoken rules in Japan. Supika: What's wrong with those? Yuyu: I wouldn't worry about that. DJ: It's probably not a good idea to be in the way of other people. Putting on cosmetics should be OK. You are not really troubling other people. F: What's wrong with putting on cosmetics on the train? Asuka: Those things make me feel sick myself. I hope you won't think that just about everyone is like that. Lisa: We shouldn't do anything that annoys others but adults often do the same. Nohji: Why do they make a fuss about putting on cosmetics? Emi: There are many older people who are bad mannered. This type of people exists across generations. Nell: I think such behavior is indecent. Totomesu: I think we sometimes are (rude). When we are so engrossed in our conversation, we just lose touch of things. Supika: I agree with Lisa. There is about the same ratio of bad mannered people in every age group. Asuka: But I think it's kind of gross (putting on cosmetics on the train). Sometimes it makes me feel stick. DJ: But it is hard to avoid that if you didn't have enough time to make up your face (before you leave home). Yoshi: Often, young people do not realize that they are rude. The problem with the adults' rudeness is that they knowingly do it. Yo: It's not a question of whether you are a high school student or an adult. It's a question of whether you are good mannered as a human. Lisa: How do you explain molesting (chikan) on the train? That's worse that public rudeness. It's a crime. And it's grow-ups who do those things. Ebichin: There are people who are so busy they have to eat while commuting. Mana: I hate those molesters. I wanna kill them!TIME: On to the next subject. What do you guys do after school? DJ: I do my sports club activities or go to an arcade. Gutoku Kaicho: I am the student body president! Busy doing that. Supika: I have a part-time job. I study, too, and then go to PC for a break. Wabi: I go to juku. I am studying for the college entrance exam. Yo: I do part time job to help my with my family's income. On weekends, I participate in club activities. Yuyu: I do club activities. Uppi: I am absorbed in DDR. I also play the guitar. Yukito: Part-time job and DDR. Shu: I ride my motor bike while smoking cigarettes. Mana: When there is a club activity to do, I participate in that. Otherwise, I go to karaoke, arcade, or just hang out under the sun. Emi: I often just talk with my friends. On weekends, I go shopping, go to Karaoke and see movies. Nobu: Juku, karaoke, bowling, browsing at bookstores, etc. Foolmen: I am making a short film with my video camera. TIME: What kind of part-time job do you do? Yuyu: I work at a fast-food restaurant. Yuri: I work as a cash registrar. Yo: I sell toys to kids. Nell: I sell cellular phones and deliver parcels. TIME: How much do you guys get paid? Nohji: If you work at convenience stores, it ranges between 650 and 1000 (yen). Shu: 640 an hour. It's so low. Yuyu: It's about 650 here in Fukuoka. Supika: I get about 850 an hour and make about 30,000 to 40,000 a month. Yuyu: I have a friend who makes money by doing enjo-kosai. Lisa: Enjo-kosai is no good. She should stop. Yuri: Enjo-kosai should be avoided at all cost. (There followed a chorus of attacks on those who do enjo-kosai.) Gutoku Kaicho: Why is it [enjo-kosai] bad? There is demand and you get paid accordingly. That's capitalism. Yo: You should have sex with a guy you like. Totomesu: Do you want Guccis and Louis Vittons by doing enjo-kosai? Yoshi: Don't you feel your pride is hurt by selling yourself for like 20,000 yen? TIME: How common is the use the Internet among Japanese high school students? Gutoku Kaicho: There aren't that many. Nohji: I don't see that many who are doing it. Nobu: I do think people here are behind. There are many people who would like to do it. Ebichi: I am the only one who is doing it in my class. Minori: I think the cost (for surfing the Net) is an inhibiting factor. There are quite a few who are familiar with the PC. Supika: Maybe like 10% of the people in my class are on the Net. Yo: The way the teachers teach computers is bad. They tend to focus on profound aspects of computers and make it difficult to learn. Koba: The phone cost is breaking me. Mana: The phone costs here are too high! Totomesu: We should make the government pay for these things. Applecake: I am actually leaving here since the phone bill is soaring.