Japan’s Increasing Elderly Population from SJ Pajonas author of THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER
Today is my stop during the blog tour for THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER by SJ Pajonas. This tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and runs from July 11-15 (view the complete tour schedule here). There’s a tour wide giveaway at the bottom of this post, and the first book book in the Daydreamer Detective series is free right now! We’ve got all kinds of goodies from SJ, so let’s give her a big welcome!
Japan’s Increasing Elderly Population
by SJ Pajonas
In THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE BRAVES THE WINTER, Mei is in a bind. She needs some income, just enough for a few meals per week and bus fare, but she’s not sure how to go about getting a job. She’s been applying to jobs for weeks and not seeing any results. Then one day it comes to her while soaking in the baths! An opportunity both to help the elderly and make some money for herself. She starts an elder care business with the help of her friend Akiko and gets to work finding clients. I’ve watched the elderly situation in Japan with much fascination and interest over the last few years, and I knew I wanted to make it a part of this series. But not many people understand just how precarious the situation is in Japan right now, so let’s talk about how the circumstances of prosperity, war, and recession brought the elderly to the forefront of Japan’s concerns.
You’ve heard of the Baby Boom, right? In the United States, the Baby Boom generation are all the babies that were born after World War 2 in the 1940s, and right now, these people are in their late 60s and early 70s. My parents are part of the Baby Boom generation and they’re loving life in retirement. But the Baby Boom did not happen in Japan in the 1940s after the war, it happened before the war when Japan was prospering during the very late Meiji Period that ended in 1912 and the early Taishō period before World War 2 (this time is also known as pre-Shōwa era). This was a good time in Japanese history, when they finally had a central government, stable utilities like clean water, electricity, and a thriving economy. And people there had babies, lots of them. Fast forward 90 years, and now in 2016 many of these people are still around since the Japanese live very long, healthy lives. They’ve made the entire population of Japan top-heavy, with fewer babies being born since the economic recession in Japan in the 1990s. Now the elderly population in Japan is expected to reach almost 25.2% by 2020. Let me say that again. By the time the Summer Olympics comes to Japan, twenty-five percent will be elderly.
If you need to know one thing about Japan, it’s that work is everything to them. Working at home, on a farm, in an office, being a craftsperson, or any other number of careers is the number one priority, with family coming in a VERY close second. In the post-war period, Japan’s retirement age was 55, but many people worked well into their 60s and 70s either because they loved it or they needed the money. Now that generation is in their 80s, 90s, and 100s and needs support from children or the government until their time on Earth has ended. With a dedicated workforce that hardly ever takes time off, how are the children able to care for elderly parents?
Let’s face it, many cannot take the time off of work to care for elderly parents so they turn to retirement homes for help. But because the population is so top-heavy, many facilities are both overrun and understaffed. Innovation must take over! And with things like workshare programs, more part-time positions, government assistance for those training to help in elder care, and even new robots that will unburden care givers, Japan is in a race against time to get this situation sorted out.
It’s my hope that by the time 2020 rolls around, Japan will have this situation under control. With much of the workforce focused on this problem, we must hope for the best!
Start this series for free!
The Daydreamer Detective, the first book in this series is free for a limited time! You can grab your copy of The Daydreamer Detective for free on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and iBooks!
December has set in and just when the rural town of Chikata is recovering from one murder, Mei and her new boyfriend, Yasahiro, find their friend, Etsuko, dead in her apartment. Etsuko was sweet and talented, and now everyone suspects her longtime boyfriend killed her. Mei doesn’t believe it, though, and she vows to help solve the crime.
But Mei has more to think about than murder. With the barn gone and their vegetable stores destroyed, she and her mother are down to their last canned goods and no money for heat. Mei’s mom is fortunate to find work, but Mei must fend for herself, get a job, and keep their financial situation a secret from Yasahiro. In pursuit of paying work, she stumbles onto a new witness to the crime, and before long, the dead woman’s secret life unravels before everyone’s eyes. Half-starving and out of her element, Mei is on thin ice, and it’s going to take a whole lot of ingenuity and quick thinking to solve the crime before the killer gets to her as well.
You can find The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter on Goodreads
“Bye, Chef-san!” The men and women who worked in the kitchen filed out the door, waving and calling goodbye, and walking through the empty restaurant. I caught a glimpse of Ana buttoning her coat to go outside before the door swung closed.
Yasahiro waved to them and turned back to me. He sighed, and brushing his fingers on the side of my face, said, “Here come the clouds.”
“What?” I was breathless every time he touched me.
“There’s a famous photographer, I’ve forgotten his name, who took thousands of photos of Mount Fuji throughout his entire life. He used to say he was in love with Mount Fuji, going so far as to call it Fuji-ko, like the mountain was his wife.” Yasahiro pulled over another stool to sit next to me, and I turned to face him. “He would say, ‘I married such a fickle woman because I can never tell what mood Fuji-ko will be in today.’” Yasahiro’s lips quirked. “I saw that painting of Mount Fuji in the bathhouse, and I just knew that you painted that fickle mountain because you identified with it. Cloudy and misty one moment. Clear and bright, shining like a diamond another.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
He took my hand in his. “It’s a compliment. I like complex women. I like that you keep me on my toes, that you don’t take anything for granted. I never know what to expect with you, at least not yet. I hope to have lots more time to learn all your little quirks.” He leaned into me, and I stayed very still, absolutely shocked by his words. I’d never been compared to Mount Fuji, our greatest national treasure, and I didn’t feel I deserved that kind of a compliment. He dragged his nose along my cheek to my ear and kissed to my jawline. I scrunched up and smiled, giggling at the contact.
Luck? Forget it. Mei Yamagawa is fresh out of it. She’s just been downsized from her 3rd job in five years and her bank account is dry. Now, to keep her head above water, she must leave Tokyo and move back to her rural Japanese hometown. And there’s nothing worse than having to face your old rivals and ex-boyfriends as a failure while starting life over as a farm girl.
But when her best friend’s father is murdered, and her best friend is named the main suspect, Mei turns her daydreaming ways towards solving the crime. Between dates disguised as lunches with the town’s hottest bachelor chef, searching for clues, and harvesting sweet potatoes, Mei has a lot of non-paying work cut out for her.
Will she catch the killer before her bad luck turns worse? Or will she fry in the fire with the rest of her dreams of success?
You can find The Daydreamer Detective on Goodreads
About the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter. One winner will win a bundle of S. J. Pajonas ebooks. Including: Removed, Revealed, Washing Statue Wanderlust, and The Daydreamer Detective.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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