With the continuing recession in Japan, it’s not unusual for young people to look for a full-time job while working a part-time job. However, the number of people looking for part-time jobs is increasing due to the long recession, making it harder to find a job that meets their criteria. In these hard times, a foreign news story about an Englishman with a strange part-time job became a hot topic in Japan.
According to the articles, Jamie Fox, who graduated from university this summer, found a job offer to protect the fields from harmful birds as a scarecrow. He was hired on for eight hours a day, £250 a week. He reads, plays ukulele, and scares the birds away whenever they come close.
When I first read this article, I thought it sounded like an easy job where you could enjoy nature. But if you really think about it, even if you are allowed to kill time, it must be mentally tough to stay in a field for eight hours. This news generated lots of comments, from positive: “I’m jealous – I wanna do it!” to negative: “ It must be harder than you think”.
Other comments included:
- “If I don’t have a job by the time I graduate, I’ll be a scarecrow. (´･ω･｀)” @miraijinnn
- “That is an English-like, elegant job.” @lacie10
- “He can take it easy in the fresh air. Awesome.” @suisuiswivel
- “It’s ok to read and play instruments…sounds like the perfect job for some people.” @Robert1118
- “I think this must be harder than we imagine.” @hokutotonanto
- “It sounds easy, but if he has to defend every plant with his life, that takes it up a notch.” @Kuroganekaren
- “If no birds come, that means he’s just sitting there for 8 hours, right? That, in and of itself, is tough.” @YAMANEME
- “The amount of time I spend thinking about the future during the free time I have at my current part-time job is depressing enough. This wouldn’t be the job for me.” @takeru_0720
- “The hardest thing for a human being is to not be able to feel anything. It seems painful to spend all that time doing nothing. I would want the birds to come.” @Honya_Hosi
- “Sounds like a crappy job, but it must be important.” @006sharpshooter
- “At airports there is a job for keeping birds away to avoid ‘bird strikes’. This [scarecrow] job may seem more meaningful by drawing this comparison.” @tyokugetu
- “It’s the same in every country – college graduates have a harder time finding a job…” @bunntyo
- “Apparently, a long time ago, people who didn’t want to work, people we call “NEET”, were put on the cross and displayed as a scarecrow…” @haruki_soudanya
I was thinking the opinions jealous of the job would be the majority, but actually, there were just as many opinions saying the job would be difficult. Lots of people thought it looked like an “interesting part-time job”, but they don’t necessarily want to do it.
I think the main reason this became such big news in Japan is that scarecrows are so familiar to Japanese people. It may depend on the age of the person or where they’re from, but the image of a scarecrow standing in a rice paddy probably comes easily to most Japanese people. Also, if you look closely, you will notice the word “scarecrow”, or actual scarecrows, everywhere in manga, old stories, and in names of shops. Since the scarecrow is such an interesting way to introduce Japanese culture, I would like to make more articles on this topic.