Those ropes don’t seem so innocent when you read what’s on either side of them.
Japanese society is often characterized by being one in which your profession has a huge influence on your quality of life. In many ways, it’s true, and in Japan you’ll find a work ethic, sense of craftsmanship, and pride in a job well-done unlike just about anywhere else in the world.
However, not everyone wakes up in the morning and bursts out of bed with a smile on their face, consumed by an invigorated rapture at the process of spending the day at work. For some people, the psychological drains of their employment far outstrip the economic gains, and it’s for people like them that books such as The Book to Read When You Think “I Don’t Want to Go to the Office” were written.
▼ Cover of The Book to Read When You Think “I Don’t Want to Go to the Office”
A collection of 90 essays to calm the heart and promote constructive reflection, The Book to Read When You Think “I Don’t Want to Go to the Office” is shown on the far right of the front rack of a convenience store’s magazine corner in the following photo from Twitter user @hasseijackson. Odds are many people who dread spending time at their workplace see it when they stop in to buy food or drinks on their way to or from the office, but hopefully the more depressed don’t let their eyes wander too far to the left…
高野八誠 (@hasseijackson) March 04, 2017
…where whoever stocked the rack decided to place a bookt entitled How to Tie Cords and Ropes, complete with photos of what look suspiciously like nooses on the cover.
Now, it should be noted that How to Tie Cords and Ropes isn’t a suicide guide. The cover promises applications useful for outdoor, rescue, and home scenarios, and inside you’ll find advice about what kinds of knots to tie when camping, hiking, boating, fishing, gardening, or even organizing the power cables of your home appliances and electronics. The book’s forward even begins with the sentence “Long ago, for our ancestors, being able to tie knots was a necessary, indispensable skill for staying alive and leading a full life,” showing that death is the exact ideological opposite of its intended purpose. The author, Osamu Haneda, is an established outdoor lifestyle writer who’s produced dozens of books about hiking in Japan.
But hey, maybe this is all an innocent mistake, right? To check, let’s take a look at that book that’s to the left of How to Tie Cords and Ropes. The title, written in Japanese, is 葬式●相続で困らない今のうちガイド. Read out loud, that would be Soushiki Souzoku de Komaranai Ima no Uchi Gaido, which translates to:
Things to Do Right Now for an Easy Funeral and Inheritance Process
Yeah, it’s looking more and more like this convenience store is arranging the books like that on purpose.