I am always fascinated with how Japan votes in the worldwide polls on the Nintendo Wii’s channel, “Everybody Votes Channel”. Almost always Japan is what I call a wild card; that might not even be the appropriate term there. Japan almost always votes to the most extreme either left or right, depending on the question.
Everybody Votes Channel for the Wii gives users options to vote for one of two options. A basic question might be, “Which came first?” The two options would be “The Chicken” and “The Egg”. These are designated by pink and green colors. A user of this channel would simply pick up their Mii character that acts as themself to vote for whichever of the two they would rather answer. The results are released a few days later; for worldwide polls, the results come two weeks after the open of that particular poll. The results include some overall results and can also be sorted by country.
Now, in Japan’s case, the results are almost always the most pink of any country or the most green. For example, let’s say the worldwide poll was “Which food do you like better?” with the options of “Japanese” (pink) and “Chinese” (green). Now, this question was never used for a worldwide poll (it was actually used for a national poll, which only includes the U.S. states and some territories), but we could expect the answer to be displayed so that Japan’s ‘bar’ (of green and pink) reveals a majority of pink and not so many people who voted for green. That would be expected for a question like the one I posed; there’s an obvious bias there, but you still get the idea.
So if you understand that, please understand these two questions I will now analyze and reveal the ‘answers’ to. The first question was from a while back; at least several months ago now. “Do you believe in fortune-telling?”, with the choices of “Yes” or “No”. I of course answered, “No”. Guess which country, out of all the countries polled (mostly first-world) had the most users respond “Yes” to this question? Japan. This may or may not be surprising to readers of the blog. For me, it was just a poignant piece of information. I have seen fortune telling businesses in Tokyo, Japan. Actually, it was basically just one lady sitting in a shopping mall, who was dressed moderately nicely (yeah…moderately nice…ly).
I read in my Japan missions book of a story of how one man would turn to fortune-telling for his life. He felt like he had to know things, and he would shell out money for this service. This is very interesting because to many Americans, fortune-telling and psychics are less popular of businesses. Sure, they’re out there, but I don’t know anybody who turns to these services. I remember how a psychic went to audition for American Idol, and how she had predicted beforehand how she would win the audition. She didn’t, and speaking to the cameramen, the mother had said how she had just read the cards incorrectly.
Do we keep trusting someone when they are wrong? You can see how sucked up people are in this when they take an instance of failure of predicting and just blow it off as a simple mistake. I grew up with the logic that if you keep trying something and it continues to not work, you would be a fool to keep trying it again. Now, this doesn’t mean that this principle applies for everything. But if I test-run a bridge, and it collapses every single test-run do to weight, then I might not give up on the bridge completely, but I should at least develop an alternative to constructing it.
That Japanese man who believed in fortune-telling heard of a prophecy about the end of the world, and he wanted to know who was the person behind this prophecy. Turns out it was in the Bible. If the Bible had proved void, we might not want to believe it. But the Bible hasn’t; thus it can be trusted. Notice that it can be trusted. I know that most people won’t trust it. It’s one thing to take it with a grain of salt-it’s another to throw out the Bible altogether, especially if the reason for throwing the Bible out is emotional. We might not like what it says, but if it’s true or can be trusted, we should at least know what it says. Further, if God has appointed the Bible, then it would be wise to take it as something that God us to abide by.
The second question on this channel on the Wii called, “Everybody Votes Channel” ended last week. The question was, “Are you relatively…” with the choices of “Optimistic” (pink) or “Pessimistic” (green). I was a bit surprised to see what, again, was the country with the most of one color. Can you guess which country beat all the other countries with respondants that were mostly “Pessimistic”? Japan. I guess I was surprised because while I thought that perhaps Japanese people were pessimistic on the inside, I suspected that many would still answer that their lives are “Optimistic”. I guess not.
It would be difficult to pinpoint a demographic of who answered. Perhaps it was people with more free time or more money-people who would be more likely to own a Wii. I don’t know too many college students with Wiis in Japan. But still, it’s telling of many people in Japan. I would really wonder why they answered that they are relatively pessimistic. I really want to know why. Any ideas, readers? I really am curious as to why this is the case.
Perhaps a better question would be how we respond to this. Especially for Christians, one who may even be considering studying abroad, this has very interesting implications. Can their lives be filled with joy and optimism with Jesus? I think it can. One might argue that people don’t need Jesus to be happy/optimistic. I guess I would agree. But I would reply that if they can find their happiness, peace, joy or optimism in Jesus, what is so bad or wrong with that option? It’s up to the individual, of course. People need to decide if Jesus and Christianity is for them. But I think we can at least let them know it’s an option.