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In the US, 2020 is called the year of Karen. According to Wiki, “Karen is a pejorative term for women seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal. “ A bit different from “Karen” is the Japanese 自粛警察or jishuku keisatsu. Jishuku keisatsu means “police who monitor if people are practicing self-imposed restraints.” As a matter of fact, 自粛警察 was one of the most popular words in 2020.

On January 7, 2021, Japan declared (宣言するsengensuru) a state of emergency (非常事態hijojitai) in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures for the second time. However, the declaration relies mostly on voluntary (自発的な jihatutekina) compliance (従うことshitagaukoto) as the past national experience had led the nation into war. So the government can only suggest strongly not to do this or that. Some take this as orders (命令meirei), while others take it as strong suggestions. The latter (後者 kousha) goes out for a drink or two or three. While some people in the former (前者 zensha) become 自粛警察 trying to control the latter group with their own sense of justice (正義 seigi).

自粛警察 use posts and letters to threaten (脅すodosu) some business owners anonymously as seen in the video news here.

For the Japanese, rules (規則ルール kisoku, ru-ru) are not grey but black and white. It cotradicts (矛盾するmujunsuru) their importance of ambiguity (曖昧さ aimaisa) to avoid (避けるsakeru) conflicts (対立tairitsu) and uncomfortable feelings. Rules are clear. Rules make it easy to live because you do not have to think. But you lose the ability to think. Here is an interesting case when considering what rules mean to the Japanese.

The most recent declaration of a state of emergency in January in Tokyo requested restaurants to stop serving alcoholic beverages by 7 pm, and to close by 8 pm …continue reading