Osaka: Osakanization Japan

Osaka Castle with Cherry Blossoms

Osaka Castle with...

John Banagan
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These places of pleasure are all run with an eye to business, or on strictly business principles. You will probably say that in no part of the world is to be found even a single house, catering for pleasure, run deliberately with an eye to loss. What we mean is that in this city of ineradicable business instincts they believe everything good is worth money, and that more of it is worth more money. Money is therefore the standard by which all is judged. You are more likely to get your money's worth in Osaka than in any other commercial town, because they know what money is worth.

Sen to Sen and Yen to Yen, you stand a better chance in this city to receive exactly in proportion to what you give. Diplomacy and shrewdness count certainly, and so does politeness. Yet after all, money is money. In Osaka there can be no bluffing where money is concerned, as there can be, and is, in Tokyo, Kyoto and other cities where value is often represented by prestige, title, heraldry, as well as by money. Osaka men are almost all plebeians, mechanics and merchants, or those working for money, and they are not ashamed of it. If you buy so many yen's worth of pleasure, you get that much worth of pleasure; you are treated for what you are worth or for what you are willing to pay. It is no use paying a yen and trying to get 10 yen's worth of pleasure in Osaka.

All this will make it axiomatic that if you go in for pleasure-seeking at all, you had better do so in Osaka, for there you will be more certain than anywhere else to get what you pay for. The caterers go about their business in a conscientious manner and look after your wants with the efficiency of a sales-manager. The Osaka style and Osaka fashion are fast spreading over all the pleasure-resorts in Japan. Tokyo is almost annexed. The best caf├ęs on the Ginza are managed by Osaka men, and the so-called Tokyo cuisine of most Tokyo restaurants is being fast "Osakanized" in its flavors. At this rate of "Osakanization" in Japan, it is feared that Tokyo may soon become a second Nara with leisurely deer sauntering about Hibiya and browsing along the Ginza. Such is a psychological pen picture of Osaka, as it is today, and will probably be tomorrow. Yes, it is a "must" city, which one can ignore only at one's own risk.

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