I’m deathly afraid of zombies.
I didn’t used to be. I used to love catching zombie movies and laughing at them.
After all, when you create a movie with a zombie fighting a shark, you can’t help but laugh at the awesomeness of it all:
But I can’t watch zombie movies anymore. Something in Japan changed me. I suppose maybe it’s the threat of a very conformist and socialized culture.
I came here knowing the famous idiom about ‘the nail that sticks out getting hammered down,” but as a foreigner, with our weird wacky ways, sometimes there’s an immense pressure to join the horde, do things their way.
“Join us!” they say, “join us!”
Just like that roving mass of zombies clamouring after you. One bite and you’re just like them. I’ve had a number of friends already bitten. They bristle when even the most minor of ‘Japanese’ social norms is broken.
“You didn’t sit in the proper alignment in a restaurant when you brought a guest out to dinner!!!!”
Yeah, so in Japan, I often have extremely vivid zombie nightmares of being torn apart by masses of punctual and precise flesh-eating monsters due to the pressures of trying to be myself (the fucked up nail).
I can’t stand to watch the movies anymore. They’ll keep me awake all night, wondering and formulating my plan for survival against the conformist hordes of brain eaters.
But as I see it, Japan might come out as a pretty good place to survive the apocalypse.
We’ll start with the Good:
Baseball bats, Bad-ass Swords, Sharp Knives
Baseball’s the national sport, so there will be plenty of zombie smashing devices all over the place. There’s also a plethora of katana swords to be found. On top of that, many Japanese knife makers are considered some of the best in the world, assuring your zombie killing blades will never dull in the face of oncoming hordes of brain chewing salarymen. You’ve seen the commercials man, Ginsu knives cut through tin cans and you can throw tomatoes in the air and slice them in half.
I live in the safest country on earth and the house I live in is barred on all the first floor windows and walled off like a cultist compound. I feel pretty damn safe here. All storefronts have pull-down metal guards to block off the entrances like we live in Mogadishu.
It’s a good thing everyone is so damn afraid of everything here. They’ve planned well for future zombie invasions. Of course it’s always those ‘safest’ places that the zombies are always able to get into somehow.
Also, everyone is always wearing masks. I’m not saying this will stop the spread of infection with zombies trying to bite you, but if you find a zombie with a mask still on their face trying to get at you, it might give you that extra layer of protection for a moment or two that might save your ass.
In 2020 the elderly population of Japan is set to reach nearly 25%. This means that there will be tons of really old zombies out there. Even in one of those ‘fast zombie’ outbreaks, your going to be encountering a lot of really, really slow zombies. Many of them won’t even have teeth.
Beware of strange forms of transportation though, as in remembering small bits of their past life, they may chase after you in wheelchairs, walkers, or perhaps even motorized wheelchairs. They’ll also still probably mutter ‘gaijin’ under their breathe.
When I go to a mall on a weekday, there are so many shambling people, sometimes I think the outbreak has already begun.
There are convenience stores on every corner of every street in every town throughout Japan (sorry Taketomi-jima, you’re fucked). This leaves literal food depots throughout your entire area of travel. Added to this fact, even the foods they throw out after one day has enough preservatives in them to keep fresh for about the next 500 years. None of the food in those places is ever going bad. You don’t have to worry about finding food here. Hell, the preservatives might even repel zombie viruses.
Not Enough Guns
Unfortunately, it’s a country seriously lacking in the gun department. In America, I know about 20 places where I could quickly get my hands on a gun. This is a bit more problematic here in Japan, where the majority of the ‘guns’ are just replicas owned by war obsessed otaku. This would be a major problem in the event of zombie attack.
Still, it’s not impossible to own a gun in Japan, and there are many hunters on this island in the countryside that own guns. Also, in America, we’d probably all just mistakenly shoot each other.
Tight Alleyways, Rugged Terrain
There aren’t a lot of wide open spaces in Japan. This would make it easy for Zombie attackers to approach at close range. Traveling through both countryside and cities would be a bitch. Getting to some high ground to defend yourself would require some rugged travel, unless of course, you could get the rope ways, gondolas, funiculars, or various other machines that dot the landscape of nearly any mountain up and running. Then you can just cruise to the top in under 7 minutes while the tourist audio tells you all the best spots on the mountain.
The intense paranoia that initially helped stop the spread of infection might also work against humanity in the long run. In the beginning, as people took overly cautious steps to avoid contamination and locked themselves away in their fortress homes, it might slow infection. Unfortunately, as things degrade, there’d be a serious lack of trust and paranoia among survivors, who might be too paranoid to lend a hand.
In America, we’d have that problem of wanting to help each other, always letting in some guy who was bitten, who’d then proceed to become a zombie and fuck everything up.
In Japan, you’d just be locked outside and fucked really.
‘Nuff said really….
In the end, I suppose I feel pretty good here about my chances in a zombie holocaust.
What do yall think? Any more tips or tricks for getting by in Japan when the ‘big one’ occurs?