I went to a supermarket in Japan to buy vegetables. I grew up by the sea and loved seafood, so I bought fresh fish, prawns, and oysters. Fresh fish is processed by the supermarket itself, cut into pieces, and packed in plastic boxes. Shrimp too. The oysters were airlifted from Hiroshima, and they are already in sealed packages. As long as these three things are not struck violently, they will not leak water. However, at the checkout counter, the cashier wrapped another layer of everything in a plastic bag to prevent water leakage from wetting other goods.
Of course, the supermarkets near my house belong to community supermarkets and serve the surrounding residents. All the plastic bags are provided free of charge. You can have as many as you like without any problem. There is even a large roll of small plastic bags placed at the door of the store. How much do you want to take, please help yourself.
How to reduce the use of plastic bags and avoid affecting the environment, especially fish life, is also a common concern in Japan, and there are often discussions on TV programs. However, many community supermarkets still insist on distributing plastic bags for free for one reason-convenience. At the same time, they also believe that after customers go home, they will seriously classify the plastic bags and treat them as resource waste carefully, and will not let it fly.
There is also a touching place to go shopping in Japanese supermarkets, that is, the cashier will not throw the goods on the cash register and let you pick them up, but use another Only a shopping basket, neatly categorize the goods one by one. For example, fresh food should be put together, green onions and leeks should be put upright to prevent them from being crushed. A small shopping basket, finally deducing the perfect art of placing products.
Then I went to a nearby drug store to buy things, and the cashier sorted out many items in the shopping basket one by one according to their attributes. Unlike supermarket cashiers, cashiers in drugstores put all their products upright because most are liquid. And the bottled healthy food will not be put upside down.
In addition, products that may involve personal privacy, such as sanitary napkins, condoms, hair growth agents, etc., will be packed in other paper bags to avoid others seeing.
The cashiers of these supermarkets and drugstores are mostly housewives or female college students nearby, that is, they are all “temporary workers”. Why can temporary workers arrange their products so neatly? In addition to the pre-job training, there is also a motive force from the heart, that is, the awe of the items.
At night, when I talked about these things with Mr. Kimura, the director of our company, he gave me an explanation. He said that Japan is a country that values Buddhism. Buddhist teachings believe that everything has spirit and everything has life. For example, medicine, don’t look at it as a small pill, but when you swallow it, the creatures in the pill will display its special vitality, killing the bad cells in your body, and driving the bacteria away. Another example is a chair. If you use it frequently, scrub it frequently, and communicate with it constantly, then this chair will show its beautiful vitality and serve you well. If you ignore it for a long time and abandon it, it will be broken soon.
Another reason is that Japan is a disaster-stricken country, which is often hit by earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons. Therefore, the thought of “retribution” in Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism also made the Japanese feel awe of all things. In other words, if you don’t treat everything well, you may be retaliated against by nature.
Therefore, when the cashier thinks that these commodities will leave the store, they will walk into thousands of households, wait for people, and serve people’s lives, then, naturally, there will be awe and gratitude.
The Japanese’s awe and gratitude for everything has already penetrated their blood as a traditional ideology and culture, which is reflected in the cash register-this small stage of life.