Some jobs will eventually be obsolete and other realizations

Originally from my June 2, 2014 Blogger post with the original text

Last night, I browsed through my folder containing more folders of my anime screenshots. One of them was from an anime of the Young Animator Training Project 2010 entitled “Ojii-san no Lamp (Grandfather’s Lamp).” The YATP (or now more commonly called Anime Mirai) is a government-funded project of Japan which aims to train young animators. Each year, the project releases 4 short films. (Source: Wiki.) So here’s a little information about the anime ripped directly from myanimelist:

Anime Title: Ojii-san no Lamp; おぢいさんのランプ

Type: Movie | Episodes: 1

Status: Finished Airing

Aired: Mar 5, 2011

Producers: Telecom Animation Film

Genres: DramaHistorical

Duration: 24 min. per episode

Rating: G – All Ages

Director: Takiguchi Teiichi


A boy finds a strange object while playing hide-and-seek. His grandfather tells him the story of his own youth, and the important role the old lamp played. This story is about the modernization of Japan and the changes that came with it.

Read more here

Have you ever been in a phase in your life when you do not know what you want to become in the future? When you don’t know what future career you would like to take?

If you haven’t, then maybe it’s because you already know what you want to become and what kind of job you want to take on. Now that is a good thing.

If you have, then it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve been there. People like us just need the time of that phase to think about our future carefully and be certain of the path we will later take on—the path which we won’t regret walking on.

The protagonist who is seen to be contented of his daily life as a lamp seller, as shown in his smiling face and the brightness of his surrounding. Behind him is the cart he pulls along as he walks several kilometers from town to town.

The protagonist of the short film is the former type, one who was, for the most part, certain of his career. He enjoyed being a lamp seller or distributor. The film took place at the time when Japan already opened its doors to westernization, allowing technological advancements.

In the hometown of the protagonist, houses were distant and trees were abundant. This hometown is somewhere in the countryside of Japan. Gas lamps were popular back then, so being a lamp seller was a notable occupation. Today, we cannot find lamp sellers everywhere or in publicity.

A town where the protagonist sold his gas lamps. The striking contrast of yellow light from the aligned lamps and of the violet darkness of the evening create a soothing visual harmony. The river reflecting this night scene is a plus. Water adds tranquility to the whole picture. It really feels as if it was a happy and satisfying time of life.

If you compare their time with our generation, we can never really grasp the contentment of having a yellow light in the house, no matter how blinding the insufficient light a gas lamp could provide. Consequently, we cannot imagine how highly respected the lamp sellers were for walking long distances. They also carried with them their heavy carts which contained a lot of those gas lamps. The roads weren’t even completely flat by then because only the big cities had concrete roads while the rural areas had rocky and dusty roads. Just imagine how tough it was just to get past every stone with a heavy cart.

However, as if he didn’t see it coming, his life took a sudden downhill turn, a devastating one at that. If you define your life with what you do for a living, you might not recover right away if something happens to the industry you are working in.

The protagonist finds out that the city he traveled to had already resorted to electricity mainly to power their lamps. These new, technologically advanced lamps, however, were the very symbol of the end of the MC’s career. In this screenshot, the MC is seen to be standing with his back turned to the electricity-powered light post, which illuminated almost the whole area. The light from electricity was undoubtedly brighter than the light gas lamps could give. As if not wanting to accept the reality laid in front of him, the MC turns away from the big light post. His grief is not only shown from his sad face and the wind that blew through him, but it was also emphasized by the darker color of the MC. The photo shows the contradiction of “happiness of many, sadness of few.”

My heart ached when I was watching this scene. It was like I just stepped into the kokoro of the protagonist. I cannot fully describe this sad feeling. It is beyond what I can tell.

The protagonist, realizing that he couldn’t sell the gas lamps anymore, decides to throw away these wonderful tools of his time. Hanging them on branches of trees along the river (I don’t know how he did that. It kinda seems tiresome.) and destroying them one by one is his way of saying thank you and goodbye. What I appreciate in this scene is that the gas lamps are lighted even at their final moment. The MC doesn’t immediately throw them away. (I also think that it is pretty sadistic brave for the protagonist to bear this sad sight.)

Even now, many jobs or careers are threatened by technology. Isn’t it ironic? Humans crave for the improvement of life in the future (technology), but the current occupations are at risk. Humans make life better for the younger generation, but at the expense of the older generation. It’s just like a cycle of the give-and-take relationship of consecutive generations of humankind. The younger ones take what the older ones offer them, and the older ones give what they can offer the younger ones.

That is not entirely sad. It’s a mix of happiness and sadness. During our youth, we get to enjoy what life has to give us, but in the end, we must give back what is expected from us in the form of surrender.

I read this post several weeks ago and you might want to read more about extinct jobs.

11 responses to “Some jobs will eventually be obsolete and other realizations

  1. Pingback: 12 Days of Reminiscence #1 – Off to a good start – Anime Vios·

  2. The only thing that comes to mind right now, is that this anime made me feel so warm inside. I remember I watched it last year’s summer (together with my little sister) when I finally saw my family after two years… awww, this brings back such nice memories 😀

    • Awwwww. It’s good to know that. It’s amazing how anime makes us all feel differently–that we all create connections to some anime because of our personal life events.
      If you felt warm inside by watching this short film, I felt conflicted. It was really nice (because I like historical stuff and all), but sad at the same time (because of what happened). However, it’s just a part of life and we all have to go on with our lives.

  3. Ayun, tapos ko ng panoorin. Minosuke is a good entrepreneur of lamps. hehehe bata palang s’ya ang dami na n’yang alam gawin sa buhay. May gamit pa rin naman ang mga lampara eh, lalo na pag brownout, madalas pa namang walang kuryente dito sa atin. Hahahahaha

    Highly recommended ko na rin ‘to! 🙂 Thanks Miharusshi!

  4. this anime is interesting.. ang dami ng naka-line up na papanoorin ko.. hahahaha

    seriously speaking, I admire the courage that the main character has shown when he lighted the lamps before he destroyed them. this is also a sad reality na unti-unti ng nagiging obsolete yung mga ganitong klase ng trabaho. Tulad dito sa Philippines, nung bata pa ako, halos every week may naglalako ng mga walis tambo, duyan, salamin anything na gamit sa bahay na gawa sa kahoy tapos yung naghahatak yung baka o kaya naman kabayo. Ngayon, wala na akong nakikitang ganun. Ang huling kita ko na lang nun noong nasa probinsya ako. Sobrang dalang na, kasi halos wala na ring bumibili.

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