I'm writing my thesis on the newly perceived generation of さとり世代. My Japanese reading is fairly good but I have this one article that I cannot crack.

My question is regarding the meaning of a word in context, and an expression in context: 矛先 and 逃げ切る

So far I get that the first means arrowhead, and the second, according to jisho.org means to either "get away" or "manage to hold on".

The context:

the article is about generational differences in behavior and the forseeable demografic crisis, when the number of old people will be relatively too high in proportion to the workforce. The article uses the notion of generations to further elaborate on the differences facing young and older people now, in Japan.

The article especially focuses on the babyboomers 団塊世代and the さとり世代.

I'm gonne quote some passages from the article, and hopefully someone out there can tell me what  矛先 and 逃げ切る means in this context.

the title of the article is: 若者のエネルギーが小さく矛先見えない「さとり世代」The writer probably means something like "the young peoples initiative is pretty much invisible", but I'm just not sure. what is the meaning of this phrase?

the following first line of the article then goes:

本当に「団塊世代」は「逃げ切り世代」に入るのでしょうか。 what does nigekirisedai mean?

is it because the generation is running away from their responsibilities by not leaving the same work conditions, that they themselves enjoyed, to the next generations? Or is it that "they simply will not die?"

another sentence that uses the arrowhead thing:

ところがさとり世代になった途端、エネルギー自体が小さくなり ”矛先すら見えない” 状態です。「同世代の若者はエネルギーの矛先が同じ一方向」が前提の世代論ですが、戦後初めてかなり特殊な若者が出てきたという意味では、特筆すべきです。

the whole "energy getting small", is just not reading well with me. What does it all mean?

Hope you can help me, my professor went on holiday already and the deadline is approaching ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • 矛{ほこ} is not an arrow though, it's more of a spear/halberd/naginata sort of a thing.
    – sazarando
    Jun 30, 2016 at 13:53

1 Answer 1

  • 逃げ切り世代 refers to that last generation that gets out just a bit more than they put in to their social security pension (people born about 1964 according to the article below). Any younger and they would start getting out less than they put in.

Source: allabout.co.jp article here

  • 矛先すら見えない literally means, "(they) can't even see the tip of the spear". The "tip of the spear"(矛先)is a metaphor for for the "direction of attack" and in this case probably means something like "where the Satori Generation directs their energy".

So, the young folks have low energy and what little they do have, they don't know what to do with.

Get a job you hippies!

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