A Singaporean TikToker and her companion became very emotional after they saw several elderly Japanese people eating alone in a ramen restaurant while visiting Japan.
Shannon Taylor, a Singaporean influencer, shared a video on her TikTok channel on Wednesday showing their emotional reaction after seeing the restaurant was filled with elderly Japanese people eating alone.
@shannontaylortwP sure everyone there was judging us😫 I love old people😫♬ original sound – shannontaylortw
“Point of View: You put two empaths together in a restaurant full of old people eating alone,” Taylor’s on-screen caption reads.
The video starts with Taylor dabbing her teary eyes before showing her companion, who is also crying, and telling her friend, “It’s too much.” A few seconds later, the camera pans to the rest of the restaurant and reveals that almost all of the patrons are solo elderly diners.
Speaking to AsiaOne, Taylor admitted that she has a soft spot for the elderly and often finds herself feeling sad whenever she sees them alone or working.
“It’s not because I am pitying them, but because I think that old people should not be working,” she said. “Instead, they should be enjoying the rest of their lives on this beautiful earth.”
Similarly, other TikTok users in the comments shared the same sentiment, with one writing, “PLS I started tearing up too,” and another commenting, “The way that my heart felt heavy when I saw them.”
Some TikTok users, however, were not very supportive of the content creator’s decision to film random strangers.
“Imagine being an elderly person just enjoying your meal perfectly fine by yourself and two ladies are crying looking at you,” one person wrote.
“This is my fear. I like eating alone sometimes, but one day when I’m old some young thing is going to look at me for it with pity. Stop it,” another user commented.
Over a decade ago, Japanese people reportedly saw eating alone as embarrassing as they feared that doing so would make them appear friendless in the public’s eye, especially in a school or office cafeteria setting.
Those who had no choice but to eat alone would resort to eating their meals in a bathroom stall, giving birth to the social phenomenon known as “benjo meshi” or “toilet lunch.”
While conformity was paramount in Japan at the time, the country has seen a drastic shift in how its society perceives eating alone in public as its citizens are now starting to embrace being solo, according to BBC in 2020.
A TikTok user named Jin from Japan went viral in October after visiting Ichiran, a ramen chain in Japan that offers solo cubicles for people who wish to eat alone and undisturbed. His video has been viewed over 8.3 million times as of writing.
Featured Image via PxHere