A new term has entered the Japanese lexicon: Oyagacha, which combines the words “oya,” or “parent,” and “gachapon,” those simple vending machines containing plastic capsules, each with a different small toy inside. “Oyagacha” represents the idea that a person cannot choose their parents, just as, when a person puts a coin in the gachapon machine and turns the crank, they can’t choose which toy they get.
Oyagacha is used to explain social phenomena. In a piece written for Asahi Shimbun’s Koron section on Oct. 14, University of Tsukuba sociology professor Takayoshi Doi says an individual’s approach to the wealth gap issue may depend on their age. When talking about opportunity, people from older generations argue that achieving your goals is all about making an effort, while younger generations say that effort doesn’t guarantee anything.