Saturday, December 1, 2018

Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world. It's trying to change

Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world.
Nearly one quarter of Japanese companies require employees to work more than 80 hours of overtime a month, according to a 2016 government survey. Those extra hours are often unpaid.
And the Japanese aren't taking enough time off, either. A study by Expedia found that Japanese workers on average didn't use 10 of their paid vacation days, and 63 percent of Japanese respondents felt guilty for taking paid leave.
Yet long work hours don't necessarily mean high productivity. In fact, Japan has the lowest productivity among G-7 nations, according to data from OECD Compendium of Productivity Indicators.

'Death by overwork'

The term "karoshi" translates to "death by overwork" in Japanese, and is a legal term recognized as a cause of death.
An employee of Japan's largest advertising firm, Dentsu, jumped to her death in 2015. The cause was said to have been depression caused by overwork.
The case generated widespread attention and renewed calls to change the long working hours and illegal unpaid overtime highly common in Japan.
Dentsu's CEO resigned over the controversy and the company was fined for violating labor standards as she had been reportedly forced to work 100 hours of overtime a month.
After the death, Dentsu made changes within the company, including turning off lights in the office at 10 p.m. in an effort to force employees to leave.


Konrad said...

Part 1 of 2

Japan was the most depressing place I have ever visited. Its society is pathologically competitive, beginning in grade school. If you don’t do well in school, you don’t get a job. And since job openings are shrinking, millions of males give up and live all their lives with their parents. Being unable to get a job, they are rejected by women, and are too ashamed to be seen in public. The longer they stay shut in their rooms, the harder it is to ever get out, since Japanese firms tend to take on new hires right out of school.

Hermit males are called hikikomori (“grass eaters,” or “herbivores”). There are millions of these, and the number keeps exploding. They cannot share their anguish with anyone, since they will be condemned as losers and weaklings. They live in deepest shame, since they are expected to provide for their parents, and to uphold the family honor. The more ashamed they become, the more they withdraw into paralysis.

Life in Japan is so stressful that even if you have your own business (for example, a small restaurant) a single event can cause you to withdraw from society, avoiding all human contact for years or decades. Maybe you had an extremely rude and aggressive customer. Maybe your boss reprimanded you. Whatever. It doesn’t take much to push you over the edge.

In Japan, people have two “faces.” One face, honeh, refers to your mindset, attitudes, and behavior at home. The other face, tatama-ey, is your mindset, attitudes, and behavior at work. If you don’t wear the proper tatama-ey every day at work, you can be terminated. You are expected to toil hard, and never complain about 14-hour work days. You must always be cheerful, always smile, and always be polite and self-effacing. You must never show sadness, even about the funeral of a close family member. You must always be stoic. Japanese call it “pushing through” the hardships. When the tension between the two “faces” (public and private) becomes unbearable, Japanese males shut down and withdraw. Or they commit suicide, which is another form of withdrawal.

Indeed, the Japanese have the highest rate of suicides among developed nations, and they gobble more anti-depressants than anyone on earth. When they are not toiling, they are constantly looking for ways to escape from reality. They are even more glued to their smart phones than Westerners are. Everywhere in Japan (everywhere) are pachinko parlors where men spend hours feeding steel balls into childishly colorful machines. The aim is not to win the trifling prizes, but to pass time. Pachinko induces a kind of hypnosis in which you forget reality. You merge with the machine. The goal is not euphoria, but oblivion.

continued below . . .

Konrad said...

Part 2 of 2

If you think I exaggerate, it is because you have never been there.

Social pressures cause some Japanese males to withdraw from society via workaholism. For these people, the stress caused by overwork causes them to escape into more work. Even when they are given time off with pay, they refuse to leave, since they cannot face the emptiness of their lives.

Train stations and subway platforms are the most crowded I have ever seen. Not even India comes close. And they are creepy, since everyone is a total zombie. Catatonic. Stupified.

All these pathologies occur throughout the developed world, but they are especially acute in Japan.

This is why developed nations have falling birthrates, and why they are infested with angry trans-sexual males. Modern society has emasculated middle and lower class men. And the more that men are castrated, the more women shriek about “male privilege” and “toxic masculinity.”

Antifa, Neo-Nazis, Trump-bashing, liberal-bashing, #MeToo, militant feminism, sexual frustration -- all these mutations are caused by the stresses and loneliness of modern society. You are disposable. You don’t matter. This is why many people join gangs in one form or another (e.g. Antifa, White Nationalists, #MeToo, religious cults, etc).

Many people withdraw into video games, or substance abuse, or workaholism. Or they mutate into freaks. The more freakish they become, the more they subconsciously despair, and so the more they escape still further into freakishness. All are consumed by hostility and hopelessness.

If you mention any of this, you are attacked, since you are expose society’s emptiness. Liberals call you a Nazi. Right wingers call you a Commie. Jews call you an “anti-Semite.” Trans-gender monstrosities call you “trans-phobic.” Women call you a member of the “rape culture.” On and on.

Mass despair and helplessness is why some people go berserk with they see a Trump-style “MAGA” hat. It’s why some people cheer for Democrat leaders, despite knowing that Democrat leaders despise them. (Democrat leaders represent “our team.”). It’s why people grab guns, and open fire on crowds. It’s why lonely people explode when they are purged by Twitter or Facebook. (Their online persona is all they have.) It’s why lousy songs on YouTube get hundreds of millions of views. (Obsessively watching them is a form of escape.)

Welcome to the modern world, bitches.

Konrad said...

Art major!
You’re biased against war!

(I thought I might save Franko the effort of writing.)