The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

| Jun 14, 2014

The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

by Philip Brasor

“If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right.” — Talking Heads Last January, NHK’s nightly in-depth news series, “Closeup Gendai,” ran a feature about the practice of “poeticizing” (poemu-ka) the harsher aspects of life. It’s not a trend that’s easy to ...

Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

| Jun 7, 2014

Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

by Michael Hoffman

It seems odd to be talking about boredom in such interesting times. Are you bored? Almost certainly you are, if Spa! magazine’s insights are reliable. Polling 2,052 mid-career (age 35-45), moderately prosperous (annual income ¥4 million-¥6 million) businessmen (sic, men only), it found no ...

Young returnees aiding post-disaster Tohoku

Jul 23, 2013

Young returnees aiding post-disaster Tohoku

by Tomoki Fukae

A rising number of young people who had left their hometowns in Tohoku before the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami wrecked the region have started returning to support its recovery. Mamoru Kondo, 27, is one of many young Tohoku natives who had moved ...

Firms send new hires out to gain street smarts

Jul 3, 2013

Firms send new hires out to gain street smarts

by Yutaka Takikawa

An increasing number of Japanese companies are introducing practical experience-based training programs for new employees to boost their confidence. Ikai Co., a staffing agency based in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, required 57 employees fresh out of school to travel 50 km by hitchhiking as part ...

Disabled find new roles in workplace

Jul 3, 2013

Disabled find new roles in workplace

by Asako Takaguchi

At Sign with Me, a cafe on the second floor of a building in central Tokyo, orders are given and taken without a word being spoken. Customers and staff communicate in sign language, in writing or by running a finger over the menu. All ...