In recent years, it has become something of a trend in Japan to combine the suffix “hara,” the katakana abbreviation of the English word “harassment,” with various words to describe newly recognized types of harassment. Thus the term “matahara” (the “mata” coming from “maternity”) refers to the harassment of pregnant women. “Aruhara” is the pressure to drink alcohol, and “patahara” is the harassment of men who choose to take paternity leave.

Pawahara,” or “power harassment,” is another such coinage, though it’s a little older, dating back to around 2003. “Power harassment” isn’t a term in English (except as a loanword from Japanese), and it refers to what English-speakers might call bullying or abuse of authority. It’s used for the boss who screams at his staff and makes unreasonable work demands, or the company that assigns someone meaningless work as a punishment for perceived insubordination.

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