The March earthquake and tsunami devastated the landscape as well as the lives and livelihoods of people in the northeast.

But the effect of the catastrophe went well beyond that as it had a significant psychological impact on other Japanese who did not get a direct hit. The immense human tragedy became a profound occasion for many Japanese to reflect on their lives and work.

Their mind-set has also changed because their work-life balance has shifted after many companies began letting more employees work outside their offices amid the electricity shortage caused by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.