Japan - A Story of Love and Hate

Far from upscale boutiques of Ginza and lights and glamour of Shibuya here is the other ,dark and hidden, side of high-tech empire and kingdom of modernity : working  class poor .

Here is the story of the relationship , where some other needs  keep two people together ,where physical touch is long forgotten affair , the tiredness is constant state of body and mind and Viagra is too expansive.

Here is the story you probably did not know about Japan.

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In a small rural town, he met a 56-year-old man called Naoki. Once, Naoki had been wealthy – he ran a business employing 70 staff. But he’d lost all his money in Japan’s 1992 economic crash. Now he lived with his 29-year-old girlfriend, Yoshie, in a tiny, windowless room and worked for the Post Office earning the equivalent of £3.50 an hour.

Everything in Naoki’s life – job, finances, relationship – was teetering on the brink of disaster. Especially his relationship. ‘She hates me,’ he said of Yoshie, who lay sprawled on the bed two feet away and made no move to quibble with this. The two of them were members of Japan’s new ‘working poor’. Although they had jobs, they couldn’t afford to live on their combined salaries

Japan - A Story of Love and Hate-BBC

Sean McAllister's impressive documentary Japan: a Story of Love and Hate

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By Sam Clements ,Vice
Sayaka's situation isn't uncommon. A large amount of the population in Japan's biggest cities have a destructive relationship with work, literally, with many grinding themselves away to an early grave. The social phenomenon has its own word, karoshi, and it isn't death from digit-crippling labor in a sweatshop or accidents on a building site. It's suits in corporate buildings dying from strokes, heart attacks, or committing suicide after being worked to their limit.  
Karoshi was first recognized in the late 60s, when a guy in the shipping department of Japan's largest newspaper company died after having a stroke, which seemed kind of unusual for a 29-year-old, until people realized that radically overworking a human can have negative effects on the body, which somehow managed to be a surprise. Since then, cases have become relentless battles between family members of the deceased trying to prove their relatives died from being overworked, and the company in question trying their hardest to sweep it under the ever-lumpier rug.  
Temporary workers make up around a third of the Japanese workforce, which means less pay and next to no employment rights—even if they’ve been with the company for years. Lifetime employment is a long-dead relic of the past, too. Jake Adelstein spent 12 years in Japan as the first ever non-Japanese reporter at the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper—working painstakingly long days and nights, littered with just a few power-naps—and witnessed exactly how that statistic affects workers in a depressingly morbid way.
“One of the things that contributes to really crappy conditions in Japanese companies is the fact that you have all these temporary staffing agencies. If someone is in the company for over five years, then they’re supposed to be offered a full time position, but what happens is right around the time that five years is up, they get fired. This promise of lifetime employment or real employment is held out in front of them, then pulled away like a rug under their feet,” he told me.

Because people need to eat food to stay alive and pay rent if they want to enjoy luxuries like not getting seriously ill from sleeping in the cold every night, this backdrop of job insecurity has been allowed to become the norm, with particularly exploitative companies—"Black Companies," as they're known—able to work their employees to ruin. In constant fear of suddenly being replaced, workers develop Blairite abilities to please, working insane overtime without pay and even forging their recorded working hours so the company stays out of trouble. 
“When I was working at one company, we would keep two sets of books," Jake said. "We kept the set of books that we'd actually worked and the books we would turn into the Labour Standards Office. Part of your duty as a worker on the night shifts was basically forging everybody’s working hours. You might have been working for a week with no vacation and you'd write down that, instead of working, you’d been on vacation for the last three days.
“There’s a whole tradition of not logging in your overtime and to work without extra pay. It still depends on very traditional influences—there’s still this idea that age comes first. It's still widely considered to be rude or impudent to leave before the senior person does.”

Sleeping capsules—for those lucky enough to not be able to go home.

The Complete Manual of Suicide.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, so faux-weariness or not, it confirms that a huge amount of Japanese people are having a hugely shitty time, and a lot of it is because of work. In 2009, the total number of suicides rose two percent, to 32,845, which is basically 26 suicides every 100,000 people. And of the 2,207 work-related suicides in 2007, the most common reason was overwork. Although, I suppose when a country dubs an area of woodland "Suicide Forest" and sells a worrying quantity of a book titled The Complete Manual of Suicide every year, shocking statistics of people taking their own lives become much less of a shock.   
;">The Complete Manual of Suicide—which has forever been a best-seller in Japan—speaks to so many Japanese people," Jake told me. "It’s been another lousy day at the office, work has piled up and you’re way behind on your bills. You’re not sleeping, you’re tired and you have to get up at 6 AM and make that 90-minute trek to work. Then you’re going to be at the office all night again—repeating that over and over. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to sleep and never wake up again? You know, really sleep? You can see how that speaks to this mass of people whose entire lives are consumed by work.”

Read more

Suicide Forest in Japan

The Japanese Love Industry