The Culture of Hard Work among the Japanese: Between Ethos and Consequences

Noer Huda By Noer Huda
3 Min Read
Budaya Kerja Keras Orang Jepang: Antara Etos dan Konsekuensi
Budaya Kerja Keras Orang Jepang: Antara Etos dan Konsekuensi

jlk – There is a land in the Far East known for its ethos of hard work, and that land is Japan. The people there are renowned for their dedication and perseverance in their work. However, does their hard work truly pay off? Let’s delve deeper into this.

Japanese workers often spend more time in the office than they do at their own homes. They work tirelessly, relentlessly, going through their routines like machines. This isn’t just an exaggerated claim but a stark reality faced by many workers in Japan.

According to data from the OECD, in 2020, the average worker in Japan worked around 1,644 hours per year. Although this figure shows a decline since the 1980s, there are still groups of workers who diligently put in overtime hours.

However, behind the hard work lies serious consequences. The term “karoshi,” which refers to “death from overwork,” often comes into the spotlight in Japan. This phenomenon is a result of a highly demanding work culture and strong social pressures.

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Yet, the story isn’t entirely bleak. Many Japanese workers actually have unused vacation days. Despite having the right to rest, many choose not to take their leave. The reasons behind this vary, ranging from company pressures, cultural norms, to feelings of guilt.

So, why are the Japanese renowned for their hard work? The answer may lie in their culture and societal expectations. They are known for having a strong work ethos and loyalty. However, the question remains: does this signify that they are true hard workers? Or are they merely victims of a burdensome work culture and deep-seated social pressures?

In conclusion, let us reflect on a wise quote that states, “Hard work is indeed important, but the balance between work and life is equally crucial.” Perhaps, from the story of Japanese hard work, we can learn the importance of maintaining a balance between work and personal life.

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