Tag Archives: Japan

amazing feat

 The homeless in Japan are an orderly lot.  Those in Tokyo set up neat shelters of a uniform shade of blue along peripherals of green patches that dot the city.   You won’t even realise they are what they are unless you are local.


Some of these unfortunate people are quite imaginative, too.  They beg to differ.


One such woman in the southern town of Kasuya housed herself in the top compartment of a closet in someone else’s home.


It is baffling how she could sneak in and out of an occupied house, climb up and down from an upper cabinet, and remain unnoticed. 


And, doesn’t she need toilet breaks at all throughout the hours the owner was at home? I suspect she made provisions for that up there.  Perhaps the owner should thoroughly, thoroughly, check the cabinet out.


She sustained her routine for an entire year.  It was not until she started helping herself with food in the kitchen that she gave the game away.



 The Cantonese are fond of emphasizing adverbs and adjectives with the word ‘die’ – ‘hungry till you die’, ‘gruesome till you die’, even ‘happy till you die’.


In Japan, they quite literally work till they die.  Overworking is believed to be second leading cause of death after cancer.


Participation after office hours is a given.  Employees are expected to stay voluntarily even if only to mingle for rapport building.


The spotlight is now on carmaker Toyota. 


It’s response to pressure to make employees’ lives more bearable is to ‘more fully compensate workers for such meetings’ – referring to QC meetings that are held after office hours in which workers contribute ideas – up from the current cap at two hours a month.


But Toyota is missing the point.  When it should be addressing the much needed change in work culture, it is bribing its workers into silence instead: “Keep quiet.  Didn’t we pay you for it?”

Compensation with money does not ease work stress.  If anything, it makes workers feel indebted to put in more.