Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Japan's disposable workers

Aeon has posted a short documentary on those in Japan unable to find or keep full-time jobs. Estimated to comprise more than a third of the nation's labor force, temporary workers earn a fraction of their former pay, and therefore many have sought housing in low-rent cubicles available in Internet cafes. This video made by Shiho Fukada tells the compelling story of two net-cafe refugees--how they got there, how they manage to endure, and what they hope to become.

Note that the video is part of Japan's Disposable Workers, a larger project sponsored by MediaStorm that is documenting the changing nature of employment and hardship in that nation. In addition to addressing net refugees, this excellent collection includes films and stories about such subjects as workplace stress, depression, and karoshi (death by overwork) and karojishi (work-induced suicide).    

For more information in this blog about net-cafe residents, see Poverty in Japan by Carol Walden and Earl Venne.   

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