Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/1 14:35
Hello, everyone.
I'm a Japanese man 19 years old.
A University student.

I saw a Japanese TV commercial.
It says, "Life is a series of stress"...

Is this also said in other country?
Or, only in Japan?

I heard that Japanese people have too mach stress.

I'm not good at English language.
So please answer in easy English.
Thank you for reading.
by Mitsuru (guest)  

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/2 12:36
Are you saying that the Japanese are obsessed with stress? That would be unusual. But in many other countries, such as the United States where I live, people have lots of stress. Much of it is related to work, relationships, and money.
by ChicagoMike rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/2 13:33
Dear ChicagoMike

Thank you so for replying.
It is my first time getting reply in this forum!

Japanese adults usually say,
"Working is hard."
"Working is painful."

They don't like their work, I think.
You can see it in Japanese comics, dramas, or animations.
Is this usual in other country?

For example, my elder brother is 24 years old.
He wants to be a police officer, but couldn't pass the exam 3 times.
My parents say him,
"You are an adult.
You have to give up.
Why don't you search a random company?"

Many Japanese people choose a random work.
In companies, peculiar people are spoiled.

Is this usual?
Really, is this usual in the world?
by Mitsuru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/2 13:44

In other countries there are a lot of people that don't like their jobs. They are only doing it for the money. They think that as long as they get money for living, anything is OK. Those people might get very stressed, just like in Japan. I think it is normal and not unique Japanese way of working.

But also there are a lot of people who enjoy the work and find it interesting. The work culture and environment in Japan is generally more inflexible compared to Europe according to my experiences. So the worker can not change the working conditions to suit his preference and promotion paths are more limited. This can lead to more stress even though the worker might enjoy the job in general level.

There is also the issue of unpaid overtime, work related social events and discouraging of creative thinking that can cause stress in Japanese workplace.
by kodama (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/2 17:55
Good question. I doubt there is anywhere in the world that claims to be without stress. So the answer is yes you will find it everywhere. Japan however is growing and the idea of being placed in life by your work is slowly stopping. As other posters have said also people over the world are not looking for work that makes them happy but work that pays the money to live on. That causes stress as if you are unhappy in what you do you will feel stress.
by Willau rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/3 11:15
I read on newspaper/magazines that Japanese seldom work overtime. But judging by the hours my bf works and what he shared, it's not true.

Many years ago, maybe. But seems like alot of reality is covered by the biased, stereotyped and outdated reports. Like just because Japanese don't work overtime at this particular firm means that majority of the others don't either, right?

Also it's tough to find a job in Japan. Many college graduates work in hair salons, restaurants, etc because they cannot find a well paid job. There is nothing wrong if these are their interests but being "forced" to work at a job you dislike, that's very stressful.

I read alot of interviews of stars worldwide and there is one statement that alot like to make - that they are lucky to be working at something they have alot of passion for (acting or singing). In reality, just how many of us can claim the same thing?

I haven't found it yet. But I believe that if I keep searching, I will find it one day and cherish it.

by bebegurl rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/3 17:48
It's the same in singapore.

Long working hours, usually with no overtime pay.

University graduates doing work that has no relation to what they studied at all; selling insurance, supervising grasscutting, and so on.
by Saus (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/4 10:13
Hello! :)

I do live in Japan, but originally I'm from Germany.

This is nothing specific to Japan, you'll find it in many other countries, too.

A lot of people work in order to earn money and not because they like their work.
Some people even hate their work and that can cause a lot of stress.

With the EURO crisis in Europe a lot of peopl have lost their jobs. Not having a job can also cause a lot of stress.

The unemployment rate in Japan is actually quite low compared to many other countries, so that's certainly a good thing.
by zoomingjapan rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/11 21:47
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
-Henry David Thoreau in Walden, 1854
by Harimogura (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/12 23:17
As someone who has spent 5 years working in the US and 5 years working in Japan, I think Japan has MUCH more job-related stress. I think jobs are much more demanding, and there is much less flexibility.

For example, my friends who are teachers in Japan, cannot quit their jobs for any lengths of time. They can't go travel, or change jobs for a while, and then come back and use their teaching degree. If they quit teaching full time, they will never be a full time teacher again. In addition, they can't even choose where they live (in this prefecture). They get transferred every few years and have to go wherever the ψ tells them to go. Those things are unheard of in the US.

There are many people just working at any "random" company to make money in the US as well. That is true. But the difference is they usually don't HAVE to do that. They have the freedom to go back to graduate school at the age of 45 or do whatever they want. When I tell my Japanese friends I am going back to grad school the the age of 30 in the US next year, they can't believe it.

I love Japan though - I'm just talking about work culture here. Of course there are many advantages to living here that we don't have in the US.

I think americans have it pretty good when it comes to work and the freedom to change jobs and explore different career options. Europeans seem to have it even better!

by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/13 02:35
I agree with the above examples, but I don't entirely agree that working in the U.S. is easier. You are completely responsible for managing your career. You have to upgrade your skills, or the company will lay you off in a heartbeat. You also feel pressure to perform at a high level on a daily basis - if you don't, they outsource your job to India. Japanese companies tend to be more paternalistic.

Also in the corporate world, Japanese employees seem to have more retirement security. In the U.S. we have to self-manage our 401k's, and if we screw up, too bad.
by ChicagoMike rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/13 03:58
"Europeans seem to have it even better!"
Not necessarily, and I am not referring to the current economic problems.

In my birth country ---I live in North America now--there are lots of jobs that REQUIRES one to move to another part of the country regularly.
It is a given for many government jobs in the widest meaning possible: teachers, school principals, policemen, post-office managers, and many more.
My parents were both managers in government retirement homes and they had to move around.

They obviously couldn't buy homes as in some areas they would have lost tons of money and in others would haven't be able to afford to buy a home, so they lived in government owned rental apartments or houses within, or near to, their workplace.
Tough luck if the place needed serious redecorating, they paid for it (they moved all their appliances and even the kitchen cabinets to over a dozen homes). Tough luck if there was no bedrooms for their kids, they had to rent rooms in a neighbours' house.
From the age of 11 on, I only saw them on weekends and school holidays as there were no good schools where they were. I wasn't the only kid like that..

After college I had to go to the army, as all fit males over 18 did in those days. 2 years, unpaid (we got free room and board but families had to give us an allowance to cover all sorts of necessities).

My brother worked for a company that had work sites in many countries. Every 2-3 years he and his family moved from one country to another one..without ever knowing the languages. His kids went to school in our birth country, staying with grand parents.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/13 05:46
I live in Brazil and the image that we have in here about the japanese is that they take it too seriously - 'it' being whatever they decide to do.

It might be an exageration, but some data makes me think not so much. We have a very large number of japanese descendants in here, and it is evident that they put much more effort on their studies, their jobs.

The idea that your school results before high-school can directly influence your adulthood is unthinkable around here, but I'm told in japan you have to pass tests for the best high schools. The suicide rates are much higher than here, including that of teenagers.

Regarding jobs, I'd say we around here are somewhat between the japanese and the americans. Many of us look for carrers that we'll find fullfilling, but most see their jobs as the means for living their lives. We give too much importance to regular gradute education, which is either very expensive or very difficult to be accepted (public ones), and that makes it more difficult for people to change their carrers in the middle of their lives. However, I can't think of any carrer in which, if you decided to try something else, you would have zero chance of coming back, as was pointed out by someone.

Most of our stress would be regarding losing the job. For many years Brazil has had a very high unemployment rate, and the idea that in quiting your job you'll probably find a new very quickly is still very new - most of us are still very diffident about how long this may last also.
by CecilSoares rate this post as useful

Re: stress in Japan in the world 2013/6/13 22:12
red frog, mike, those are all very good points. I guess for me the biggest thing is having the freedom to change your career / company. Not having that terrifies me more than not having job security... but maybe that's just my american upbringing! I'm sure many people think differently. It took me 6+ years and many different types of jobs to figure out what I really wanted to do and even now I'm open to several possible options. And I just feel really bad for people I know here in Japan who are in their 20s and feel completely stuck in their career for life.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

reply to this thread