Why Japanese Males are always working?

The same thing can be said of the act of work itself. One feels shame if one is enjoying oneself while someone else is working hard. This sense of guilty is the basis of the idea that “work is good, play is bad”. Foreigners often ask why the Japanese males work so very hard. But I think the Japanese attitude toward work is only natural given that they are basing their thinking on the concept I have just mentioned.

But it is also true that this single concept is not the whole story. There is an old saying in Japan: “If there is pain, comfort will follow.” In other words, there is always hope for the future as long as effort is exerted in the present. And this, I feel, is also one of the reason for the diligent work attitude of the Japanese.

japanese male

Japanese Male

It can also be said that the Japanese people have an extremely strong sense of belonging. This sense of belonging is particularly strong in relationship to the family and the hometown, and once a person has taken a position in a company, that company also becomes the object of this same attitude — one always has a place to return to.

In Japan, it is traditional for a person to stay at the same company for his entire working life. It is for this reason that the sense of belonging to one’s company is so very strong. People always speak of the company where they work as “my company” or “our company”. And when Japanese males are asked what sort of work they do, it seems to be common practice to begin explaining their job by giving the name of the company to which they belong.


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