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Desc:'Internet cafe refugees are mostly temps; their salary too low to rent their own apartments'
Category:Horror, Science & Technology
Tags:Japan, cyberpunk, dystopian, internet cafe, salarymen
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Comment count is 32
Cena_mark - 2015-03-15
Does or did Japan ever have a powerful labor movement? Seems like life has sucked there for working Joes as of late. This video makes it seem like the only two choices out there for people are underpaid part time and temp workers or super over worked and stressed full time workers. Nether seem like decent options.
Shanghai Tippytap - 2015-03-15
Who needs a labor movement when you have the fair and just hand of the free market? Clearly these quitters are just lazy and expect to get everything without a little thing called 'hard work'.

maybe they should be investigating volunteer opportunities or unpaid internships to get their feet in the door.

Doomstein - 2015-03-15

A fairly interesting read.

Cena_mark - 2015-03-15
Good read indeed, but I have another question about the working people in Japan. I don't know if the culture changed or if it was just a myth. I grew up hearing about Japan's corporate culture of loyalty. I heard that Japanese people would likely work for one company their whole life and never fear getting laid off or fucked over. Was this ever true? I'm sure if it was the harsh realities of the lost decade (I figure its lost decades at this point) has changed that.

Nikon - 2015-03-15
It hasn't helped. The push for allowing more kinds of temporary contracts in different job areas also had a big impact.

Void 71 - 2015-03-15
Going by what the second guy had to say, salarymen can keep their jobs as long as they don't mind working 12+ hours a day, never getting a raise if their boss doesn't like them, and being treated like dog shit in general. Assuming firing is something that doesn't happen very often (which inherently limits the pool of available jobs), it's probably a huge black mark on your work record if you resign from your job. If you didn't fit into Japan's rigid corporate hierarchy somewhere else, the thinking is probably that you won't fit in at the position you're applying for. Add to that the fact that Japanese companies are increasingly using temp workers to replace traditional salarymen and you have the recipe for corporate feudalism.

Cena_mark - 2015-03-15
The brilliant bastards. They're bringing back the Shogunate.

SolRo - 2015-03-15
It's really not so different from what has been happening in America...all the job growth recovery has been mostly temp or minimum wage.

And instead of the corporate culture of Japan, we have the temp work feudalism, where out of hundreds of people, a handful will get brought in for full employment and the rest discarded. You better be ready to suck your managers cock while working after hours.

Nikon - 2015-03-15
@SolRo Affordable housing is a real problem in big cities. Maybe we should have net cafes in America.

Void 71 - 2015-03-15
The one major advantage Japan has over America is their restrictive immigration/foreign worker policy. Unlike America, they aren't replacing their native citizens with an endless stream of cheap foreign labor. They also have a world-class mass transit system, which means that it's possible for a large percentage of the population to live without the expense of owning a car. Their cities are a hell of a lot safer, too.

It's no surprise that Japanese society has turned into a passive-aggressive white-collar nightmare when they've done nothing but push their children into these soul-crushing salaryman jobs for decades. Maybe trends will eventually shift toward skilled trades and blue-collar work in general. I bet there's a surplus of jobs for people who are willing to get their hands dirty. At some point, Japan's obsessive focus on climbing the class ladder will have to give way to economic reality.

Aress - 2015-03-15
Lol the mind of economic illiterates. Japan has been stagnant for decades, have you tried labor unions?!

Anaxagoras - 2015-03-15
What? After a decade of stagnation is precisely when you want labor unions the most. When the economic pool hasn't increased, it's in labor's best interest to collectivize in order to ensure that the owners & upper management don't continue to accumulate more of the economic pie at the expense of labor.

badideasinaction - 2015-03-15
From looking there rent is comparable to big cities (it's cheaper than here in Toronto, but that's not saying much) in terms of "bare minimum place to live" but besides first and last month's, you need a deposit and "key money" which can be up to or more than 3 months' rent as a finder's fee to the landlord, meaning you often need six months rent up front just to move in, and you immediately lose three of those months.

Baron_Von_Bad_Beaver - 2015-03-15
@ SolRo

You're about 20% right if what you're talking about is office work. In the US at the moment there is a growing gap in employment for blue-collar jobs vs white collar jobs. Most people are told growing up that office work is the most desirable job category, what with all this technology and internet and shit, why work in the fields like a peasant? The reality is that office jobs that require a college education are heard to get, and don't often pay all that well, and that you may need an internship (that is unpaid) to get your foot in the door.

On the other side, with the economic recovery, construction and infastructure expansion is on the up, and that means that there is a need for technical jobs, like electricians and carpenters and masons, skilled labor that requires training, but offers great pay. But they have a hard time finding workers that are skilled enough, or educated enough to retain them.

I'm training to become a linesman at the moment, when I pass my initial tests and finish school I'm going to earn about 52K$ a year starting out, more than most college graduates. The problem people have understanding here is that there are more jobs, but they're "dirty" jobs, and most people don't want to work outdoors it seems.

fedex - 2015-03-15
"And instead of the corporate culture of Japan, we have the temp work feudalism, where out of hundreds of people, a handful will get brought in for full employment and the rest discarded. You better be ready to suck your managers cock while working after hours."

This immediately reminded me of Tristan A. Farnon's DILBERT satire from Leisuretown, especially #4 and #14


SolRo - 2015-03-15
I'm working towards being an auto mechanic myself.

I'll be the guy making 100k at a dealer while people bitch about an oil change on their 3series, that they can barely afford on their corporate salary, costing 0.

Baron_Von_Bad_Beaver - 2015-03-16

Going to vocational school? In the US? I know a Russian guy in my school near Baltimore. That's about it.

Hooker - 2015-03-15
Is there a worse developed nation? The more I read about Japan, the more I think I'd prefer to live in even Russia.
infinite zest - 2015-03-15
It really hit me when I was there for an arts exchange program when I was 13, when I was still too young to really understand. Our sister city was Sapporo (we were going to visit Tokyo too but the subway attacks had just happened a few months before) and it was the biggest culture shock I'd ever experienced. Our first week we stayed in the former Olympic village, and we got to spend our free time walking the streets. For a kid really into video games and J-culture like myself, it was so cool! But as we moved in with homestays in subsequent weeks the reality really set in. That's arguably the case anywhere, but it seemed like a much larger dichotomy than anything I'd ever seen in large US cities.

infinite zest - 2015-03-15
Or England, or Australia, I guess that's about all the places I've been, always on tour with arts groups and never just as a tourist staying in a hotel or something.

Chocolate Jesus - 2015-03-15
Zest, something tells me there is more to your Japan story and I want details!

badideasinaction - 2015-03-15
I have friends working more or less permanently in Japan (i.e. not just teaching English) as well as people teaching and the consensus is that Japan turns you into a workaholic whether you like it or not. After that you either drift to where your tiny apartment fills up with collectible crap or you can fit all your valuables in a backpack.

fedex - 2015-03-15
yeah Zest, tell on! What exactly was the 'reality' that set in???

infinite zest - 2015-03-15
Pretty much what badideasinaction said: imagine being in a city with so much light and vibrance and activity and traveling to the suburbs and finding what's basically a shantytown and factories upon factories of underpaid (albeit dedicated) female workers. That's where my homestay mom worked, and that's probably where her children work now. Such a sight isn't anything new: I haven't been there, but Jamaica and the Bahamas are good examples of this as well, but the towns themselves are literally for the rich tourists; they're a hotel-city and then the workers go home. Whereas in cities in Japan, it feels very.. I don't know, lived in.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2015-03-15
Hmm. I wonder why Japan's suicide rate is the third highest on the planet.
Raggamuffin - 2015-03-15
They live like well groomed PoeTV users
dairyqueenlatifah - 2015-03-15
It's true. I know people who willingly live like this.

(Ten years ago I'd of thought these guys were living the dream.)

Nikon - 2015-03-15
I didn't live there, but I stayed at net cafes when I was traveling around Japan on the cheap. They were much cheaper than hotels even if you paid for ones with a reclining chair - and I could sleep on one of those.

Simillion - 2015-03-16
I love their net cafes. I highly doubt a net cafe would ever be as nice if it was built in any place in america.

EvilHomer - 2015-03-16
Yeah, these guys are living the life. Only problem is the computer needs to be turned the other way 'round, in case people walk in on you while you're browsing for anime guro porn.

Albuquerque Halsey - 2015-03-15
But according to Danny Choo, Japan is a cheap place to live and you can make your own business if you just work hard enough!

>fuck Danny choo
Ugh - 2015-03-16
okay that's neat just give me the dragon quest or something
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