Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Karoshi, or how the Japanese work themselves to death...

Death from too much work is so commonplace in Japan that there is a word for it -- karoshi. 

There is a national karoshi hotline, a karoshi self-help book and a law that funnels money to the widow and children of a salaryman (it's almost always a man) who works himself into an early karoshi for the good of his company. 

A local Japanese government agency ruled June 30 for the widow and children of a 45-year-old Toyota chief engineer who died in 2006. 

While organizing the worldwide manufacture of a hybrid version of the Camry sedan, the man had worked nights and weekends and often traveled abroad -- putting in up to 114 hours of overtime a month -- in the six months before he died in his bed of heart failure. 

The cause of death was too much work, according to a ruling by the Labor Bureau of Aichi prefecture, where Toyota has its headquarters.


See also: Japan: Oshiya or train pusher: this is crazy!

And this: WTF! Japanese invent robotic girlfriend for lonely men!!!

And this: The world's hardest working countries. Insane!!

And this: 32,000 people in Japan committed suicide last year...

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