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Japanese Work Ethic Essay

925 words - 4 pages

“It’s fair to say that Japanese people are unbelievably busy. Working 10 hours a day, and often coming in on days off, they rarely take a vacation of more than three or four days. A straight week is a hedonistic luxury.” Japanese people are no doubt, unbelievably busy with constantly working and rarely taking any time off, I am certain of that. My only objection to working that hard, is not having time for you. The point of working is to have money and enjoy the benefits of your previous hard work. Working incessantly and only having time to eat and sleep, seems pointless.
Everyday, you hear about how Americans are lazy and how our work ethic is poor. I do not agree with this statement or with Lynnika Butler, in her essay, “Living on Tokyo Time.” Work ethic is a belief in the moral benefit and importance of work and its inherent ability to strengthen character (dictionary.com). Character is what delineates us; it is what we do when we’re not working. Our job does not define us, our personality and beliefs do. This is why I think the Japanese people should not work as hard as they do.
The Japanese have a prosperous culture and many other benefits that were stated in “Living on Tokyo Time.” These have been achieved by their ancestors who, indeed, did work hard. However, they had the wisdom to understand that it cannot only be about work. This is what makes the Japanese lack a social life.
Although I disagree with Butler, she does provide good arguments. For instance, in paragraph two she articulates:
“Watching people like this, with almost no time for themselves, makes an American like me wonder why more of them don’t throw themselves under subway trains.”
Butler, in fact, is not the only one with an opinion on this subject. In February of 1992, an article by Brull in the New York Times stated:
“American workers “can't read” and "don't want to work," the speaker of the Japanese house, Yoshio Sakurauchi, charged last month. Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, in a parliamentary debate earlier this week, said that Americans' determination "to produce goods and create value has loosened sharply over the years" and that "the work ethic is lacking" among college graduates who are out to make easy money on Wall Street rather than work in manufacturing.”
Upon further investigation of Brull’s opinion on the subject matter, his conclusions differ with Butler’s. Brull states that the experts on the subject believe that Americans come out on top, even though the Japanese are far superior in math and science. To most, it does not make sense that the more intelligent race would be better off. Brull states that the Japanese work more hours, yet the U.S workers are more productive, and have a higher wage rate.
“According to figures from the German Economic Institute, Japanese employees worked an average of 2,201 hours in 1990. That figure is...

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