ワーキングプア[working poor]

January 10, 2008 at 5:28 am (general)

 It’s not a rare term everywhere, but it has been getting more serious here in Japan. I often encounter this term in the gossip magazines…Working poor is a term used to describe indivuduals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses(from wikipedia). Putting the general cases aside here, the reason why I would like to mention this term is that it happened to my cosplay mate….

 He works for the certain anime filming company which has worked on School Days (that is why he is good at taking a picture as well). When I cosplayed L and Suefumi, he kindly took a lot for me). I am not familiar with this kind of job, but according to him, his holiday is once a week, so any other time he has to do this almost all the time. And I was really surprised to hear the amazingly low salary in this industry. Of course there is no bonus as well… One of his colleague in the other department at his company(she is from somewhere in China) could get less than 100,000 yen (about 833$) per month. Of course there is only one holiday in a week and she has to work from the early morning to the late night. So it means she has no time to do a part-time job, doesn’t it? Even though she loves to draw and paint anime, I really wonder how she could survive in Japan. Does the company give the workers accomodation? He said no. But this happens to not only his company, but almost every anime company…Oh hey, what about Studio Ghibli?

 He is coming back to his hometown in order to pursue some even higher career and seek a well-paid job. Though he likes his job, it shouldn’t last forever…What a pity, if it was a well-paid job, he wouldn’t even have to come back. He is my very first cosplay mate, though… 

 絶望した! アニメ産業の労働者待遇に絶望した!

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4 Comments

  1. Neohybrid_kai said,

    well I’ve read something like this on animesuki (the thread is about anime industry if I recall correctly), it seems like working in anime company is just like a labor on a factory (this is my interpretation after reading it) apparently this also happens to seiyuu on their earlier debut. I think the safest way is to become just an anime consumer while working in a job with more pays.

    btw the last sentence made me laugh ^^

  2. bangin said,

    Yes, actually I have a friend who really wanted to be a seiyu and had gone to the school for two years. He got only small parts(like one of noisy mods, we say ガヤ[gaya]), and almost no salary. He ended up giving up…he also told me this happens to even fresh seiyus, so they would have to work a part-time job to make enough money. Unless you can be such a famous seiyu, this job is really tough.

    Though anime really makes a lot of money, it doesn’t pay well. My cosplay mate is not willing to leave, but it can’t be helped.

    Zetsuboushitaaaaaaa! (つд`)

  3. drmchsr0 said,

    Slave labor, sweatshop conditions, insane deadlines and low pay? That’s a classic example of exploitation right there. but no one really wants to look at the dregs of Japanese society, really. Even the Japanese government conveniently hides this obvious human rights violation, all because it’s much better to keep mum and stick to the status quo than make a difference.

    But that’s Japan for you. Just because Osamu Tezuka did it means it’s good for everyone. (BTW Tezuka did advocate the sweatshop conditions the animators are experiencing today. Even though the man did a lot of good for manga and animé, he had to do it in the conditions stated above. He had to rebuild a shattered industry ravaged by the Japanese war machine, and that’s a Hercuean task even for a group of people. Still, there’s no excuses for advocating the conditions above. Even computer programmers are paid better, and they work in somewhat similar conditions. I think.)

  4. bangin said,

    It’s a sad thing, but that’s true.
    Only the passion for the job can keep them going no matter how poor the salary is.
    But they recruite non-Japanese residents such as Korean or Chinese, so I wonder if this is agreeable for them.

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