Changing relationship between work and leisure after the "bubble economy" in Japan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relationship between work and leisure in Japan has changed drastically during the past 15 years. One of the biggest factors contributing to the change was the so-called "bubble economy" which began to expand in the latter half of the 1980s. It produced the growing misconception that consumption was a virtue, and fuelled the sharp growth that the leisure industry enjoyed. In an attempt to thwart criticism from overseas that the Japanese were overworked "economic animals", the government placed the task of shortening annual working hours near the top of the political agenda. As a result, working hours were greatly shortened and the gradual descent to a standard 1800 hour target had begun. Although a rise has occurred since the "bubble" burst because of the ensuing economic collapse and recession, the value system governing work and leisure has changed a lot. The traditional feeling of guilt that the Japanese have harboured about taking time off is now buried in the past. The trend is particularly strong in the younger generation. As Japan makes the change from a society that placed economic growth at its core to a mature society that pursues a better quality of life, finding a creative balance between work and leisure will become an important issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalLoisir et Societe
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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bubble
leisure industry
working hours
Japan
Economics
economy
quality of life
economics
economic growth
value system
political agenda
guilt
recession
overseas
animal
Animals
criticism
industry
trend
society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Changing relationship between work and leisure after the "bubble economy" in Japan. / Harada, Munehiko.

In: Loisir et Societe, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1998, p. 195-212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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