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Working in Japan as a foreigner

10 Aug 2003
I always run into little bits in pieces everywhere that working/married men tend to come home late, if so at all, from work in Japan. Which seems crazy to me, infact I think that would drive me to suicide. I feel that many Americans would feel the same way. What is it like for an American to have to adjust to working such crazy hours? and also I'd like to know more about the way the Japanese make a living and their hours and such.
Personally I don't mind that I work for so long, and I know my friends that do (who are caucasian) don't either, for the most part. I think its a bit of cultural differences that are involved. My father who is a very traditional japanese man did it all the time. If there is a job to be done, get it done, everything else is secondary. It literally drove my mother up the wall.

What I get worried about is that one day when I get married I will have to make a choice, whether my family comes first or my work. I definately live to work, because what I do I find facinating and I'll do it for fun anyways. Combine that with my father's instilling of the acceptance of work and I can go on for days on end (36 hours to be exact.. then I had to quit because I was writing gibberish). I personally find that people have different mindsets than my own and can't see themselves working for so long. I'd say a lot of it has to do with experiences from early childhood. An westerner who was exposed to such a culture might be able to pull it off if he enjoyed his work, if not, they would go insane. But there is almost an expectation that work must be completed in japan, and everything else is secondary.
Originally posted by Ewok85
Whats the deal with overtime in japan, does it exist?
It's called service overtime :D, but of course overtime laws don't apply to executive administrative, or professional pay grades in the US either. And don't most companies in Japan give these positions twice yearly bonuses of something like 7-8 x the worker's annual salary? It would seem to more than make up for the time stress.
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