Monday, February 27, 2006

Goethe was a workaholic

The publisher Fujisan has come up with Goethe, a lifestyle magazine for workaholic men in their 30s and 40s. Japan is famous for its long working hours, so one might ask why nobody has come up with such a concept before.

I think the reason why such a magazine has only appeared in 2006 is the progressing income polarization in Japan, which is the result of quite recent economic and social changes. Probably until the 1990s almost everyobody in Japan worked long hours, but this was nothing special as it was done for a largely equal pay. These days, with the increase in part-time employess and freeters, having a full-time job and being on the career track seems to have become a distinct lifestyle option. A large workload has come to equal career success, and therefore very much a status symbol - hence the need for a lifestyle magazine dedicated to not being stuck in a dead-end or part-time job.

By the way, the title is less far-fetched than it seems - Goethe seems to have been a workaholic himself.


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