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Heartbreak Leave

Japanese firm offers “heartache leave” for staff

I don’t think anyone would expect Japan to be at the forefront in expanding the categories of allowed employee leave. Ignore for a second that this company is tiny (who even designated this news as news?? If I started my own company and gave free ice cream to employees on Friday, would there be an article “Japanese firm offers ‘ice cream’ for staff”?), and note that the CEO is a woman. If you can imagine some crazy bizarro scenario where women in Japan had equal political, economic, and corporate power, it makes sense that companies and society would become more organized around female issues like, for example, providing more maternity and paternity leave. These “break-up leave” and “shopping leave” seem to play into classic stereotypes of “over-emotionally women” wrecking corporate profits and the electoral system, but at least this Hime & Company is reformulating the Japanese company as something other than an ersatz army unit. (Japanese corporate life makes a lot more sense when you think of it in military terms: strict hierarchy, women in inferior positions, spartan self-discipline, boozing out with for-hire women, etc.)

W. David MARX
January 29, 2008

3 Responses

  1. Matt Says:

    I’m not sure I see the advantage over just calling in sick as the broken-hearted have been doing since time immemorial. If Hime really are giving people an entirely extra day off (rather than compensating by cutting everyone’s yearly general holiday allowance by a day), I guess it might be worth admitting you your manager that you got dumped — but I find it very hard to believe that they aren’t clawing back a day’s worth of something somewhere in exchange.

  2. odot Says:

    as a coincidence, i’ve just learnt the word 送別会. we don’t have those, in france.

  3. W. David MARX Says:

    French people don’t need to make excuses to get together and get drunk.