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Do Japanese people work Saturday?


Japanese culture is full of traditions and customs that are unique to the country. One of the questions that often arises when discussing work culture in Japan is whether or not Japanese people work on Saturdays. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail.

A Brief History of Japanese Work Culture

To understand if Japanese people work on Saturdays, it is important to first look at the history of Japanese work culture. Japan has a long history of valuing hard work, dedication, and loyalty. This can be traced back to the feudal era, where samurai warriors were highly respected for their dedication to their masters. In modern times, this has translated into a strong work ethic that is ingrained in Japanese society.

Japanese Snack Box

Japanese Work Week

The standard work week in Japan is Monday through Friday. However, this does not mean that everyone gets weekends off. Many companies require their employees to work on Saturdays as well, but this is not a universal practice.

The Five-Day Work Week Law

In 1947, the Japanese government passed a law that mandated a five-day workweek. However, there were loopholes in the law that allowed companies to require employees to work on Saturdays without paying overtime. This led to a culture of overwork and burnout among Japanese workers, which has been a topic of concern in recent years.

Changes in Work Culture

In recent years, there has been a shift in Japan’s work culture. The government has passed laws to limit overwork and promote work-life balance, and many companies are starting to offer more flexible schedules and remote work options. This has led to fewer people working on Saturdays, but it is still common in some industries.

Working in Retail

One industry where Saturday work is still common is retail. Many shops and department stores are open seven days a week, and employees are often required to work on Saturdays and Sundays.

Working in Hospitality

The hospitality industry is another sector where Saturday work is common. Hotels, restaurants, and bars all require staff to work on weekends, including Saturdays.

Working in Healthcare

In healthcare, many hospitals and clinics require staff to work on weekends, including Saturdays. This is especially true for emergency services and other critical care facilities.

Working in Education

In the education sector, teachers and school staff typically have weekends off, including Saturdays. However, some private schools may require staff to work on Saturdays.

Working in Manufacturing

In manufacturing, it is common for employees to work on Saturdays. This is because factories often need to meet production targets and work around the clock to keep up with demand.

Working in Technology

The technology sector in Japan is known for its long hours and demanding work culture. Many tech companies require their employees to work on Saturdays as well as weekdays.

The Future of Work Culture in Japan

As Japan continues to grapple with issues of overwork and burnout, there is a growing movement towards promoting work-life balance and reducing the number of hours people spend at work. While Saturday work is still common in some industries, there are signs that this may be changing as more companies adopt flexible schedules and remote work options.


In conclusion, whether or not Japanese people work on Saturdays depends largely on the industry they are in. While some sectors require weekend work, others offer weekends off as part of a traditional five-day workweek. As Japan continues to evolve its work culture, it will be interesting to see how attitudes towards Saturday work change over time.

What is the typical Japanese work day?

The standard work schedule is typically 7 or 8 hours per day, starting at 9 am and ending at 5 or 6 pm, for a total of 5 or 6 days per week. Nevertheless, many employees choose to work beyond these hours and stay in the office until as late as 9 or 10 pm.

What is a typical Japanese work week?

The recommended legal work hours in Japan are 40 hours per week, but in the past, many Japanese companies have demanded their workers to put in as much as 80 hours of overtime each month.

What are the weekend days in Japan?

Before bringing up the topic, it’s important to understand that in Japan, the week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. While it may seem like a small detail, it’s worth noting because many Japanese calendars operate on this schedule.

Do Japanese people have days off?

In Japan, full-time workers are entitled to a minimum of 10 days of paid vacation per year, which is a protected right under the law. This minimum is just the beginning, as employees are entitled to more vacation days with each year of continued employment at a company.

Does Japan have a 4 day work week?

Businesses have three options for implementing a four-day work week, each with different changes to working hours and pay. The first option involves maintaining the same weekly working hours and pay, but working ten hours per day instead of the usual eight, with equal pay for the extra time worked.

What country has the shortest work week?

The Dutch have the shortest average workweek out of all countries, working an average of 29.5 hours per week.

It is worth noting that the Japanese work culture is deeply ingrained in the country’s society, and changing it will not happen overnight. There is still a sense of pride in working long hours and demonstrating dedication to one’s job. However, there is also a growing recognition that overwork can have negative consequences for individuals and the economy as a whole.

In recent years, the Japanese government has implemented policies aimed at reducing overwork and promoting work-life balance. For example, in 2019, a law was passed requiring companies to track their employees’ overtime hours and ensure they are not working excessively. The hope is that these measures will help to shift the culture towards a healthier work-life balance.

Another trend that may impact Saturday work in Japan is the rise of remote work. Many companies have embraced telecommuting as a way to reduce commuting time and increase productivity. This could lead to more flexible schedules that allow employees to take Saturdays off or work from home.

In conclusion, while Saturday work is still common in some industries in Japan, there are signs of change as the country grapples with issues of overwork and burnout. As companies adopt more flexible schedules and remote work options, it is possible that the traditional five-day workweek will become more standard across all sectors. However, it will take time and effort to shift the deeply ingrained work culture in Japan towards a healthier balance between work and personal life.

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