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Do Japanese work Saturdays?


Japanese culture is known for its hardworking nature, but does that mean they work on Saturdays? In this article, we will explore the work culture in Japan and answer the question of whether Japanese people work on Saturdays.

History of Work Culture in Japan

The work culture in Japan has a long history dating back to the Edo period where the concept of loyalty and hard work was highly valued. The industrial revolution in the late 19th century brought about a change in the work culture, paving the way for long working hours and the concept of lifetime employment.

Japanese Snack Box

Current Work Culture in Japan

Currently, Japan has a highly competitive work culture where employees are expected to work long hours and overtime without complaint. However, there have been efforts to reduce working hours to improve work-life balance.

Legal Working Hours in Japan

According to Japanese labor laws, the maximum number of working hours per week is 40 hours. Any additional hours worked are considered overtime and should be paid accordingly.

Saturday Work Culture in Japan

Many companies in Japan do require their employees to work on Saturdays. However, there are also companies that have adopted a five-day workweek to improve employee productivity and happiness.

Reasons for Working on Saturdays

The reasons for working on Saturdays vary from company to company. Some companies may require employees to work on Saturdays due to high demand or seasonal changes in business. Others may require it as part of their company culture.

Benefits of Working on Saturdays

Working on Saturdays can provide various benefits such as increased productivity, improved customer service, and higher profits for the company.

Drawbacks of Working on Saturdays

Working on Saturdays can also have drawbacks such as decreased employee morale, burnout, and negative impacts on mental health.

Efforts to Reduce Saturday Work Culture

In recent years, there have been efforts to reduce Saturday work culture in Japan. The government has implemented policies such as Premium Friday, a campaign encouraging companies to let their employees leave early on the last Friday of every month.

The Future of Saturday Work Culture in Japan

The future of Saturday work culture in Japan remains uncertain. While companies are beginning to adopt a five-day workweek, there are still many companies that require their employees to work on Saturdays.


In conclusion, while many companies in Japan do require their employees to work on Saturdays, there are also efforts being made to reduce this practice. It is important for companies to consider the benefits and drawbacks of Saturday work culture and take steps towards improving employee productivity and happiness.


– Japan Today:
– Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare:
– The Japan Times:

What days are work days in Japan?

In the case of Japan, most schools, businesses, government agencies, etc., include “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which don’t fall under national holidays/holidays, transfer holidays, year-end holidays and New Year, Golden Week, Obon Time, etc.” together. In most cases, the term “weekdays” is used.Jun 9, 2022

How many days do Japanese work in a week?

The regular work schedule consists of 7 or 8 hour days from 9am to 5pm or 6pm, five or six days each week. Despite this, numerous employees remain in the office well beyond regular hours, often working until 9pm or 10pm.

Does Japan work 4 days a week?

4 Day Work Week in Japan Although in the past Japan has been known for an intense working culture, recently the country has released new guidelines encouraging employers to move to 4 day work weeks.

Does Japan have Saturday and Sunday off?

Typically, the answer is negative.

Is Saturday a business day in Japan?

Japan Business Day refers to any day that is not a Saturday or Sunday, or a day on which commercial banks in Tokyo, Japan are legally required to be closed.

Is Japanese school 7 days a week?

In Japan, the school year starts in April and classes are held from Monday to either Friday or Saturday, depending on the school. The school year is divided into two or three terms, separated by short holidays in the spring and winter, and a longer summer break lasting six weeks.

One of the reasons why Japan has a culture of working long hours is because of the concept of “seishin kyoiku,” which translates to “spiritual education.” This concept emphasizes the importance of hard work and dedication in shaping a person’s character. Many Japanese people view their job as a way to contribute to society and take pride in their work.

However, this culture of overworking has led to some negative consequences, such as karoshi, which is death caused by overwork. In recent years, there have been increased efforts to address this issue and improve work-life balance for employees.

Another factor that contributes to the Saturday work culture in Japan is the practice of “baika,” which means “overtime work.” Many companies offer baika pay, which is additional compensation for working on Saturdays or outside of regular working hours. This incentive can make it difficult for employees to refuse working on Saturdays, as it can provide a significant increase in their salary.

Despite the challenges, there are also opportunities for change in Japan’s work culture. With a growing awareness of the negative impact of overworking and increased efforts towards work-life balance, it is possible that the Saturday work culture in Japan could eventually become a thing of the past.

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