Miwa Sado was a promising reporter working for state-run broadcaster NHK in Tokyo. She spent a month of the summer of 2013 working overtime. The Japanese woman ended up clocking 159 hours in addition to her regular work time in 30 days. Due to exhaustion, she succumbed to death. However, her employer revealed only this week this tragic event.
The Japanese Woman Died of Congestive Heart Failure
Miwa Sado was one of the female media workers striving for career achievements in one of the most prestigious companies in 2013 in Japan. The reporter used even her weekends for professional tasks.
On top of that, she used to stay in her office until midnight. Her parents recollected of one of her rare occasions when she contacted them. This contact happened on her birthday, June 26. She responded to one of their emails, yet she sounded exhausted.
Almost a month after her birthday, a congestive heart failure ended her life. At the time of her death, she was 31. However, it was only this week when NHK released a statement about this tragedy. Spokespersons claimed that their employee took only two days off during July 2013.
Karoshi or “Death from Overwork” Has Been Infecting the Japanese Working Environment Since the 1980s
The case of Miwa Sado has become the latest profile that showcases the cultural phenomenon of karoshi or “death from overwork.” This term appeared in the 1980s when the Japanese government was boasting of the miraculous economic boom the country registered after war.
However, it turns out that this performance was no miracle-worker. In fact, it was due to the birth of a social trend that put to shame all those people who didn’t work to exhaustion.
This corrosive professional approach endured the test of time. In today’s world, this mentality affects white-collar executives, immigrant trainees, and automotive engineers mostly.
In 2016, an official report documented karoshi. Almost a quarter of the interviewed companies claimed that some of their employees are clocking 80 hours of overtime per month.
A 2014 report discovered enough evidence to link Sado’s death to her demanding career. The labor office in Tokyo claimed that the Japanese woman couldn’t have taken free time even if she wanted. Her work responsibilities took up all of her time. Her colleagues described her last month as being sleep deprived and fatigued.
Image source: 1