Being a freeter is a loser in Japan? – Freeter, Ie o Kau

15 Oct

‘Freeter, Ie o Kau’ is a television series which are broadcast in Japan in 2010. They story revolves around a ‘freeter’, a Japanese expression which is used for describing people aged from 15 to 34 who only work part-time job or unemployed, except housewives and students. Take Seji, the main character in this TV drama series, quits his job after three months. Without any dream and savings, he becomes a “Hikikomori”, a young adult who withdraws from social life. After realizing that his mother falls ill with depression, he starts working as a ‘freeter’ at a construction site and decides to buy a house for his family.

What is a ‘freeter’?

The blogs side of life has a post discussing ‘Japanese freeters’. The writer of that blog notes that “being a freeter now means to belong to the losers of society”. In general, Japanese students are always expected to enter a company right after their graduation. However, after the economic recession, it is very hard for young Japanese to find a full-time job. If they are unable to find any company promising them to hire them after they complete their studies, they are unlikely to get a regular job in the future. Since those who are not capable of entering a company after graduation always choose to work as freeters, ‘a freeter’ becomes a negative expression referring to loser of Japanese society.

Can a freeter be defined as a loser of society?

In other countries such as Australia, doing part time job is not a shame. It is very common for the Australia people to work as freeters rather than being full time workers. Most of the Australian ‘freeters’ believe that, as long as they can make money by themselves, they deserve respect from others. Moreover, not willing to be treated as a loser, some people refuse to do any part time job when they are still unemployed. This causes another social problem: People eventually lose all their confidence and become a “Hikikomori”, staying at home without any contribution. Therefore, to show respect to those who are willing to work and to prevent creating any further social problems, people should not define freeters losers of society.



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