Downsized Indulgences: Consumers Savor Small Pleasures amid Economic Crisis
Japanese consumers are used to hard times. During World War II the Japanese government propagated the slogan, "Luxury is an enemy." The selling of fancy goods was banned. Inconspicuous consumption was a trend. Now the trend seems to come back. Unlike the situation in the United States, they do not feel as if a mountain has suddenly fallen on them. They are somewhat inured to the pain of austerity and were better prepared psychologically for the shock following the stock market crash that began in October 2008. Let’s look at the new Japanese consumer trend closely in the current global recession.
Working with Japan
Supporting Japanese Colleagues
By Patricia Pringle
Feeling a Little Bit Tired
Susan Peterson is an HR manager at a US subsidiary of a Japanese company. She works with Yoshio Shimizu, the coordinator from the general affairs division at the headquarters in Tokyo, who has been in the US for a year. Yesterday, she was working late finishing up some reports. On her way out the door, she stopped by Shimizu’s office to say good night. He was holding his head in his hands and staring blankly at his desk. When she asked him if he was feeling ok, he replied, “I just feel a little bit tired.” He looked more than just tired. If he was an American employee, she could recommend taking time off, or even refer him to company-provided health resources. What could she do to support him?
Products Of The Month
Takaratomy's "Space Invader Kyotai-gata Chokinbako" is a scale model version of the classic “Space Invader” video game units that were built into coffee shop tables back in the 1970s. But now the game has been combined with a coin bank, creating a retro way to let you set aside money for a rainy day.
2009 July Contents
Contents of the month
When is the best spare time to study?