The struggle of living in Japan if you are earning minimum wage

by Kota Yanagidani

Wherever the society is, there is work by which people earn money to live; however, there is a wide range of income. In Japan, the system of the minimum wage is there, but there would not be the exact limit line. In continuing paragraphs, the situation of living with the minimum wage in contemporary Japan is discussed.

First of all, the simple calculation of living for a month with minimum wage is argued. Thinking about Osaka prefecture, minimum wage is 819 yen. The average house fee is 50,000 yen per a month. The Costs for electricity and gas could be approximately 5,000 yen. The food cost is about 10,000 yen per a week. In Japan, there is the insurance cost, which is around 5,000 yen per a month. Calculating all cost or fee, the sum is roughly 100,000 yen. Since the minimum wage is 819 yen per an hour, at least one has to work for about 130 hours. If one can work for 8 hours per a day, 17 days are needed to earn enough money to live.

Next, how could this life be possible? This means it looks very difficult for all citizen to get a job in which one can work for over 17 days in a month. As an average, normal salary man usually works for 20 days in a month. These jobs are at least full time job, but most people today work as a part-time worker, and for them, it is rare to work for 5 days every week like usual company man. Even more, that job is part-time job. People do often not work for whole day as a part-time job. That’s why one might have to work more than 17 days to earn money for life. However, under such situation, one cannot enjoy doing a hobby usually because hobbies cost us extra money, and also sometimes we have to buy something necessary to live. We need knife, cutting board, and a frying pan to cook. These kinds of things sometimes cost us a lot.

In conclusion, it is really difficult to live a life with the minimum wage. Thinking about my situation, in addition to above costs, the tuition and the transportation cost have to be considered. However, then the time cost emerge. We have to concern with time for work, because we have to do homework, study for test, and read books for getting knowledge. These things make us realize the difficulty of earning enough money to live with the minimum wage. In this situation, what could be sacrificed? Do you give up sleeping?

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4 thoughts on “The struggle of living in Japan if you are earning minimum wage

  1. Pingback: All Work and No Pay - Being a Japanese Animator is Tough - Chikorita157's Anime Blog

  2. hi bro or sis who wrot this . I like all what you and its logical in many views . I think the situation that you explained on here its for the beginners in there life and I could be me too cos im thinking about moving somewhere in someday . But for sure this situation will not be for all my life I will find new jobs and get new experiences and thats will make me earn more than minimum wage . Enshaalah
    Thank you . Greetings from morocco

    • 8h hehehe iam doing 12 -16 hours per day sometimes but in 7 days i did 92hours so with minimum wage it would take me 9 days but of course i sacrificing my sleep and by doing that my mental state.But hey 9days work hard and rest 3 weeks earning for myself of course if there have jobs that you work more than 8h ;p … one problem there is is language.can speak Japanese yet…

  3. Actually, very few Japanese struggle to live on minimum wages. It is not like the west when people move out and try to be “independent” when one is working as a “freeter”. People even into adulthood usually live at home rent free when they are making these wages. People do not move out until they make around $50,000 a year, since below this amount, one will not be able to start a family. One remains what Japanese people call “parasite single” when you are still working for low income.

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