Tokyo – Unfortunately, it is not rare to read headlines about some Japanese companies not providing much relief in terms of working hours and paid sick leave, despite a heavy workload. Otaku’s are in luck though if one of their favorite Japanese Idols retires At least they can count on one corporation to have a special reprieve tailored to their fandom.
Hiroro is a Tokyo-based artistic direction agency that specializes in music videos and television advertisements. Shizen Tsurumi, the founder, and president of Hiroro claims that employees’ emotional and mental well-being is just as critical as their general well-being. He recently revealed on Twitter that a new company policy allowing employees to take hardship leave if their favorite idol singer retires from show business. This will allow them to grieve and sort out their feelings.
All we know about the Japanese Idols Policy at Hiroro and more
The clause is known as the oshi kyuuka, with oshi being popular lingo in the idol community for “favorite member,” though it can also apply to the performer’s fan. In addition to being able to take off work or take another day off the event of an unannounced or guerrilla live concert (if they apply a week in advance), workers are often permitted to take 10 paid days off if their favorite Japanese idols member graduates, and also three paid days off for “second favorite” members and subsequent rated members.
Two cases, according to Tsurumi, inspired him to introduce the Oshi Vacation System. On the day last summer when anime voice actress and vocalist Nana Mizuki announced her engagement, he found an otherwise model employee, who is a fan of Nana Mizuki, was unfocused and uncooperative. So, when Tsurumi realized another employee was depressed after learning that their favorite Japanese idols would be retiring soon, he advised him to take some time off if he wanted to (which he did), and then decided to make that accommodation an official company-wide policy.
Japanese Idols is a culture in Asia, but Japan does it differently
Japanese pop stars, like most well-known artists, have a special place in the hearts of their fans. They normally dance and sing in a larger group, with everyone dressed in the same uniform. The Japanese pop music industry has a huge fan base and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. J-pop and anime have their own communities, such as Akihabara in central Tokyo.
After WWII, what we now know as J-pop started to take shape. Johnny & Associates was established in 1962 as Japan’s first idol group recruitment agency. Since then, a diverse range of groups has arisen, including AKB48 and Nogizaka 46, which have recently captured hearts. Arashi, the king of boy bands, took a break earlier this year, but King & Prince and SixTones are still going high. Casual fans go to shows, download the songs, and follow their favorite artists on social media. Some of the more devoted followers, known as otaku, attend hand-shaking parties or spend hours writing fanfiction.
Otaku culture has been chastised for a long time. Toxic fantasy is said to be promoted by those who cross the line between fandom and objectification. Japanese Idols have had to drop out of school to pursue their careers, and they have been prohibited from dating in order to avoid alienating fans, mostly men, who wish to date them. After being “caught” in intimate relationships in the past, some female celebrities were forced to apologize publicly and shave their heads.
This can seem excessive to those outside the Japanese idols fandom. However, if the aim is to keep workers both efficient and happy, the Oshi Vacation System makes a lot of sense for Hiroro, a company whose core values include the idea that “Hardly anything motivates someone to work harder than the feelings they have for the individuals and groups that they like,” as reported on its website.