Hataraku no Hyaunenshi: the video in pixel art tells the 100 years of corporate culture in Japan

Hataraku no Hyaunenshi: the video in pixel art tells the 100 years of corporate culture in Japan

Hataraku no Hyaunenshi

How has the way of working of the Japanese changed in the last 100 years? How many efforts and sacrifices did it take to get to this point in history? Japanese human resources firm SmartHR wanted to answer these questions with a touching video, iconically made with pixel art, created by pixel artist Motocross Saito. The video, entitled Hataraku no Hyaunenshi (100 years of work in Japan), is therefore a visual retrospective on the changes in Japanese work culture over the last century. Let's see it together.

Hataraku no Hyaunenshi: 100 years of Japanese corporate culture

It is no coincidence that the Japanese human resources company SmartHR chose the number 100, because it is exactly 100 years ago, exactly in 1920 that the word salaryman began to spread in Japan. The video Hataraku no Hyaunenshi therefore starts from that era, when it was still relatively unusual for women, married or single, to work outside the home. Those who did were called shokugyo fujin, or professionals, a term that has since vanished, as women with jobs are no longer a rarity.

The video then moves to the 1940s, where workers abandon imperial army uniforms to work suits after the Japanese army was dismantled due to its defeat in World War II. In those years the difficult process of reconstruction began.

This drive to return to an economically stable society then manifested itself in the 1950s. In the video, a couple of clerks frolic in their office, sweating as their single electric fan fails to cool the room and one of them, after grinding a few numbers on an abacus, talks into the handset of a rotating telephone.

But the signs of prosperity begin to appear only in the 1960s, and in the video, almost as a good omen, we see Mount Fuji outside the window of the then new Shinkansen train.

Come Ben we know, however, economic development also has its drawbacks, such as crowded trains due to the influx of commuters in the seventies, or the spread of a new type of worker, the kigyo senshi (corporate warrior) who works overtime and who he will likely continue to work even after he leaves the office.

With the bubble economy of the 1980s in full swing, building solidarity and networking through frequent booze parties are becoming increasingly prevalent, although people begin to realize the joys of hanakin (flowering friday), starting to live again after stamping the card at the end of the work week.

The nineties bring two changes: the devices of mobile communication and women in the workplace who become a permanent part of professional life in Japan.

The flexibility offered by technology then leads to a new style of work in 2010, that of the "nomadic worker" with laptop, which is equally likely to work in a cafe or office. There is also a subtle sign of changing attitudes towards health: to prevent people from smoking on their desks, trains and even station platforms, "no smoking" signs are spreading.

Speaking of health issues, it's no surprise that once the video hits 2020, we see society adjust to the coronavirus pandemic, with masks, staggered seating, and a plastic divider put up in what used to be. a Japanese open office archetype.

And finally, to represent the "new normal", we arrive at a work-from-home scene, with a woman engaged in a videoconference while her husband or boyfriend takes care of their child.

Of course the message the video wants to convey is: let's not forget that to have what we have today many people before us worked hard. We take nothing for granted and always look at the future with a curious gaze.

This is the complete video:

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