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Painting of a demon's face and a bag of beans.
Work Year
  1. Beginning of Work Day
  2. Business Year and Transfer Season
  3. Cherry Blossom Viewing Parties
  4. May Day (May 1)
  5. May Sickness
  6. General Shareholders Meeting
  7. Obon Holidays and Homecoming Rush
  8. Recreational Trips
  9. Year-End Party
  10. End of Work Day
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A woman receives a piece of paper from an older man, while others look on
A worker transfer ceremony in Okinawa
Photo Courtesy of the Ryukyu Shimpo.
Business Year and Transfer Season
In Japan, the business year begins in April, along with the school year. Accordingly, many national and local governments and business corporations transfer and promote their employees in March, before the new business and fiscal year starts. National and prefectural governments and large corporations may even relocate their employees from branch to branch in different cities. Many families of transferred employees also move from city to city at this time. Many government offices and corporations also relocate employees during the middle of the business and fiscal year, in October. Many governmental organizations and businesses also welcome new employees who have just graduated from university or high school during March and April. In Japan, many corporations traditionally recruit college and high school graduates, who have little working experience, as new employees, enabling the organization to train those newcomers at this time of a year. During training, organizations hold a ceremony for new workers. This initiation ceremony is known as a nyushashiki. At this ceremony, executives speak to the new workers about their corporation’s goals and policies. Many Japanese corporations expect their employees to develop a sense of team spirit through a variety of events, including ceremonies such as the nyushashiki.
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