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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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May sickness can cause fatigue.
Image from Jan-Jan Network.
May Sickness
New employees and students who have just started their new lives at workplaces or colleges in April usually keep themselves busy with activities and new social networks during that first month. But after this honeymoon period, many of them suffer apathy. This unique phenomenon for new employees and college freshmen is called May Sickness or gogatsu-byō. This is not a medical term, but a colloquial one used by ordinary people. Gogatsu-byō originally referred to problems that college freshman suffer. In Japan, college admission is based on severe entrance examination competitions, so many high school students study very hard to be accepted to their university of choice. After going through entrance examinations from February to March, they seem to enjoy their new lives at new schools in April. But after the initial excitement has worn off, students may not want to do anything, and may even stop attending classes in May. It is said that such student apathy is a reaction to the stress that they felt during the entrance examination competition. It is also considered to be a result of adjustment to their new environment. Because many new employees show symptoms to those of college students, gogatsu-byō is now used for both college students and new employees.
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