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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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Men in suits stand, listening to a speech
Workers line up for an "End of Work Day" speech in Shimane City.
Photo Courtesy of Shimane City Mayor's Office.
End of Work Day
The business year for Japanese corporations starts in April and ends in March. Despite this, the last business day in December is called End of Work Day or shigoto osame and is set aside for business rituals. This practice comes from an old Japanese business custom. Governmental agencies at the national and prefectural and level also hold ceremonies on this day. Administrative officers give official speeches and instructions to their staff and reflect on events of the past year. Many business corporations have similar ceremonies to those held in public offices. In addition, on the last business day, employees are expected to reorganize or rearrange their files, desk, and office materials. This is the so-called year-end general cleaning or nenmatsu no osoji. Though osoji more commonly means the year-end general housecleaning done in households on December 31, shigoto osame and osoji at the office are usually done several days before December 31, while osoji at home done on December 31, is known as omisoka.
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