Wasabi Stories vol.210: “Taking a Shortcut in Life is Never Good!”


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“Taking a Shortcut in Life is Never Good!”

Today’s story-teller is reportage writer Satoshi Kamata.

His story is about a man, his mentor, whom he met at a factory he worked after graduating from high school.

He did poorly at school. So he gave up to go on to college and chose to work in a small factory.

There was a guy who was called ‘Gen-san’ in the factory. Gen-san and Kamata shared an apartment with him. They scraped metal parts with lathe machines in the factory.

Gen-san was a journeyman. He used to work in one place to the other and he was technically accomplished.


Kamata says, “I still remember what Gen-san said to me once. He said, ‘you have to work with all your heart and soul.’ He used to clean the machines and workshop thoroughly every day. In addition to scraping metals, he arranged his work well. We did not get paid much and we were poor. However, his enthusiasm for the work was the first class.”


Kamata describes Gen-san like this and says that he was a skilled worker.


Then he started getting interested in trying other kind of work in other places like Gen-san. So he changed his work and started working in a printing factory.

The salary was low for its long hours of work. He was alarmed by the poor conditions.

So, he organized a labor union and requested an improvement of a work environment. In the result, all the union members got fired.

It caused him to learn a skill to publicly speak out the actuality of the work environment. So he studied hard to take college entrance exam and he passed the exam.

Then he became a writer after graduating from college. Kamata did not think that he could write a realistic story without actually experiencing it. In order to experience it, he started working in an auto factory with a fixed term contract.

‘Jidosha zetsubou koujou (desperate auto factory)’, his novel, based on his experience of working in an auto factory received an enthusiastic public response.


Kamata says, “There are a lot of disposable workers who work in harsh condition. I would like to keep writing about them to tell the people the actual condition.”


The NIKKEI 02/19/2010 by Satoshi Kamata (reportage writer)



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