Japan: Part-time University Teachers among Working Poor

At A Prisoner in the Cave, id:eirene describes a documentary on Tokyo Television exploring the situation of working poor among part-time teachers in Japanese universities [ja]. The documentary introduces the lives of two PhD-holding part-time university teaching staff living on a salary of 100,000 yen/month [around 1000 USD], highlighting differences in social status between part-time and full-time teachers. The full movie is viewable in Japanese here [ja], and a research survey titled “The Voices and the Realities”, put out by the association of Part-Time Teachers, is available here (in Japanese and English). (Via mojix.org)


  • I never realized the wages for part-time university teachers were that low! As for the social status, a similar chasm seems to exist between full-time salaried employees (sei-shain) and temporary employees (haken-shain).

  • Hi Ichiro,

    Yes I didn’t realize either. If you read the post, the blogger actually says that it’s not only low salary, but also lack of benefits: insurance, computer costs, travel for research, etc. — part-timers don’t get any of these, but they are apparently evaluated on the same standards as full-time teaching staff.

  • sets

    I know this guy; he’s a brilliant scholar and a really fun person. As a part-time lecturer I find our lifestyles hilariously similar (splashing water on the roof, avoiding sunbaked floors and an inclination to roll out own pasta). I’d still say he’s one of the better off, esp. in keeping himself inspired. Lots of envious comments below the post from those who burnt themselves out with age.

    Fall semester’s just about to begin *heavy sigh*

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