Bad Break-up? Japanese Company Gives You Time Off to Shop!

Valentine's Day is a big deal in Japan, it's even spawned something called "White Day" a month later so the loving fun can go on and on! Breaking up, on the other hand, can leave one depressed, miserable and in no mood to be productive at work. What's a caring company to do?   

Miki Hiradate, CEO of Tokyo-based Hime & Company, obviously has been through the relationship wars and can sympathize with her employees. Explains Hiradate, "Not everyone needs to take maternity leave but with heartbreak, everyone needs time off, just like when you get sick." Now before we get ahead of ourselves, it should be noted that Hime & Company is a cosmetics marketing company with an all-female staff of 6. Even the company name reflects its feminine focus: "Hime" (pronounced "hee-may") is Japanese for "princess".

Hime & Company offers staffers aged under 24 one break-up recovery day each year. Once they hit 25 they're entitled to two days off annually and 30-plussers get a full three days off. CEO Hiradate says that "Women in their 20s can find their next love quickly, but it's tougher for women in their 30s, and their break-ups tend to be more serious." Who knew?

The much-publicized break-up days are not the only unique benefit Hime & Company offers, by the way. Company staff can take two fully paid mornings off twice a year to go bargain hunting in Tokyo's trendy shops, department stores and fashion boutiques. Afterwards, staffers bring their shopping bags back to the office and "we can enjoy the best part about sales shopping -- talking about our purchases afterwards." It's enough to make anyone forget about that messy break-up... at least during working hours! (via Gimundo and Reuters)     

Steve Levenstein     
Japanese Innovations Writer     
Jan 31, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Time off for heartbreak

Those lucky Japanese! First, they have a lower incidence of cancer and heart disease than we do - and now this! I guess it's just one perk after another when you're Japanese.

Feb 1, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Lucky indeed...

Not to mention that Japanese women have the longest avg lifespan of any nation's female population. Oops, i just did!

Feb 2, 2008
by Anne Moss (not verified)

did not know

I had no idea that the Japanese even celebrated Valentine's Day. Now I find out it's an important celebration.

Feb 2, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Valentine's Day in Japan is

Valentine's Day in Japan is a big deal, but as always there's a twist - it's the girls who go out and buy gifts, almost always chocolate btw, for the guys. Sweet!!

Feb 5, 2008
by Vester (not verified)

Japanese time off for breakup

This is amazing. Ending a relationship is one of the top ten stresses so, I think this is a pretty nice idea.