This article explores the institutional causes of karoshi (death from
overwork) and karojisatsu (suicide induced by overwork and
work-related depression) in Japan. Rejecting the culturalist
explanations of these health problems, this study discusses the
management-labor struggles of postwar Japan and their impacts
on the institutional modes of labor relations. It specifically
examines the institutional features of internal labor markets that
are closely linked to karoshi and karojisatsu by exploring how the
Japanese employees are driven to overwork at the micro level.
Drawing on the Foucauldian idea of governmentality and utilizing
a sociological approach, this research treats these institutional
forms of labor relations as part of the governmental technology
that has adversely affected the everyday working lives of
employees and has compelled them to overwork.
Shibata, Yoshio, "Governing Employees: A Foucauldian Analysis of Deaths from Overwork in Japan" (2012). Global Asia Journal. Paper 12.