Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: January 9th, 2018
Norifuse Mita recently had an interview where he claimed that overtime was prohibited in the workplace and that his employees have ample time to rest. But a manga assistant, one that worked for Mita, Shunsuke Kakuishi, made claims that he work for almost 12 years as assistant for Mita with plenty of overtime and no pay to show for it.
Kakuishi is requesting the unreceived payments as a form of protest to try and make some sound in the industry and raise awareness of working conditions for manga assistants. Kakuishi kept his time cards as proof that assistants work more than reported but he also acknowledged that he never worked through an entire night and that conditions under Mita are better than elsewhere in the industry.
Manga creator Kyosuke Usuta made a tweet (Which has now been deleted) where he claimed that assistants were well paid and had the ability to simply go work elsewhere if they aren’t happy. Kakuishi then responded by saying that exploitation of assistants was prevalent in the industry thanks to excuses like that.
This is an especially important issue in a country where “Death by overwork” (Or karoshi) is actually a thing (Let’s not pretend here, if an employer works his employee to death, its not work but slavery and dare I say, murder).