WebDef: Karoshi

Kar·o·shi /kä'roshe/ – Noun: Death by overwork

Karoshi is a Japanese term relating to the occupational sudden death due to job-related exhaustion. Generally, the cause of death is reported as heart attack or stroke, but the deaths are commonly thought to arise from the workplace culture of "voluntary" unpaid overtime and a process known as Japanese Production Management, a teamwork approach where efficiency is of supreme importance. Sixty hour work weeks are not uncommon, and workers in midlife fear being unable to find full-time new jobs if they decline.

In contrast to working up to seven days a week for up to twelve or more hours in a day, the Bible calls for a Sabbath day of rest, "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." (Exodus 20:10. See also Genesis 2:3, Exodus 16:23, 20:8-11, 31:17 & 34:14-21, Leviticus 23:3, Deut. 5:12-15, Exekiel 20:12-24, Hebrews 4:9, etcetera).

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WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.

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