Jul 19, 2018

Awesome Japan: Silver Jinzai Edition

We got a pamphlet in the mail yesterday, and at first I had no idea what it was all about.  I mean, I can read Japanese, but it was for something I had never heard of before: シルバー人材センター Silver Jinzai Center.  I had to take a look inside to figure it out.  Then I saw this page and everything became clear:

Awesome Japan: Silver Jinzai Edition photo

Okay, so now it made sense.  "Silver" for older people and "Jinzai" for human resources.  The Silver Jinzai Center pools retirees and other elder members of the community to serve as a human resource center for hiring opportunities.  Here's a list of the type of work they offer:

- Help with household chores: 870 yen per hour

- Shoji repair (a must for anyone with kids): 880 yen per 3x6 panel

- Glass cleaning: 910 yen per hour

- House cleaning: 870 yen per hour

- Addressing envelopes: 30 yen per postcard (40 yen per letter)

- Gardening: 1,040 yen per hour

and here's one that I would feel really guilty about here in yukiguni:

- Snow shoveling: 1,855 yen per hour

I don't know about you all, but I think this is fantastic.  I don't know if the Silver Jinzai Centers are exploitative in any way (I would certainly object if the center's staff and owners were unfairly using the elder employees to turn a big profit), but at first glance, it seems like a great way to keep folks engaged.  Take it from a guy who has seen the big difference that activity and work can make in preventing dementia and keeping folks healthy for longer, this type of work is really important.  It will only increase in importance with Japan's aging population.

I also think it's a great program to help young families that don't necessarily have extended family close by.  The prices are reasonable, and sometimes when you are juggling work and raising young children, you need a helping hand.

I don't have any odd jobs that need servicing at the moment, but I'll definitely be holding onto this brochure for the future!

What do you think of Silver Jinzai Centers?  Have you ever used their services before?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).