Monk sues temple at Mt Koya world heritage site over heavy workload
Japan Today -- May 17
A monk working for a temple at the World Heritage Site of Mt Koya in western Japan has filed a damages suit, claiming he developed depression and was forced to take a leave of absence because of his heavy workload, a lawyer representing him said Wednesday.

The plaintiff filed the suit on April 27 with the Wakayama District Court, seeking some 8.6 million yen in damages and unpaid wages.

The monk, who started working for one of the temples at Mt Koya in 2008, developed depression around December 2015 and has been absent from work since March 2016, the complaint says.

A local labor standards supervision office has already recognized his overwork, confirming he once worked for at least a month without a day off.

According to the complaint, he made preparations from before 5 a.m. for guests at the temple's shukubo, a lodging built for monks and worshippers, to take part in morning prayers. He sometimes worked late into the night attending to guests and fulfilling other duties at the temple.

The surge in guests in 2015, the year marking the 1,200 years since the founding of the head temple at Mt Koya, forced him to work 64 consecutive days between March and May, and 32 straight days between September and October.

The lawyer said working at temples tends to be regarded as training, and he wants to shed light on the working environment where monks could be forced into overwork.

News source: Japan Today
Mar 20
The head of the Japanese Olympic Committee has announced he will step down when his term expires in June. (NHK)
Mar 20
The average price of all types of land in urban areas rose last year for the first time since 1992 as the growing influx of foreign tourists rejuvenated real estate investment, the government said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Mar 19
Japan's space probe operating on an asteroid some 340 million kilometers from Earth is preparing to study the asteroid's interior by creating an artificial impact crater. (NHK)
Mar 19
Japanese rock singer Yuya Uchida died of pneumonia on Sunday. He was 79 years old. (NHK)
Mar 19
A team of investigators into how a Japanese real-estate leasing company built substandard apartment buildings has found building materials were improperly substituted on the orders of the company's founder. (NHK)
Mar 19
As part of an effort to streamline markets and attract more investors, the Tokyo Stock Exchange may demote about a third of its largest listed companies and cut down the bourses it operates to three from four, according to media reports. (Japan Times)
Mar 19
The government will soon start discussing how to achieve a stable Imperial succession, including the creation of female branches of the royal family. (Japan Times)
Mar 17
An amusement park themed on the world of Finland's Moomin fairytale characters opened Saturday in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, aiming to attract 1 million visitors a year. (Kyodo)
Mar 16
Trains in and around the Japanese capital will run later into the night during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to allow spectators to get home easily from events. (NHK)
Mar 16
The Tokyo District Court has sentenced the former head of a digital currency exchange to 30 months in prison suspended for four years for altering data in a Bitcoin account. (NHK)