Blood, Sweat, Ink, and Tears: Exploitation of Labour in the Japanese Animation Industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


What are the labour conditions of working animators today in Japan? How are they extensions of the industry’s origins and neoliberal practices? Foregrounded by a historical inquiry into the origins of anime labour practices and the rise of Japanese neoliberalism, this paper explores attempts to answer these questions. Through case studies, industry data, and published interviews, this paper examines current precarious labour conditions for animators in Japan, and how animators often consent to exploitative working conditions through misconceptions about artistic labour. This paper will also highlight some small but substantial ways animators resist exploitation and present some recommendations for combating the rise of precarious work in this sector of the cultural industries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium Proceedings: GLRC Graduate Student Symposium 2016
EditorsMark P. Thomas, Jordan House, Loren March
PublisherGlobal Labour Research Centre, York University
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
EventGLRC Graduate Student Symposium 2016 - York University, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 27 Oct 201628 Oct 2016


ConferenceGLRC Graduate Student Symposium 2016


  • media industries
  • labour studies
  • anime


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