“I want to die”.
In February 2013, this e-mail was sent to me by my best friend at the university, who was looking for a job at the time. In Japan, more than half a million students start job-hunting simultaneously every year. Students get into this frantic game led by their desire and anxiety for their future careers. Job-hunting is very competitive in Japan. Traditionally it's the biggest entrance for young people to become adults in the society. If you miss or fail this big opportunity, society thinks your whole life is just over. The pressure to the young generation is huge and sometimes leads to serious mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
“Recruit” is a personal story of Yo Toshino, my best friend from university, and his job-hunting experience. This is just one of the stories amongst more than half a million job-hunters in Japan. I want to give this complicated contemporary issue more exposure, because it's not only an issue among the young generation in Japan. Unemployment rates are very high among many countries nowadays.
Who? Hiroshi Okamoto
Docking Oct 17 - Nov 11
Working on Recruit
About job-hunters in Japan
Hiroshi is a photographer / filmdirector based in Tokyo. He was born in 1990. He graduated from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University with a degree in social science and anthropology in 2014. After graduating, he was working as film director and editor at a video production in Japan. He started his career as a freelance photographer and film director from 2016. He is mostly working on East African countries and Japan.
Director at Spaarnestad Photo
The book is about the author’s friend’s experience of job hunting in Japan. It has a form of a recruiting portfolio application, mixed with emails, bills, travel tickets, behavior and dress code instructions. It provides an in-depth insider view into the struggle of young people being on the border between teenage and adult life. The book keeps the viewer curious until the last page.
Hiroshi won the runner up prize for this book at the Photobook Awards in Maribor, Slovenia.