The 24-year-old jumped from an employee dormitory after her workload at Dentsu, Inc., increased sharply. A labor inspection office confirmed she logged 105 hours of overtime in the month before her depression.
She had written about her exhaustion on Twitter in the days leading up to her death. “I have lost all my emotions, except for a desire to sleep,” she wrote. “Once again, it’s been decided that I have to work on weekends too. I seriously want to die.”
Tweets about her boss’s words such as “your sleepy face during meetings shows you are incapable of managing the work” revealed that she also suffered from power and sexual harassment.
“There’s no job more important than your life. My daughter’s death is not a performance. It’s not a fiction. It’s something that happened in reality,” her mother, Yukimi Takahashi, pictured above, said at a symposium on measures to prevent death from overwork in November.
This incident at one of the biggest and prestigious companies was widely reported and led to the resignation of Dentsu’s president and a rare court trial (Dentsu has been fined 500,000 yen); it sparked and outcry and demands for the government and companies to rethink about the working culture in Japan.