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About the project

Looking back, we have lived through a period of trying to grab hold of things and ascend to places at great speed and in very little time. This may have been the very epitome of life on a high-speed elevator (or escalator), diligently and devotedly hurtling toward the top floor, and you may have thought that this would always continue.

Nevertheless, we are now facing a period where the lifetime employment system is disappearing and it has become difficult to see a single, clear path to life. Some people unexpectedly face unemployment and the reality of possibly not reaching the vaunted destination that we in society had come to expect. How are we to cope with and spend this period of our lives marked by an unforeseen and undesired interruption to life?

This point in life may be described as a landing (an “odoriba”), where we step off onto the landing. Perhaps the distant guideposts in life are clouded at the moment and we are unsure of which path to walk, how to walk it, or indeed, if we even can walk it.

Should you find yourself on such a landing, please raise your head for a moment and scan your surroundings. You may see previously unnoticed scenery. There are, perhaps, stirrings that you were unable to hear because you were concentrating on your path ahead. You may feel the rustle of soft breezes. In addition, you may notice that you have come to this point without the luxury of the time to experience the scenery.

Look out from the landing at the path that you have traveled so far. What did you do? What did you not do? Who are the people who lent you a hand to help you get here? And...what kind of life will you build from this time forward?

The odoriba, landing, that you have now stepped onto, may actually be a very valuable place for you to reflect back on the course you have charted up to now. To be sure, you may not be able to get past the feeling that the events of your life have come to an abrupt halt. Yet you may be able to observe that feeling, experience it, and then try to spend this part of your life with some of the perspective described above. We titled this research project the “Odoriba Support Project” with the hope of working with you to reach this understanding and to be of assistance in building the type of resilience that will help you craft your future life.

Lives have certain odoriba that are not limited to periods of unemployment. Unemployment is the central topic of this website. However, the Odoriba Support Project takes a much wider view of your life. We strive to be a broad and valuable resource for anyone who finds themselves stranded on a landing, or anyone who is in a support role for such individuals.

About the site

This website contains varied information on unemployment for anyone experiencing this phase of life, for those with concerns about unemployment, and friends and family members supporting such individuals.

To be sure, obtaining a job and financial support may be the most important things when facing unemployment. Yet, we all occasionally experience fatigue as we try to seek out these solutions, or circumstances may prevent us from promptly pursuing these solutions.

It is at times like these that mental and spiritual support are necessary. Going forward, we plan to use this website to provide information on seminars, etc., incorporating insights from clinical psychology, as well as information on other events for the benefit of the unemployed and their mental health care needs.

Previous research was focused on the psychological perspective in examining, consulting, and studying unemployment issues that have received a measure of attention since the downsizing phenomena after the collapse of Japan’s economic bubble. From now on, however, we intend to focus particularly on research based on actual experience—research that contributes back to those in need—rather than research for research’s sake. One reason this site was created was to communicate useful information gleaned from our studies.

Again, though modest in size, we hope to be a comprehensive and valuable resource for anyone who finds themselves faced with creating a new self-direction, or anyone who is in a support role for such individuals.

Miho Takahashi
Odoriba Support Project representative

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