Since the 1990s, it has become difficult for non-elite youth in Japan to rise economically and socially through their occupations. It has been argued that for the occupation of sushi chef as well the past practices of skills development through the apprenticeship system and rising through career moves within an occupational labor market may be breaking down gradually.
However, interviews with young sushi chefs have shown that it still is possible to build a career and rise in the occupation as in the past. The need has developed for more flexible development of experience and skills as an effective means of responding to deflationary times through high-value- added preparation of dishes and customer service. Since they contribute to filling this need, skills development through the apprenticeship system and career moves within an occupational labor market continue to function even today, although their forms are changing. Career formation and rising in the occupation can be observed not just at high-end restaurants but even among sushi chefs employed by inexpensive restaurants. One could conclude that even today it remains possible for a young sushi chef to rise economically and socially through his occupation.
Interfaith community organizing is an organizing technique that aims to create mechanisms that bring people of different faiths together in order to collectively address issues of common concerns in their communities. One of the common features that the author finds is the use of the notion of charitable spirits as a political rhetorical device to promote social justice for low-wage workers in the United States. This notion appears to work as the foundation for bringing labor organizers and religious leaders in agreement with regard to the targets and the goals of social justice movements. Through the case analysis of the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), the paper explores whether the notion of charitable spirits can be used to raise political awareness among those who are not interested in economic and social justice issues while simultaneously creating and enhancing solidarity among those who are actively involved in these social movements. First, the paper briefly traces the history of interfaith community organizing in the United States, which dates back to the early 20th century. Then, it contextualizes the case by summarizing the history of Interfaith Worker Justice. Third, the paper examines the case by using social movement concepts, such as framing, interaction rituals, moral shock, resonance, rhetorical displays. It argues that some of the IWJ’s campaigning and recruiting activities were ineffective in terms of soliciting solidarity from non-members. Fourth, the paper discusses how the Interfaith Worker Justice was able to overcome ramifications that emerged from its activities. In sum, the paper concludes that the notion of charitable spirits, which appear to have little to do with politics, may have the potential of becoming a social movement tactic. This tactic may have the possibility of building moral solidarity among activists with similar goals who do not necessarily share the same ideological backgrounds.