The entry for WWWJDIC lists 飯場 as a possibly sensitive word (sens). However, the definition is just

construction camp; bunkhouse; workers' living quarters

and it appears in 燃え尽きた地図, a novel from 1967, without any particular prejudice attached (in the description of a construction site). What's going on with this word?

  • 2
    Hint: Near-slavery. I do not feel like discussing 飯場 during the holidays. Perhaps you could obtain some information by googling "hanba system". Dec 30 '13 at 7:07
  • I appreciate it. Thanks for your assistance. Dec 31 '13 at 7:50

From the Wikipedia article on Hitachi Mine (there does not appear to be one for 飯場制度 itself):


The language is not direct, but it's easy to imagine what went on.

(as an aside, 「友子」 here appears to refer to a system of apprenticeship between miners.)

  • This answer would be greatly improved by providing an English explanation of the content of the quoted text.
    – Questioner
    Feb 21 '14 at 7:43
  • Is English use/explanation promoted or enforced in the FAQ or any other official document? I was also avoiding discussing the concept directly out of sensitivity. Feb 21 '14 at 22:11
  • "Enforced" is perhaps too strong. It's more just by virtue of the interface and the community, English is the lingua franca for talking about Japanese. Note that the question you are answering is stated in English. It's arguable that if someone had enough Japanese ability to understand the text you cite, they probably wouldn't need this site. Also, there are other users of JLU who are earlier in learning that would benefit. As for sensitivity, it's commendable that you are concerned, but I think we're all adults here and can deal with difficult topics objectively.
    – Questioner
    Feb 22 '14 at 6:21

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