「パワハラ」をオージーに英語で説明してみよう !

What is pawahara?

文:池田俊一 オーストラリア国立大学アジア・太平洋カレッジ日本センター、協力:池田澪奈


Aussie: It doesn’t sound like an ‘original’ Japanese word, what with the パ (pa) and ワ (wa) sounds side-by-side…

You: You make a very good observation there. パワハラ (pawahara) is indeed a 和製
英語 (wasei-eigo, meaning ‘Japanese-made English word’), and it combines the katakana
words パワー (pawā) for “power” and ハラスメント (harasumento) for “harassment”.

Aussie: Oh, so like… Harassment using power? Like physical violence?

You: It CAN be physical violence, yes. But パワハラ is a word which is a bit broader. When the Japanese National Diet introduced the Power Harassment Prevention Act in 2019, パワハラ was defined as “remarks and behaviour of people taking advantage of their superior positions in the workplace that exceed what is necessary and appropriate for the conduct of business, thereby harming the working environment of employees”.

Aussie: I see. So ‘power’ as in the power they hold in their workplace.

You: That’s right. The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has since defined 6 major examples of パワハラ as: 1) physical abuse; 2) mental or emotional abuse; 3) deliberate isolation of the employee in the workplace; 4) overwork of the employee; 5) providing an employee with work that is far below their skill level; and 6) infringement of the privacy of an employee by asking personal questions irrelevant to business purposes.

Aussie: I’ve heard before that workplace bullying isn’t all that uncommon in Japan, since many companies have a traditional hierarchical-based organisational setup, which sets a work culture of micro-management, and an expectation of subservience from the employees…

You: Unfortunately, you’re right. There are still many behaviours in Japanese workplaces which would constitute as abusive, discriminatory, and/or exploitive if it were done over here. Sadly, other portmanteau words which describe different harassments exist, too, such as セクハラ (sekuhara) for sexual harassment, and マタハラ (matahara) for maternity harassment, which kind of shows just how bad the situation is.




’original’ Japanese word 元からの日本語
what with ~ ~という点で
make (an) observation 類推する
National Diet 国会
Power Harassment Prevention Act パワーハラスメント防止法
take advantage of ~ ~を利用する/~につけ込む
exceed (限界を)超える
physical abuse 身体的な攻撃
deliberate isolation 意図的な孤立状態
infringement 侵害
irrelevant 無関係な
workplace bullying 職場でのいじめ
not all that uncommon 珍しいことではない
hierarchical-based 階層性に基づいた
micro-management 小規模な管理体制
subservience 貢献
exploitive 搾取的な
portmanteau word 混成語/造語


“thereby” は、やや文語的だが「そうすることによって」という意味の言葉で、更に何かを説明したい時に使われる。

【例1】Thus, the government introduces a bill only if it thinks it can thereby change policy for the better.

【例2】The learner will thereby gain a much greater understanding of the theory behind these practices.

【例3】We all have different opinions and ideas, but we can also discuss these differences, thereby encouraging creative diversity.

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