ESCAPE FROM WORK is about an important evolution which has been occurring in the Japanese labor market over the past decade. As Japanese came to enjoy higher levels of affluence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, attitudes towards work and life course began to change. At the same time, globalization and heightened competition have accelerated the casualization of work in Japan. Kosugi documents the increase in the number of causal workers in Japan over the past two decades and looks at their demographics. Based on rich interview data and extensive surveys, Kosugi brings together the findings of a large research project carried out in the early years of this century. The study explores ways in which the furitaa, young persons falling outside the normal pattern in making the transition from school to employment, might better be incorporated into Japan s world of regular, full-time employment. At the same time, Kosugi calls for a reappraisal of the rather negative way in which those in the labor market for casuals have been traditionally conceived, and recommends acceptance of that market as a means of providing viable career and lifestyle options for Japanese in the twenty-first century.