In order to support himself and pay his academic fees many a Japanese has to fall into the ranks of the physical laborer during a part of each day or night.
In 1880 a laborer earning 25 krans, or LI sterling a month, could afford to keep a family; by 1908, in krans, he earned double what he did in 1880, but his wage, expressed in sterling, was the same, and wherever the prices of food have risen more than his wages he could not afford to keep a family.
As the world grows richer, people will care more about how their food is made, how the animals are treated, whether the laborer who picked the food is paid a living wage.
For myself I found that the occupation of a day-laborer was the most independent of any, especially as it required only thirty or forty days in a year to support one.
The laborer, looking into it at evening, purifies his thoughts of the dross and earthiness which they have accumulated during the day.