salarymen

Up to 40 percent of Japanese men can’t sleep because of work

A new survey reveals that a startling number of Japanese workers are literally losing sleep over their stressful jobs.

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Famed educator says Steve Jobs, Bill Gates would have been ruined by Japanese education system

Labels the country’s schools as stifling “salaryman training facilities.”

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Top 11 tweets to make you feel glad you don’t work in Japan

It’s no secret that working in Japan can be pretty miserable. Long hours, unpaid overtime, power harassment, and mandatory drinking parties with coworkers are just some of the factors that contribute to workers all over Japan leading stressful lives.

But misery loves company, so that’s why we present the top 11 tweets to make you feel glad you don’t work in Japan. Some of them are attempts at encouragement, some of them are commiserating, and some of them are so painfully sad that you can’t help but cry. So read on and see how your own work compares to Japan!

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10 truly terrifying Japanese train stories as told to us by foreigners

We’ve all heard stories about Japanese trains, such as about the white-gloved attendants who push passengers into crowded rush-hour trains in Tokyo, tales of lost property returned, or even the occasional gripe about women who put on their make-up or men who use electric shavers while riding to work. Or maybe you’ve heard about how often Japanese people sleep on trains.

Well, today we probe a bit further and uncover some stories of truly horrible things that have happened while riding Japanese trains as told to us by foreigners who witnessed them firsthand. From perverts and nuns to near-death experiences, this will be the most entertaining article you’ll read all week! These stories will have you either rolling on the floor laughing, or more likely, crying.

Join us for some true tales of horror after the jump.

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Japanese Twitter user’s comics depicting office-lady life will hit you right in the feels

The life of a Japanese salaryman or OL (office lady) can be a thoroughly depressing one. Waking up early, working all day, staying out late for (mandatory) drinks with clients and coworkers, and then catching a few hours of sleep if you’re lucky, only to repeat it again and again and again until you finally hit retirement age.

Japanese Twitter user @black9arrows managed to capture this lifestyle perfectly in comic form. While many of the comics are funny, most of them are so dead-on you’ll cry right along with the poor OL protagonist.

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Japanese women of Twitter show off legs to encourage men working over Golden Week holidays

It’s Golden Week in Japan! Aside from New Year’s, these precious vacation days at the end of April/beginning of May are the longest stretches of time in a row that most people get off from work. Unless, of course, you don’t get the time off work because you’re too busy. Then your Golden Week is typically spent crying to yourself at your desk and watching people have fun outside your window.

But not this year! Women all over Twitter have teamed up to create a hashtag devoted to cheering up men stuck in the office over Golden Week: #ShowLegToShowSupportForSalarymen. If you’re stuck at work too, then feel free to join the fun and take a look as well… just as long as no one’s watching the slightly NSFW tweets on your computer.

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Fear of failure could be behind the extremely low happiness rate among Japanese men

Recently the world got a look at the busy world of salarymen in Japan via a viral video, but there were also some slight reassurances that these company men didn’t necessarily hate their lives. We may have been a bit too optimistic, however, because a study done last year found that less than 30 percent of Japanese man can confidently say, “I am happy.” Well… that’s some statistic.

What’s behind the unhappiness factor among Japanese men? Bad marriages, work problems, convenience store diets? Accomplished Japanese author Reiko Yuyama gives her two yen on the root of the problem.

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High art or crime scene? More photos of passed-out salarymen 【Pics】

A late-night stroll through the streets of Shinjuku or some other lively Tokyo neighborhood usually involves flashing neon signs, groups of people heading to and from drinking parties, and cries of “Otsukarasamadeshita!” (“You’ve worked hard!”) between red-faced coworkers as they part ways. As the evening wears on, a new creature makes its entrance onto the scene. Curled up on the sidewalk or spread eagle on a bench, it’s that curious big-city phenomenon, the passed out salaryman.

Photographer Kenji Kawamoto recently shined a new light on these hard-working, hard-partying company men with a series of photos depicting their various states of repose. While the result is surprisingly artistic, context really is everything; more than a few of these look like shots of crime scenes. 

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Video shows how Japanese salarymen work crazy hours, but is that really the norm? [Video]

It’s the end of the fiscal year in Japan, which means that Japanese companies have been under a lot of pressure these days to get things done. This can cause long, stressful hours for the salarymen bustling in and out of work everyday. One such salaryman, Stu in Tokyo, a British expat and a vlogger, made a video depicting his work/life balance during this busy time.

While the video went viral and has brought the tireless life of a Japanese salaryman to mass media, is the negative impression as accurate as we conceive?

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Foreigners dish about the weird antics of Japanese “salarymen”

The term “salaryman” [サラリーマン] is a Japanese-coined word that refers to the masses of salaried company employees that devote their lives to work. The popular image of a salaryman is a sleep-deprived, overworked, middle-aged man who works long hours from early morning until late at night, sometimes barely even seeing his family for long stretches at a time. To let off steam, he may indulge in drinking parties with his fellow coworkers. While this stereotype certainly does not fit all company workers, it is prevalent enough for many foreigners to take notice. In fact, some foreigners recently listed the odd and downright silly behaviors of overworked Japanese salarymen that they have observed firsthand. Can you guess what kinds of things they mentioned?

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Survey Reveals 24% of Workers in Japan Have Less Than $2.84 to Spend on Lunch

According to a 2012 survey of 2,000 Shinsei Bank employees, the average worker now spends 510 yen (US $5.79) on lunch every day. That’s down from 710 yen (US $8.06) in 2001 and 600 yen (US $6.81) in 2007. That’s a 30% decrease in twelve years.

Nikkan Spa, a popular magazine in Japan, conducted its own survey and found an even bleaker outcome. In a survey of 100 salarymen (office workers) and public servants in their 30s and 40s, a surprising 64 percent of workers admitted that they spend 500 yen (US $5.67) or less on lunch. An even more astonishing 24 percent of workers get by on just 250 yen (US $2.84) a day.

A measly 250 yen (US $2.84) won’t even buy a beef bowl at Sukiya, famed to be the cheapest lunch around. If these salarymen can’t even afford the cheapest meals available for purchase, what exactly are they eating? Let’s take a peek inside the slimmed-down lunchboxes of Japan’s typical worker.

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