Japan Australia Pages

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Japanese Salaryman

The Japanese Salaryman
Salaryman (サラリーマン Sararīman, salaried man) refers to someone whose income is salary based; particularly those who work for corporations. Its prevalence in Japanese manga and anime has gradually led to its acceptance as a noun for a Japanese white-collar businessman. The Salaryman is now firmly entrenched in Japanese culture and becoming a salaryman is viewed as a gateway to a stable, middle-class lifestyle in Japan. Of course there are many stereotypical images of the Japanese Salaryman many depicted by the media and various cartons.

The following are stereotypical images of the salaryman:
• Lifestyle revolves entirely around work at the office.
• Works over-time on a daily basis.
• Diligent but unoriginal.
• Thoroughly obedient to orders from the higher levels of the company.
• Feels a strong emotional bond with co-workers.
• Drinking, golf, and mahjong are the three main social activities that provide stimulation outside of work.
• Lack of initiative and competitiveness.
• Wears a suit, necktie, and dress shoes to work every day without fail.
• Late night karaoke.

In recent times there have been an increase in gaijin (foreign) salaryman appearing in Japanese society. A lot of these working gaijin have started to talk about their life in Japan and several best selling novels have been written about their experiences. Some of the books I highly recommend are "The Blued Eyed Salaryman" and "Tokyo Vice".

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