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Encyclopedia > Salaryman

Salaryman (サラリーマン Sararīman?, salaried man) refers to someone whose income is salary based; particularly those working for corporations. Though the word itself can be considered a type of engrish, its frequent use by Japanese corporations, and its prevalence in Japanese manga and anime has gradually led to its acceptance in English-speaking countries as a noun for a Japanese white-collar businessman. The word can be found in many books and articles pertaining to Japanese culture, and carries associations of long working hours, low prestige in the corporate hierarchy, absence of significant sources of income other than salary, wage slavery, and karōshi. The term salaryman refers almost exclusively to males. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For other uses, see Electronic music (disambiguation). ... Poster Children are an indie rock band from Champaign, Illinois. ... Romanino, Superintendent paying the workers, 1531-32, fresco, Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trento, Italy. ... An example of Engrish on a sign in Sasebo, Japan. ... This article is about the comics created in Japan. ... Animé redirects here. ... White-collar workers perform tasks which are less laborious yet often more highly paid than blue-collar workers, who do manual work. ... Wage slavery is a term used to refer to a hierarchical social condition in which a person chooses a job but only within a coerced set of choices (i. ... Karōshi ) (pronounced ), which can be translated quite literally from Japanese as death from overwork, is occupational sudden death. ...



The term is thought to have originated in Japan during the 1920s, when industrialization was taking place in parts of the country. It was widely applied to include blue-collar workers under its definition, but is currently used to describe white-collar workers in profit-making enterprises. Industrialisation (or industrialization) or an industrial revolution (in general, with lowercase letters) is a process of social and economic change whereby a human society is transformed from a pre-industrial to an industrial state . ... A blue-collar worker is a working class employee who performs manual or technical labor, such as in a factory or in technical maintenance trades, in contrast to a white-collar worker, who does non-manual work generally at a desk. ...

The term does not include all workers who receive a set salary. Workers in the mizu shōbai and entertainment industries (including actors and singers) are not included even though their income may be salary based. Similarly, doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, musicians, artists, politicians, the self-employed, and corporate executives are also excluded. Mizu shōbai (Japanese: 水商売), or the water trade, is the traditional euphemism for the night-time entertainment business in Japan, provided by geisha, hostess or snack bars, bars, and cabarets. ...

A typical description of the salaryman is a white-collar desk worker in a suit and tie, who may or may not have a high grade of education. However, the term may also be used to give a highly negative connotation (see Social image). The word "businessman" is often used to avoid the negative image. A significant percentage of Japan's workers are salarymen. In sociology, the salaryman is known as Japan's new middle class, as opposed to the old middle class consisting of farmers and storeowners.

The media often portray the salaryman in negative fashion for lack of initiative and originality. Because of this portrayal, communities may be less willing to consult the salaryman for his emotional problems, which often leads to clinical depression or even suicide. Corporations are often more willing to fire salarymen to lower costs, and many Japanese students are attempting to veer off the typical path of graduating from college to enter a corporation and become a salaryman. The act of escaping from the corporate lifestyle is known as datsusara. On the Threshold of Eternity. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ...

Social image

The prevalence of salarymen in Japanese society has given birth to many depictions by the media and various cartoons. 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.

The image of a lifestyle revolving entirely around work gave birth to the names, shachiku (社畜?) meaning corporate livestock, and kaisha no inu (会社の犬?) corporate dog, to ridicule salarymen. This article is about the sport. ... This article is about the four-player game of Chinese origin. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ...

The social image may differ according to the time period and economic situation. For example, the salaryman during the Japanese asset price bubble was a business warrior armed with an energy drink, whereas the salaryman in the post-bubble period was a worker cowering in fear of employee cuts or salary-reductions. The image of the salaryman in each period is often reflective of Japan's social condition as a whole. bubbles are things that you make out of soap. ...


The three stereotypical activities of the salaryman were listed above, but changing social circumstances have greatly diversified their lives outside of work.

Though the importance of social drinking has not declined, its image has changed overtime from mass partying during the economic bubble to conservative consumption at home after the collapse of the economy during the 1990s.

Mahjong was immensely popular among the 1960s generation, who brought the game into company circles directly from high school and college groups. The 1970s generation saw a gradual decrease in the number of avid mahjong players, and by the 1980s, it became common to not show any interest at all. Some current salarymen may have never touched a mahjong board in their lives.

Golf became widely popular during the economic bubble, when golf club passes became useful tools for currying favor with corporate executives. Many mid-level salarymen were pressured into taking up golf to participate in golfing events with their bosses. The collapse of the economic bubble led to the closing of many of these golf courses, and the ritual of playing golf with executives has become increasingly rare. However, some current salarymen may have golfing experience from their student days, and golf is still acknowledged as an expensive hobby for salarymen.

An interesting recent phenomenon is the otaku salaryman. The 2000s has seen the rise of this type of salaryman, who appears perfectly ordinary at work, but is actually an intense otaku in his private life. It is currently not uncommon for salarymen to have a wide range of hobbies, but the "otaku as salaryman" is still treated as a relatively new entity in Japanese culture. Otaku ) is a derisive Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests in manga, anime or hentai. ...


Datsusara (脱サラ?) refers to the act of quitting work as a salaryman and finding a new occupation. The term only refers to those who quit their office job to find a more fulfilling line of work, and not those who were forced to search for a new job after being fired, or quit simply out of boredom. Becoming a stay-at-home dad also does not qualify for this category. Examples of this include becoming a SoHo worker, web designer, farmer, fisherman, traditional artisan, writer, restaurant/store owner, franchiser, and many other occupations. A stay-at-home dad is an occupation of a male parent who is the primary caregiver of his children and home. ... The modern concept of Small Office and Home Office or SoHo, or Small or Home Office deals with the category of business which can be from 1 to 10 workers. ...

Datsusara is not an easy option for the salaryman. The new job is often a childhood dream or a momentary inspiration of some sort, and takes a huge amount of time and work to come to fruition. The main danger lies in taking up a profession without the proper knowledge and training; a salaryman seeking to become an organic farmer can unwittingly devastate his first crop because all of his knowledge is based on reading and studying rather than actual hands-on training.

Despite the numerous risks involved, the number of salarymen who quit their jobs has been on the rise since the 1990s. Many of these people only became salarymen because they were told to do so by their childhood environment, and quit after becoming discouraged by the nature of their work. Datsusara can also be seen as a rebound against the stress of schoolwork and university entrance exams, or against corporate hierarchy. Another factor is that improvements in living standards have made it so that one does not necessarily need a set income in order to survive.

See also

An office lady, often abbreviated OL (Japanese: オーエル), is a female office worker in Japan who performs generally white collar (or, some would say, pink collar) tasks such as serving tea and secretarial or clerical work. ... Salaryman Kintaro ), also known as White Collar Worker Kintaro, is manga series by Hiroshi Motomiya. ...


  • Japanese Wikipedia - サラリーマン. Retrieved on 2007-12-03.
Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...



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