Typical Japanese Salarymen’s Schedule


Japanese salary men work long hours. I remember my father literally sleeps only five hours or so. He didn’t come home till 8:30pm or so on regular days and it was too late for us, kids to have dinner with him but we were happy to see him come home by 8:30pm because it was even crazier on most days.

He left for work by 7:30pm and then came home by 5pm sometimes and we were so pleasantly surprised by his early return from work and he quickly changes to a suit and tie..for what? Well, that’s to go drinking with his boss, coworkers and sometimes client. On drinking days, it was even worse because he wouldn’t come home until 2am..and does it get to sleep in next day?

No. He still had to get up at the same time and arrive in work by 8:30am..and after sleeping for 4.5 hours, he still comes home by 9:00pm. It all depends on the kind of job employees do in Japan but employees working for Japanese corporations are notorious for the long work hours they work. It literally kills them slowly and some employees die because of overwork (there is a term for that. “Karoshi”) or suicide. It is pretty terrifying that my father’s coworker in his company started to suffer from depression and ended up jumping off the company’s building in his 50s.

I do not want to further promote the stigmas associated with Japanese salarymen but they do work very hard. Fortunately we are not from big cities and my dad drives to work so at least he doesn’t have to take a jam-packed train for 45 minutes everyday. It is exhausting and their work basically starts when they get on the train. In Tokyo, literally you will be pushed into the train during rush hours and that is why you see so many Japanese salary men who are (sound) asleep on the train.

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