Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Becoming a Salaryman

The downside to Tokyo life is that one lives just like most other Japanese. Work, work and work.

I miss clocking off at 4 or 5PM in Sydney, head off to Town Hall or Hyde Park and put in at least two hours of chess before catching the train for home. You could have a few laughs with friends, maybe even an argument or two with some dumbass patzer who thinks he knows all the Sicilian secrets, but all in all it was always a lot of fun.

These days, I get none of that.

Twelve plus hour days are common, worsened by the absence of fellow lovers of chess! Post work I head straight for my town, or sometimes Shinjuku, and pop into some tiny bar with enough seats for just 6-8 people. Yes, I'm now a regular salaryman! It feels like it anyway.


Ryan said...

Sounds like you're having a tough time adjusting to Japan at the moment. I hope it gets easier, and the experience is an enjoyable one for you.

Thanks for continuing the blog - it's one of my favourite reads.

Anonymous said...

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.
* Late night karaoke.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Amiel,

Or in Japanese, "Ohayo go zai-mas".

It takes time to adjust to a new environment, especially one as foreign as Japan.

However, your new chapter in life gives you more varied experiences (authentic sushi, saki?, travel within Japan, Japanese culture in daily doses!).

Tony Chow

Edu said...

Hi, I'm a spanish chess lover, 34 years old living in Tokio. I know what you mean. I've been living here more than 2 years and I know how the chess world works in Tokyo and around. We can meet some day maybe and play some chess shile drinking one bier... You have my email so if you feel up to it... Here I am Thks. Edu