Tomoko Hidaka, in "Masculinity and the Family System," focuses on the post-war Japanese conception of the sarariman
or "salaryman" (2) as a representative of "the hegemonic form of masculinity" (112).
The postwar economic boom led to the stereotypical Japanese salaryman (sarariman
) rarely seeing his family during long days of work followed by socializing with colleagues.
Most bourgeois women in Japan, if they have a job at all after child-rearing, work at menial, time-consuming if "part-time" jobs for half the pay of a male while retaining their full-time job keeping house and family for an absent sarariman
The nation's middle-class army of "sarariman
" (white-collar) workers, uniformed in their blue suits and white shirts, is committing suicide in record numbers--three times as many as die in car accidents--because the system of lifetime employment in which they started their careers is crumbling.
On overcrowded trains, rows of weary-looking sarariman
("salary men" or male office workers) and OL (an abbreviation of "office ladies") insulate themselves from the crush of other commuters by focusing almost Zen-like attention on small, glowing screens, scanning email or news headlines, or feeding insistent virtual pets.