OK, I think I have a grip on your guy's image. Since you didn't give
him a name, I'll call him Takeshi Yamasaki for now.
As a forty year-old single guy who's worked his way up to a middle
executive ranks in the highly competitive banking field, Takeshi seems
like a guy who puts his career above everything (probably why his
relationships never last) Yamasaki-san seems like a guy who wants
everything out of life, so the 100 hour weeks he most likely puts in
don't stop him from getting out and enjoying the finer things in life.
So I imagine he makes the most of the time he has by locating himself
in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, where even when the trains stop
running the parties have only just begun. He's probably taken the
opportunity to relocate himself in the brand new Roppongi Hills
This complex, which just opened last year, caters to the the upscale
business lifestyle, offering a mini city within a city with all of the
finest things Tokyo has to offer on an almost 24-hour basis. While he
wouldn't have hired help there, the concierge services are probably
adequate for his needs. Here, or in the surrounding Roppongi city
filled with reveling foreigners (probably the hottest gaijin spot in
all of Japan), he can indulge in anything from fine French and Italian
cuisine, to the increasingly popular Asian fare such as Korean and
Thai. And of course, all that Japan has to offer, especially the
upscale izakayas in the area, providing our Takeshi with the whiskey
and sake that fuels his intense lifestyle. If he's really living high
on the hog, he might occasionally take the short trip to Akasaka to
partake in the local geisha entertainment.
I'm not sure what other details you're looking for, so if there's any
other specific questions you have about our Takeshi, please let me
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Request for Answer Clarification by
24 Jan 2004 03:09 PST
I have found your answer helpful. Before I close this query, I wonder
if there is anything you can add that relates to the original question
eg typical Japanese working hours, modes of transport to and from
work, is it true that karaoke, karate and golf are popular or is that
a myth? Does religion impact on Japanese life? And am I right in
assuming that the Japanese would sleep the same hours as someone in
for example England (roughly 8 hours)?
Don't worry if you can't answer any of these queries, I thought I'd
ask whilst I had your ear.
Clarification of Answer by
24 Jan 2004 04:12 PST
The eight hour workday is a paradise that I and most other Japanese
salarymen do not enjoy. I mentioned the 100 hour weeks in my answer;
by this I mean that bank executives are putting in around 16 hour
workdays Monday thru Friday, and probably doing some extra stuff on
Saturday and Sunday, not including time outside the office wining and
dining with clients or others from work.
Your Tokyo executive, unless he's lucky enough to live within walking
distance of work, is probably cramming himself into a crowded train or
subway around 7:00-7:30am, leaving the office sometime between
9:00-11:00pm, and most nights is going out drinking with customers
and/or co-workers at an izakaya or pub until the last train home...or
perhaps skipping the last train and going out to an all-night karaoke
place with friends until the trains start running again around 5am.
Our friend probably hasn't gotten eight hours of sleep in years...or
at least since the last time he was stricken with a really bad
illness. More likely he's getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep on the
Most Japanese are brought up under the influence of the Shinto and
Buddhist religions (though curiously, many people get married in
Christian churches) The Buddhist mindset plays a part in shaping
one's way of thought, but the only way it directly enters most
people's lives might be in the spring, summer, and on the anniversary
of a parent's death, when he might go to visit their grave.
It wouldn't be particularly strange for your guy to be doing karate or
golf. He's much more likely to be doing golf than karaoke, though it
is extremely expensive. Karaoke is popular among all walks of life,
though Japan has specialized "karaoke booths", private rooms rented
out to groups of people as opposed to everyone sharing one common
space, and he's surely doing this at times.