Although I knew about this phenomena for a long time now, I felt inspired to do a little article in the rush hour trains from Japan, due to the fact that many may actually don’t even know about this “wonderful” yet “shocking” thing that goes on in the metropolis of Tokyo.
First of all there is something that I must point out so anyone who reads this understands why this may happen in the railways of Tokyo.
Tokyo is HUGE.
The world’s largest city and most populated one is not other but Tokyo! Around 38 million people are always moving from here and there doing their errands and living their lives in what it could be called a prefecture instead of a city because Tokyo is so ridiculously big that if you ever go there do not speak the language, do not have a GPS system, a phone or anything that may help you communicate and know your surroundings then… there are 60% of probabilities that you’re done for.
Also there is the fact that like many other metropolitan areas, Tokyo has its business oriented areas, in this case let me mention the highlighted urban area called Roppongi Hills in Minato which no, is not another city, but a special ward located in Tokyo.
Now, imagine you’re a business man working in uhm let’s say Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. but of course you do not live in Minato but in Bunkyo (lucky you). Now in the morning you have to take the train, taking the Yamamoto Line to arrive to Minato. Familiar? you may have heard that name uncountable times in anime of the slice of life genre that is. If you have then by now you should have an idea of how many people takes this line everyday. Remember, this is just an example, I’m not saying that this does actually take place only and exclusively in the Yamamoto line.
Now this is what you may have to go through when taking the train…
I can’t help but feel like I’m staring at a bunch of sardines packing in a can that can barely get closed because of the little space left. Although the third video gave me the laugh of my life the first time I watched it, I was actually amazed and amused by it.
You can see there are officers in all these videos that are trying to kindly “help” *cough*
push *cough* the people so they can somehow get in the train. Well these officers used to be called “Pushers”, yes “Pushers”. So by this moment you may have realized by their name and what you just saw what they do. The push. Duh.
A pusher is a worker who pushes people onto the train at a railway station during the morning and evening rush hours. Known as oshiya (押し屋) Nowadays, station staff or part-time workers do the “Oshiya” roles during morning rush hours on many lines. The term oshiya is derived from the verb “osu” 押す, meaning “push”, and the suffix “-ya” (屋), indicating “line of work.”
Thanks to the officers one can easily get inside the train just to end up like this.
In my personal opinion I wouldn’t like become a human sardine and get squeezed to the point where I can barely stand properly. I have also heard of the hateful and creepy “chikan”(痴漢). Perverts who might grope you for free with the excuse that the train is freaking packed up. I wouldn’t like to be in this situation if being a girl and wish no one would go through this situation because is, well… quite gross and uncomfortable.Public advert warning about the “chikan”
Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I’m criticizing Japan (I love Japan, you baka) and its transportation system which is one of the most efficient in the world if not the most efficient. But it’s always good to know what you may find or experience in the subway and therefore be prepared and warned instead of just going out there without any knowledge.
With that all said I leave you with a photo of Mr Complaint, experienced traveler in Tokyo and professional retired “chikan”