Yet another oddity in the traditional world of Asian economic models. The salaryman is a soldier to his own corporation; fanatically loyal, and perfectly willing to fight to the death for that very corporation's honor and of course, sales and earnings. A tad different from the American salaryman, because these appointments were mostly for life, that's right, 45 years in the same company. Whereas the American worker is likely to hop in and out of the job market looking for new and better jobs, the Japanese man is static, and reaps massive fringe benefits as a result. The downside is that it could get really boring.

The cubicle jungle has a different meaning in Japan. Work is life, work is worship. Your social life revolves around the workplace. Family problems? Ask your boss. Need advice? Ask your work buddies. The boss is not just a managing figure, he is expected to be a mentor in both work and off-work areas, such as matchmaking, dispensing sage advice, and even therapy for the stressed.

Salarymen are fanatically loyal to their employers, and rarely leave. Life employment was a guaranteed thing in Japan until a few years ago, and along with that, life benefits. It was often unheard of to quit and go to another company.

Japan plunged into a recession in the early 90's, and as a result, college graduates no longer expect life employment. There has been reported suicides of laid-off workers, so distraught they were with the shame of being fired. As a result, the job market in Japan has become even more competitive than before, but also more fluid, allowing bright talents to make it on their own instead of joining a keiretsu, formerly standard and unquestioned procedure in the Japanese corporate world.

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