The loyal, black-suited cog of Japan Inc. _ "the Salary Man" _ has been the symbol of Japan's post-war economic miracle.
But monotonous commutes, long days marked by emasculating office work, absence from family, and the isolation of trying to get ahead in a business culture where individual achievement is frowned upon often makes the life of the Salary Man a lonely struggle.
Moving through the landscape of Tokyo like anonymous ghosts, the salary man is up at dawn for his two-hour train commute. His workday begins at 8:30 a.m., when the tardy bell sounds in his office. After an 11-hour day, there is obligatory excessive drinking and karaoke with superiors. The last train home leaves at midnight.