Worries of a salaryman in Japanese: 象の背中


In Japan a major symbol for endurance, patience at work and main provider for the family is the “salaryman“. The salarymen image is commonly understood as: A regular employed male company employee working long hours, most of the time seen in a suit, sleeping on the train or then going out drinking beer with his coworkers and very much scared of his wife at home. In the last few days a heart warming anime on you tube has become popular in Japan. Presently this anime is only available in Japanese, but let me give you a rough summary of the content.


The salarymen (shown as an elephant) is wondering what would happen if death comes to visit him one morning, telling him that his time is up. Could the people closest to him – his family – so far enjoy happiness with him? Will they cry only the first evening afterwards? Will they remember the stages of our lives together? For sure the salarymen will stay at their side to protect them.
Actually everyone in the family would miss him and is truly grateful that he was around them. Spending time with their father together meant happiness. They write “thanks” on the stone shaped heart ending up in their father’s hands.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

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