Summer pick-me-ups for salarymen

August 20th, 2010 by Felicity Hughes

A salaryman sleeper, obviously in need of a kakigori shampoo

A salaryman sleeper, obviously in need of a kakigori shampoo

The weather is taking its toll on all of us, but there’s no doubt that things must be far worse for Japan’s army of long-suffering salarymen who are struggling to make it to work every day in the blistering heat. We thought it would be nice to take a look at a few new services on offer this summer that might make the life of these beleaguered businessmen just that little bit more bearable.

First up is the refreshing kakigori (shaved ice) shampoo that’s being offered for the first time this summer by a Yokohama hairdresser. The perfect way to cool down your hot head after a day in the office, the ice is mixed with a menthol shampoo then gently massaged into your tingling skull for that minty fresh feeling.

Then there’s Katsuyama Dojo Style Pub, a new izakaya outside Kanda Station that opened its doors Aug 18. It’s a traditional-style retreat for tired office workers in their 40s and 50s, but the hook here is that drinks are served by cute girls wearing hot pants who are happy to give you a free back massage if you request one. Ah, bliss!

Mibyou Salaryman Shindan (rundown businessman diagnosis) maybe sound depressing but it’s actually a fun new website run by health-drink manufacturer Yomeishu. Designed to help those with a poor work-life balance, it asks questions like “Do you do too much overtime?” and “Do you finish your food faster than others?” to gauge how stressful your lifestyle is. It’s worth doing the quiz just to watch the animated salaryman act out your answers. For example, if you answer yes to the question “Do you like meat more than fish dishes?” your little salaryman will chow down on a drum stick while his waist expands.

If ice shampoos, massages or internet advice doesn’t cheer up Japan’s put-upon businessman, perhaps Salaryman Man can help. This cartoon by Takashi Taniguchi elevates the humble office worker to superhero status. With the aid of his trusty meishi, he flies through the sky, defeating evil.

Photo credit: soul_flow

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