No sleeping please

Another in the series of Japanese conundrums:

Sleeping in public places is perfectly acceptable (or at least common).
In business meetings it would nerve me to no end. In small meetings of 5 people they would sleep, at their desks after lunch they’d lean on back and sleep, on the subway people’s heads would end up on my shoulder.

Counter intuitively (to me) the Japanese would look favorably on the sleepers. It implied they must be working very hard to need to sleep at work.

I saw this guy on the subway, sat next to him, and got up within seconds. His whole body bobbed from side to side. He had drool on his chin and collar of that black leather biker jacket. I caught the eye of a young Japanese guy watching and we both laughed.


8 thoughts on “No sleeping please

  1. Great photo Nadine! I love the play by play you have for it.
    I have oticed the same thing. bt many times people only pretend to be sleeping. It is some sort of protective cocoon they wrap around themselves to preclude the need to aknowledge or interact with anyone around them. I doubt if the leather clad drooler was faking it, but I have seen stranger things here. Maybe he just wanted a little close contact with a natural blond. ^_^

  2. Hi Nadine,
    it“s my first time in your blog.
    I am Brazilian blogger working in Japan and loved to death being here and read about your life in Tokyo.
    I would love to join the workshop about MT but I“m living so far from Tokyo.My family lives in there,and I usually go on big holidays.
    Sorry for my poor English,but I can say that I’m trying my best.
    It’s nice to know that foreign bloggers are organizing parties.In the other side,brazilians are not doing well in organizing blogger meetings.In fact,I never heard about any of them.
    Congratulations for all of you in being so close.
    And sorry if you will not understand my words.
    In portughese,we say:

  3. Natural blond? Jeff, you are so kind.
    Thanks for adding another nuance to the sleeping theme. The other one I have heard is that they are concentrating really hard.

  4. I’ve always been one for falling asleep on public transport – even back in Oz when I was going to school (I lived almost an hour away from my high school). In Tokyo I’ve learned to sleep standing up. It’s comfy if you hold onto the rail above the dangling handles and rest your arm against your head.
    One time on the train I woke up to find myself nestled against a cute boy, who was also asleep. We looked at each other before I got off at my station. Neither said a word, but felt like we had shared some kind of intimate moment….

  5. Nadine,
    I was on the same train!
    I saw him too – he kept slumping over. I also moved further away – didn`t want to be put off my breakfast!

  6. That’s a great photo!
    Did you use a digi-cam for it or was it taken by keitai? If you’re really using a digi-cam it’s kind of amazing that no one’s watching you take the picture.

  7. gomichild – that is the sweetest sleeping on a train story I ever heard.
    Gary – the guy was doing the boogie, wasn’t he. His range of motion was a full 180 degrees! He had his head in my lap. I am still laughing about it.
    Pam – I carry my digi with me wherever I go. Most of the pics on the site are taken with it. The small square ones (see Comedy Night from January) were taken with my keitai. I am attempting to learn to use a “real” camera. On occasion I’ll post scans from.

  8. Just returned from my 2nd business trip to Japan. Enroute to each visit my hosts sleep, then snap awake at the meeting, and then sleep on the return trip. They then return to their office usually late in the day to actively discuss the result of their visit. Eg. they go from slumber to very serious discussion in a snap. However, avoid business discussions with outsiders at all costs. It’s all a big secret to stay behind closed doors. Sleeping is one way to avoid talking. Not sure if would work on a date, but it seems to be fine otherwise.
    (It also seems to be fine to sleep standing up, but I suspect that this is not a deep sleep?)

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