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New employee training (新入社員研修)

During the first week of April you can witness something in Japan that you probably won’t see anywhere else in the world. April is the new school year. It is also the beginning of the fiscal year for businesses. All of the recent college grads who landed a job with the company that chose them enter the workforce together, as a giant team.

I was roaming around Shinjuku during the first few days of April and happened to spot several groups of these brand new salarymen (サラリーマン) and office ladies (OL). They all looked a little nervous and very green. They all had on the exact same outfits, and when I say exact same I don’t just mean that they all had on suits. They all had the exact same colors and brands. Even their briefcases and hairstyles looked identical. No one was breaking from the group either. They were a pack that was not going have anyone stand out for any reason.

I took this photo in the lobby of one of Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. I was there for the view (and lunch) at the top, not to stalk the new initiates (aka lemmings).

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