Mouth agape, eyes rolled back, head bobbing – when home is an hour or more away and work continues late into the night, the only place for many Japanese office workers to lay their weary head is against a train car window. This phenomenon is not unique to Japan, but the combination of overwork and limited affordable housing in big cities like Tokyo give rise to crowds of sleepy commuters just trying to get to their futon. If you have never witness the varied sleeping positions of Japan’s overworked commuters, take a look at the video below created by real estate website HOME’S.
If you found yourself bobbing along to the simple, yet pleasing melody featured in the video, you’re not alone. It’s nursery-rhyme-like lyrics are quite clever, utilizing the Japanese alphabet in order:
“あ”したはすぐにやってくるのに “か”えり道は長すぎる “さ”っさと靴下脱ぎたいよ “た”くさんの録画溜まってる
あいうえお かきくけこ さしすせと たちつてと
“な”かなか家には着かないよ “は”やくお風呂に入りたい “ま”っすぐ布団にすべりこもう “や”っぱいい夢みたいよ
なにぬねの はひふへほ まみむめも やゆよ
In English, it doesn’t have quite the cuteness of the original, but the meaning is perfect for the video of dozing riders:
Tomorrow comes so quickly The road home is too long I want to hurry up and take off my socks There’s a lot of shows recorded on my DVR
A-I-U-E-O Ka-Ki-Ku-Ke-Ko Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So Ta-Chi-Tsu-Te-To
It’s taking forever to get home I want to take a bath already And dive straight into my futon I want to have sweet dreams tonight
Na-Ni-Nu-Ne-No Ha-Hi-Hu-He-Ho Ma-Mi-Mu-Me-Mo Ya-Yu-Yo
The video ends with a reminder that companies don’t compensate employees for commuting time and prompts viewers to try out HOME’s commute time search engine. The real estate company is aiming straight for the tired and weary in their commercial; we wouldn’t be surprised if they played this on the trains, giving fatigued workers a mirror image of their own commute.
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