lifestyle

Foreign employee named Lawson working at Lawson

42 Comments
By Philip Kendall

Convenience stores in Japan: they really do live up to their name.

Pay your bills, pick up stuff you ordered on Amazon, send a fax, buy concert tickets, withdraw cash, buy milk; whatever you need to do, they’ve usually got you covered.

Although 7-Eleven is Japan’s undisputed king of combinis, as convenience stores are fondly known over here, blue-and-white-striped Lawson is never far behind, and has a special place in many shoppers’ hearts.

So when news surfaced that a foreigner named Lawson is working part-time at a convenience store of the very same name in Tokyo's Ochanomizu, people understandably were a little bit curious.

While the founding company is American and originally sold milk out of a chain of stores in Ohio, it was Japanese company Daiei that first opened a chain of convenience stores under the same name in the 1970s. Since then, Lawson has steadily grown to become a household name, with more than 10,000 stores operating across Japan.

But what about the man of the same name?

Many Japanese netizens were surprised to hear that a man could possibly possess the same name as a store and initially questioned its validity. To most Japanese, the chances of finding a Lawson working at Lawson are about on-par with finding a girl called IKEA selling Scandinavian furniture.

But here he is - the man himself, proudly wearing his company name badge with name spelled out in katakana: Lawson.

So, once customers had recovered from the shock of seeing a member of staff with the exact same name as the store in which they work, what were their impressions the new minor internet celebrity? Pretty good, it would seem!

“Lawson looks like such a nice guy!” “This is awesome! LOL” said a couple of the man’s new fans; “I know this guy!!! He works in the Ochanomizu Lawson!” tweeted another excited combini frequenter.

Source and image Byokan Sunday

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


42 Comments
Login to comment

And people say Japan hates foreigners? Nonsense. I have to meet this fella.

3 ( +12 / -8 )

Cute story

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if this makes him popular with the ladies? I hope so.

Reminds me of a funny story I read about people with names that sort of match their jobs. The funnest was a married couple:

Sue Me was a lawyer and her husband, Rob Me, was a banker.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

once customers had recovered from the shock of seeing a member of staff with the exact same name as the store in which they work

Ummm, the shock was in no way related to his name, let me assure you.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Awesome Lawson may have a future as a token foreigner on TV after all this publicity.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sorry to say but typical story to pander to Japanese aren't foreigners strange/cute syndrome. Think we got any Hondas working at Honda? Or Suzukis working at Suzuki? I want stories about a Mr. Camera working at Bic Camera or a Don Quixote working at Donki......

12 ( +14 / -2 )

a foreigner named Lawson

International man of convenience? Just a random foreigner? gaijin da!

Fabulous reporting, that couldn't be bothered to print where this young man is from. Or didn't he want to tell you (despite being happy to pose for a photo)?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I still think Japan needs Jay & Silent Bob for a laugh. Anyway cool story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WIth Jimmy Page on Photo of the Day and the Lawson at Lawson, I am pretty much made up for the day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Flossin' at Lawson!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice way to start the day. A Lawson working at Lawson - I've been waiting my whole life for this!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, ¥700 an hour. I hope he packs away 20% a month for his future.

Can he become manager?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I once met a guy called Honda who, you guessed it, worked for Honda. I was flabbergasted.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nobody would care if Don Quixote worked at Donkey Hote.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To most Japanese, the chances of finding a Lawson working at Lawson are about on-par with finding a girl called IKEA selling Scandinavian furniture.

Yeah, or someone called Suzuki, selling Suzuki cars, I bet that's really rare...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is one lucky guy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nice side gig, and no doubt helps in other elements of his life besides just making some money. Lawson's is quite good for hiring foreign employees, at least in my experience. There are some Koreans working at the Lawson near my place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet this man must be in high demand!

Imagine 7-Eleven take this man to their store and the story line will be...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I like reading Japan Today, but I detest reading the comments sometimes. Light hearted news just isn't for everyone, I guess.

No, a Suzuki working at Suzuki would not be newsworthy because for one, Suzuki is one of the most common names in Japan. I've personally never met anyone named Lawson, have you? Secondly, a Japanese person working at a Japanese company is normal, a non-Japanese person working at a Japanese conbini is rare, thus making it all the more interesting. What are the odds that someone named Lawson would find themselves working at Lawson convenience store in Japan? Not high, thus making it a story.

If it was front page headline news, I would understand the grumbling, but come on, now. Just smile, guys.

11 ( +12 / -2 )

There once were two brothers named Am and Pm from Thailand who were both students in Nagoya; they came from a rich family so they did not do any part time jobs. The End.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Fabulous reporting, that couldn't be bothered to print where this young man is from.

Um Maria, they did say where he's from. He's a FO-REIGN-ER. That's all you need to know. He's not one of us. What more does anyone need to know (sarcasm off)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Victoria Maude

I've personally never met anyone named Lawson, have you?

I've never met a Lawson, but there was a Lawson on Road Rash II on the Mega Drive. I knew him very well - he could be easily dispatched with the chain or club though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a friend who is a long-time Tokyo resident with the last name Lawson, he loves going in there and letting them know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hear there's a Suzuki at Suzuki, too.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Haha good on this guy, next time I head to the music shops in Ochanomizu I will keep my eye out for a Lawson !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, OK, overall, including the US, how many Lawsons work at Lawsons?

Compare it with the number of Johnsons at Johnson and Johnsons, and Howard Johnsons. Now, if they'd answered them questions, it could be investigative reporting. This is an article I should have just read the headline and moved on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

what did I just read???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It would be as strange as Ben Johnson working for Johnson Outboard Motors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey nice light hearted story, I wish the best for Mr. Lawson at Lawson's!

I have a friend who is an English teacher and his name is English!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lawson must be loving the free extra publicity. Of course I mean Mr. Lawson.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JapanGal you should know better not to judge someone for what they earn especially living in Japan! One of the amazing points about Japanese culture is that people don't judge one another for their work choice the way they do in anglo countries. You also know very little about the man from this story to say much about him...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Japanese friends said they don't like foreigners taking their jobs

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nobody would know this guy is called Lawson unless someone put it out there. This story is just a company promo. Maybe some 'netizens' out there think it is 'remarkable', 'cute' etc. I think it's a lame duck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was probably hired because of his name. There's no way it's just a chance thing. I mean, how obvious foreigners (i.e. black, white or obviously non-Japanese Asians) do you usually see working in convenience stores.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I mean, how obvious foreigners (i.e. black, white or obviously non-Japanese Asians) do you usually see working in convenience stores.

I've started to see a lot more recently. Almost all would be students or married I guess. Most others wouldn't want to anyway, I mean any native English speaker could make more teaching English and people with working visas are all qualified to do things that pay more.

Of course we don't know about Lawson as this article doesn't even tell us where he's from or his full name..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Japanese friends said they don't like foreigners taking their jobs

Barring physical or mental handicap, if a foreigner can beat your Japanese friend for a coveted position stirring oden and stocking shelves, they don't deserve to be employed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry, I meant 'how many obvious foreigners'..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Japanese friends said they don't like foreigners taking their jobs

Sorry, I meant 'how many obvious foreigners'..

To both of the people who posted these comments; pray tell how do you KNOW that Mr Lawson is a foreigner?

It's not nice to automatically assume to know about a person based upon their looks or even name.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So when news surfaced that a foreigner named Lawson is working part-time at a convenience store of the very same name in Tokyo’s Ochanomizu, people understandably were a little bit curious.

I apologize for my previous comment. Mea Culpa....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Indeed. there will come a time like most other 1st world countries where assuming where someone is from what they look like will be frowned upon and eventually not acceptable, Japan is a long way off that but in time it will happen.

I just wish they had left of the foreign bit out, he is an employee it doesn't require foreign for the story, I assume that Japanese citizens could name their kid Lawson if they wanted.

It would have been nice if there was more info about the guy if they felt it required more information rather than just chucking him in the "everyone we don't consider to fit into japanese" title, proud (insert country)-er and Japanese resident Lawson causes some curiosity working in a store with the same name.

Anyway.. slow news day eh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well , the guy looks like a Nigerian or Ghanaian to me. Hope I satisfied all you curious people?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There once was a Lawson at Lawsons.

His job, it was said, was tres awesome.

But the story they ran

Got him pegged by the Man

And he's now on a flight to San Fran.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites