When the earthquake struck on 311 the nuclear industry was knocked off line depriving the Tokyo region of 30% of its power. The government ordered that industry reduce its power intake to adjust to the lack of power and prevent brown-outs. Even now 5 months after the quake the inside of trains have their interior lights turned off, escalators have been stopped and often only half of building elevators have been running.

There was a big push to have the Japanese salary man take off his suit so as to allow the air conditioning to be turned down in offices. But the office culture has resisted. They have turned down the A/C but they’re still wearing the suits, roasting in their own juices. It isn’t the average worker that is still saying no to a cool shirt, no it’s the old guard. The older generation, the elderly management workers are the ones standing against the push to relax office dress codes and they are the ones who set the trend. Japanese workers can’t leave home until the manager does, and they can’t wear comfortable shirts, FOR the good of the nation, if the managers don’t.

Then in a curious move there has been a push for the office worker to change to Hawaiian shirts even though they aren’t professional looking and in Japan are associated with gangsters. It’s almost like the Japanese are purposely sabotaging the casual office campaign.

If you like this then, you should check out more from the “Myths of Japan” series:

drugs gay marriage okinawa myth
Drugs in Japan Myth Japan’s Gay culture Divorce a Japanese Tradition The American Occupation of Okinawa Myths of Japan