Home » The risks and benefits of ‘gaman’, the art of perseverance that defines Japan

The risks and benefits of ‘gaman’, the art of perseverance that defines Japan

by archyw
  • Julian Littler
  • BBC Capital

Credit, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Behind the resigned patience in the crowded Tokyo subway cars is a concept that has been moving Japanese society for decades

The workday in Tokyo usually starts with a journey through the world’s busiest subway system.

A large part of the metropolitan region’s 37 million population take the trains that cross the capital of Japan every day.

It’s a stressful task. At stations, hurried passengers run in all directions. On the platform, they group together in a block on the sides of each of the doors — to avoid obstructing the passage of those who are about to disembark — and then try to get into the car as quickly as possible, although the crowd slows down the process.

Those who manage to board themselves squeeze to a point that makes any movement difficult. Feet sometimes don’t touch the ground.

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