Imagine you’re exploring Tokyo and you remember you have to take the evening train back to your hotel. You reach the station and see that there’s a large crowd on the platform waiting to get into the train. You know you won’t stand a chance of getting in.
But never fear when Oshiya is here! The Oshiya are people pushers on the subway. What do they do? They push commuters inside the metro! Since about 1967, they’ve been pushing passengers into the trains, so that the doors can close properly.
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is crowded beyond numbers. Almost half of its population, which is millions and millions of people, commute daily by the subway. Even though a train arrives every five minutes, there’s a constant rush to get in during peak hours. At such times, oshiya are needed to push twice the capacity of passengers inside.
These professional pushers in uniforms, a hat, and a pair of white gloves keep pushing passengers through the train doors until the platform is empty, meaning everyone is inside the train. Do you know how you stuff all your clothes into the cupboard and immediately shut the doors before anything falls out? That’s exactly what happens on the Tokyo subway!
And it’s not just one oshiya at a door. There are at least four to five pushers stuffing passengers through every train door! So, if you think you’ll just wait for the next train, forget it. The pushers will ensure you and ten more passengers get in.
So, here’s a question for you. How would you get off at the right station if you’re so tightly packed inside that there’s no space to even set your toes on the ground?