Compression at Tokyo’s Subway Station

Oshiya – the staff that is wearing the uniform with white gloves have to face up to their daily task of compressing the guests in the subway as its timely routine do not have social sympathy.

Track rail system in Japan is well-known worldwide thanks to its appropriate schedule. In Tokyo, there estimate 40 million of people who use the subway for daily transportation which occupies a significant amount of using vehicle scales such as bus, car or private transport vehicles.

Approximately, it takes about 5 minutes for the time gap of each trail haul. There are around 24 subway stops running at the same hour with the same direction. Although there are many subways, its system becomes overload recently, especially for off-peak travel. According to statistics in 2007 of Land Department, Japan’s infrastructure and transportation are overloaded for its capacity with some of the trail hauls over 200%.

compression-at-tokyos-subway-station-1Oshiya working at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo in 1967. Photo by: CNN

Because the subway has to carry a double amount of guests for each wagon, they hire a team of staff who is wearing the uniform with white gloves called Oshiya (or guest compression). They wear white gloves with the main task of compressing as many as possible of guests in a wagon for its timely routine. It is hard to believe for the first time you see what they are doing.

While Oshiya firstly appeared at Shinjuku station in Tokyo, they were called as “guest arranging team” majoring students who work overtime. Nowadays, subway station’s staff and Oshiya have to work regularly in rush hour.

compression-at-tokyos-subway-station-2People don’t appreciate the main task of Oshiya with sympathy. Photo by: Alamy

However, this raising job trend in Japan is originated from America at New York since a decade ago. They didn’t receive people’s sympathy and appreciation with stressful mentally and was called by a unique nickname “fish compressors.”

In 2012, a photographer who worked at Hong Kong – Michael Wolf took a photo shoot named Tokyo Compression. His impressing photos including guest’s face compressed for hours in subways which show a bad condition inside the subway, and they couldn’t breathe or even move slightly. Those people who are shorter have to suffer from the weight of those who are taller.

compression-at-tokyos-subway-station-3Tokyo Compression – impressed faces of those who are compressed within the subway. Photo by: Michael Wolf

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