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Train pushers (oshiya)

yevgeny

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Hi,

Recently I've heard about a unique Japanese phenomenon called "train pushers". This is a citation from one English-speaking site:

In some railway stations in Japan, oshiyas or ツ“pushersツ” are employed to squeeze people onto the overcrowded tube/underground/subway/train carriages. They also perform the job of a ツ“puller,ツ” pulling off any passengers who try to get on the train too late or when the train is eventually too full.

I'd like to know more about this. Especially what is interesting for me:
1. Does this phenomenon exist in any other country?
2. When did it start (history)?
3. How "oshiya" is written in Japanese?

An, of course, any other interesting information about it.

Thank you very much,
Yevgeny
 

epigene

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You're talking about something that was practiced in the 1970's and maybe in the 1980s to some extent, when the existing railway lines in Tokyo couldn't catch up with the rapid pace of economic growth--meaning that the capacity of commuter trains couldn't keep up with the rapid rise in transit volume, brought on by the dramatic rise in number of white-collar workers commuting from the suburbs to central Tokyo.

In short, it's virtually nonexistent now with trains coming in every several minutes (or less) during rush hours.
 

dblbstrd

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Actually, epigene, I'm pretty sure they still do it in Tokyo. About 3.5 years ago I used to ride the subway Tozai line every morning out from around nishi-funabashi to downtown, and just a couple mornings each week I had to go early enough for rush hour. In a few of the stations along the way, they had workers pushing the crowds onto the cars. They don't have to do this for evening rush hour because with people going home at different times it is a bit more spread out and you can usually have a little room to breathe on the ride back.

I'm pretty sure there are some other lines where they do this, though I haven't been on any for rush hour. The Toyoko line is the only other one I've been on that time in the morning and it's nowhere near as bad...

I never saw anybody there to pull people out though.
The train was basically empty for the last three or so stops I passed so getting out was never a challenge for me.
 

alantin

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So it's written 窶ーナク窶堋オ窶ーツョ.


Yeah. It's "pushing person".
The 'ya' in a sense refers to the guy doing the job as well as a shop..

窶ーテ披?ーツョ = flower store/seller
窶愿キ窶ーツョ = Butcher
ナステオナスi窶ーツョ = sushi place
 

Dogen Z

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Outtdated

This thread is a bit outdated. ☝ I've never seen station staff push someone into the train unless he/she was jammed in the train door (I've been here over 5 years). In fact, there's a public announcement going on all the time warning people to not to try to rush into the train and wait for the next train.

BTW, the Denentoshi Line has the most crowded trains in Tokyo. Advice: Don't try to get on between 8-9 a.m. People try to force themselves (w/o station staff help) and you'll be squooshed.
 

misa.j

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I've been pushed by the other passengers who were being pushed by those pushers. My god, that was irritating. Take a look at this.
And this one, they are so happy!
 
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dblbstrd

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misa.j, that first one is insane... I've never seen anything that bad first hand, for sure.
In the US, that would be a pretty serious violation of fire code...
 

Dogen Z

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Ha ha

Thanks for the joke. :p

The 1st clip is from 1991, look at the hairstyles, fashion, and train.

The 2nd clip is from India. That must be a very strong train. ☝
 

JerseyBoy

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I think the practice of pushing and cramming passengers into the train should be banned in Japan. I think there is the building code for how many people a building can house. The train should be subject to the similar rule. When I see those wary Japanese pushed into the jam packed train, the image of refugees or POWs stuffed into the train comes to my mind.

When I was in Hong Kong, its subway lines' PA tells the passengers not to push their way into the train if it is too crowded. I think that is what it should be in Japan.
 
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Emoni

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I think the practice of pushing and cramming passengers into the train should be banned in Japan. I think there is the building code for how many people a building can house. The train should be subject to the similar rule.

Agreed, that video was insane. That is clearly too many people. I've been in packed trains but that sort of pushing and shoving leads not just to fire code violations or danger but injuries due to falling tripping and pushing. That goes beyond what I have even been through in Shibuya.
 

JerseyBoy

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By the way, the morning rush hour train rides were one of the reasons I ditched Japan in early 90s. Now, I am back here in Tokyo (I take an earlier train to avoid the rush hours), which I regret and feel okay at the same time. It is very sad to see people have to be squashed into the train so tight that they cannot even move their arms or legs. Maybe someone can run for a public office in Japan on this issue:).
 
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