Madogiwa Zoku

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


the window tribe

(people who have been promoted beyond function, people who have been “kicked upstairs”)

The deeply entrenched seniority system of Japanese companies makes it difficult to rise to a top managerial position except after many years of service. Those who fail to attain a top position never enjoy the luxury of a private office, but they may be given a token reward of a desk next to the window in the large, open space where their juniors are also seated. The term “window tribe” refers to people who have been thus rewarded for their years of service but are out of the day-to-day running of the company.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/casual/male)

A: Yamakawa buchoo wa seki o utsutta no kai?
B: Aa, tonari no sekushon no oku no hoo e. Himitsu da kedo ne, kare madogiwa zoku no nakamairi shita n da.

A: 山川部長は席を移ったのかい?
B: ああ、隣のセクションの奥の方へ。秘密だけどね、彼窓際族の仲間入りしんたんだ。

A: Did Mr. Yamakawa, the manager, move?
B: Yeah, toward the back in the next section. It’s supposed to be a secret, but he’s been kicked upstairs.

Japanese Idioms


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