In February, a video following a week in the life of a Japanese office worker went viral, racking up almost a million views for its portrayal of an insanely long and grinding week: 13 hours a day, six days a week, not including treks to and from the office.
The video's star, Stu, embodies the ideal of the Japanese "Salaryman" — a man with a white-collar job who's slavishly dedicated to his company, practically lives in his office, almost never sleeps, and dreams only of climbing the corporate ladder. It's something of a stereotype in modern Japan; the Salaryman fueled the country's meteoric economic growth in the 20th century.
Photographer Yuki Aoyama wants to turn that stereotype on its head. His adorable, yet thoughtful, new photo series depicts white-collar workers — in their boring suits — leaping in the air like maniacs, while their daughters stand by, some of them trying not to burst out laughing.
Aoyama, 36, told Quartz: “Salarymen are very common ‘creatures’ or ‘figures’ in my country, who do not seem to have any original personality, [due to] the same or similar colors of suits and shoes. I wanted to bring out their hidden individuality by making them jump.”
The photos were published in a book called SOLARYMEN with Daughters! last month.