From Japan Today; December 6, 2017
TOKYO – One of the stereotypical images of Japan during its years of postwar economic growth were the shiri-oshi (literally “butt-pushers”), railway employees tasked with the job of shoving commuters onto jam-packed rush-hour trains, taking care to keep their limbs and other protuberances from being caught in the closing doors.
The railways and employers did what they could to alleviate the crush. From the 1980s, “flex-time” working hours became a common, although not universal, practice. Train seats were designed to fold up, giving passengers slightly more elbow room.