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Different cultures in the world have different ways of expression, customs, work ethics and orders. Some action in one part of the world is considered as stigma while the same thing in another part of the world is considered as pride.

Inemuri is considered as a matter of pride in Japanese culture, while the same is considered as shame and awkwardness elsewhere in the Western world.

Inemuri is the Japanese word which literally means "to be sleeping while present." It points to the situation when one fell asleep while attending a social gatherings such as classes, work, office, public functions, etc. In Japan, there is a special place for Inemuri and it is often respected and accepted with pride. It depicts the person has been working very hard and is compromising with sleep for the office work.

Implication of Inemuri

Implication of Inemuri in Japan is that people are too tired or exhausted with the day or night hard work and they are compromising with their sleep for getting the work done. Work has very high respect and plays a very important part in Japanese culture. Inemuri is an indicative of the person working too hard and since work is having prime importance, hard work and its associated Inemuri is taken as pride factor.

It is not always that people who sleep at work are considered as positive in Japan. There are some places where it is not accepted – like an inferior cannot sleep in front of the superiors and it is considered rude.

Japan is a sleep deprived nation since it has the longest work hours and people fall asleep almost anywhere – bus, train, benches, office, school, restaurants, etc. The absence of Inemuri sometimes is seen as a matter of laziness and less work.

What are the Rules of Inemuri?

The first rule of Inemuri is that the person should be upright and should not show any sign of lounging since it will ensure they are physically present and socially engaged. Another rule is that the person should be of high rank in order to practice Inemuri.

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