Ever since SMAP-man Goro Inagaki returned from self-imposed exile, during which he supposedly reflected on his heinous parking infraction, he seems to be everywhere, as if he were making up for lost time. Perhaps as a spoof on his capacity to demonstrate self-effacement, he’s currently starring in his first full-fledged comedy series, “Yoisho no Otoko” (TBS, April 28, 9 p.m.), as the most obsequious salaryman in Tokyo.

Yoisho suru is a contemporary verb phrase that conveys the same meaning as the more traditional goma-suri, or “apple polishing.” Generally, it refers to the kind of corporate behavior that one has to demonstrate toward superiors in order to be promoted within the organization. Kotaro Sakurai (Inagaki) has reached a supervisory sales position at the insurance company he works for faster than any of his peers, precisely because he has cultivated a “super power” for sucking up to his betters. Consequently, he is resented by these peers and not entirely trusted by his longtime girlfriend Naomi (Akiko Yada), who appreciates his innate kindness but feels uncomfortable with his need to please everyone all the time.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.