Salaryman comedies go back the prewar days. Even Yasujiro Ozu portrayed the tragicomic trials of the salaryman in such films as “Tokyo no Chorus” (“Tokyo Chorus,” 1931) and “Umarete wa Mita Keredo” (“I was Born but . . .,” 1932), though the genre reached its popular peak in the 1960s, when Hitoshi Ueki was romping across screens as a slacker salaryman who never does a lick of work if he can avoid it.
The salaryman of the present moment, however, more closely resembles that of Ozu’s sad-sack office workers, haunted by the shadow of the Depression, than that of Ueki and his blue-suited companions, living off the fat of the corporate land in boom times.