The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in テレワーク (terewāku, remote work) in Japan, but not every profession can allow people to work from home so easily. 車掌さん (shashō-san, train conductors), for example, can’t conduct remotely.

One lesser-known job that has become difficult to perform isn’t a job, per se; it’s a role performed by people in many different positions. I’m talking about the critical role of 司会者 (shikaisha, master of ceremonies [emcee]).

Japanese events, from 結婚式 (kekkonshiki, wedding ceremonies) and 株主総会 (kabunushi sōkai, general stockholders’ meetings) to 宴会 (enkai, parties) and even お笑い番組 (o-warai bangumi, comedy shows), all have someone who directs the events’ 進行 (shinkō, proceedings).