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It wasn’t until he turned 18 that Daisuke Kuse saw businessmen dressed in dapper suits up close and personal. Until then, Kuse — having spent all of his childhood surrounded by working-class families and friends in a small town in Kyoto Prefecture — had barely the foggiest idea of who they were.

“I only had this stereotypical image I picked up from watching TV shows where they were portrayed as apologizing profusely to their clients or wiping sweat off their foreheads with handkerchiefs or something,” Kuse, now 25, said.

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