Wearing a blue, narrow-brimmed fedora and a white button-up shirt, his hands shaking ever so slightly, Koichi Kashiwa raises his cup to take a sip of coffee as he reflects on his past life running a small publishing firm in Tokyo.

This was before the rise of digital media and subsequent decline of the traditional print industry, he says, choosing his words carefully.

The 76-year-old suffered a minor stroke last year that affects his mobility. That hasn’t kept him from working, however. He’s off today, but expects a call later in the afternoon from his employer about tomorrow’s eight-hour shift — most likely at a construction site, where he will be deployed to manage traffic.