When working at a Japanese company or doing a part-time job at a Japanese convenience store or restaurant, a useful Japanese word to remember is “how to call your boss.” In Japan, it is common to refer to your boss at work by his or her job title rather than by name. What kinds of positions are there in Japanese companies and workplaces? Let's keep this in mind so that you won't have any trouble when working in Japan.
The word “店長” (tenchō) means a store manager. “店長” (tenchō) manages workers, products, and money.
Atarashiku haizokusareta tenchō wa sekininkan wo motte hataraiteiru.
The newly assigned store manager works with a sense of responsibility.
2. エリアマネージャー(eria manējā)
“エリアマネージャー” (eria manējā) is a person who manages the operations and sales of a local or regional store. They make sure that the store is running smoothly and support “店長” (tenchō).
Eria manējā kara dengon wo azukatte imasu.
I have a message from the area manager.
“工場長” (kōjōchō) is a person with the most responsibility in the factory and is responsible for people who work in the factory, products made in the factory, and machines used in the factory. The word “工場” (kōjō) means a place where things are made.
Tanaka-san wa Hokkaido ni dekita kōjō no kōjōchō ni ninmei sareta.
Mr. Tanaka was appointed as the plant manager of a new factory in Hokkaido.
Next, I would like to introduce job titles in a company. In Japan, we call our superiors by their title, or by their surname (Suzuki) and title (shunin), such as “鈴木主任” (Suzuki shunin). Let's take a look at what positions there are in the company in order from the lowest employees to the top.
“主任” (shunin) is a chief, who is the leader of a group of employees. In small companies, it is a leader of the entire general staff. In larger companies, each group has its own “主任” (shunin). Some companies refer to “主任” (shunin) as “チーフ” (chīfu).
Sato-san wa kikubari ga dekiru rippana hito da.
Mr. Sato is an excellent chief who is considerate.
“係長” (kakarichō) is also a chief, and is a position above “主任” (shunin). Both “主任” (shunin)" and “係長” (kakarichō) are translated as “chief” in English, but in Japan, the rank is different. In Japan, the job title goes up in the order of “主任” (shunin), “係長” (kakarichō), “課長” (kachō), and “部長” (buchō).
Kakarichō wa honjitsu gaishutsu shite orimasu.
The chief is out today.
“課長” (kachō) is a manager, a position higher than “係長” (kakarichō). Up to “係長” (kakarichō), their task is actual business, but “課長” (kachō) is responsible for managing people, things, and situations.
Yamada-san wa shōshin shite kachō ni natta.
Mr. Yamada was promoted and became a manager.
“部長” (buchō) is a director above “課長” (kachō). They have 50 to 100 subordinates. Their job is to create a comfortable working environment and to think about the company's strategy.
Watashi wa buchō no shiji ni shitagaimasu.
I will follow the director's instructions.
“専務” (senmu) is an executive director who assists “社長” (shachō). “専務” (senmu) plans company's strategy together with “社長” (shachō) and acts as an intermediary between “社長” (shachō) and “社員” (shain). They work alongside “社長” (shachō) and help him with his work.
Senmu no hisho ga taishoku suru no de kōnin wo sagasō.
The executive director's secretary is retiring, so we need to find a replacement.
9. 副社長(fuku shachō)
“副社長” (fuku shachō) is a vice president, the person who is next in responsibility to the president. He assists the president, and when the president is absent, he acts for the president. Some companies do not have “副社長” (fuku shachō).
Fuku shachō no hoyū kabushiki wa zentai no 10-pāsento da.
The vice president owns 10% of the company's stock.
“社長” (shachō) is a president of the company. The title of “代表取締役” (daihyō torishimariyaku) is sometimes added. There is only one president in a company, but there may be more than one “代表取締役” (daihyō torishimariyaku) in a company.
Shachō ni omenikakaru koto ga dekite kōei desu.
I am honored to meet the president.
Wagasha no daihyō torishimariyaku wa Satō shachō desu.
The representative director of our company is President Sato.
“会長” (kaichō) is above “社長” (shachō), but “社長” (shachō) has decision-making authority in the company. “会長” (kaichō) can be said to be an advisor to “社長” (shachō). Some people are both “会長” (kaichō) and “社長” (shachō).
Kaichō no ohanashi ni kandō shimashita.
I was impressed by the story of the chairman.
When working in a Japanese company or having a business meeting with a Japanese company, it is easier to communicate properly if you know who is in what position. If you don't know how to address someone, you can ask “なんとお呼びしたらよろしいでしょうか” (nanto oyobi shitara yoroshī deshō ka).
In fact, there are many other positions in Japanese companies, such as “次長” (jichō) and “室長” (shitsuchō). Do you know what kind of positions they are? If you are interested in the Japanese language, why don't you sign up for a free membership to Human Academy Japanese Language School Plus. You can experience practical Japanese lessons by experienced teachers for free.
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