Oshiya (押し屋), or “pusher”, is an informal Japanese term for a worker who stands on the platform of a railway station during the morning and evening rush hours, and pushes people onto the train. It becomes difficult to shut the doors when the number of passengers is over 200% of the capacity, but oshiyas are often stationed on platforms when trains are at around 120% capacity, as they also help to organize passengers.
There are 27,268 km of rail crisscrossing [Japan]. JR (a group of companies formed after privatization of JNR) controlled 20,135 km of these lines as of March 31, 1996, with the remaining 7,133 km in the hands of private enterprized local railway companies. Japan’s railways carried 22.24 billion passengers (395.9 billion passenger-kilometres) in fiscal 2006. In comparison, Germany has over 40,000 km of railways, but travels only 2.2 billion passengers per year.