The salaryman refers to a person whose income is based on salary, hence mostly working on corporations, and they usually refer to the Japanese white-collar worker or businessman. Documentarian and subculture-lover David Tesinsky tails them around for human stories.
To understand the salaryman, one must go back to history. The salaryman refers to the white-collar worker who helped create Japan's booming economy after WWII. As generation shifts, the salaryman became a system which becomes a dominant institution in people's lives, and affects their futures and careers.
Tesinsky's "Man-Machine" is a series that documents these Japanese businessmen and the austere ethic they have to comply. Att some point, it can all be viewed tragicomical as they fall asleep on the streets or in dining areas, but a more melancholic story reveals itself -- they are not machines, but people, who are forced to act in such a way by austere society.
It is, in fact, in part of Japan's society to prepare the male individual for this routine of working long hours, additional overtime obligatory participation in after-work leisure activities such as visiting the izakaya or karaoke bars. For these salarymen, it's work above all else.