We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Inemuri?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Inemuri is a Japanese word which means "to be asleep while present." It refers to falling asleep in social gatherings, at classes, at work, and at various public functions. In the West, of course, falling asleep at an event is generally viewed as a cause for awkwardness and shame. In Japanese culture, there is a special place for inemuri, and it is actually viewed as a cause for pride, rather than embarrassment.

For many Japanese, the implication of inemuri is that someone is exhausted from working too hard, and that he or she is sacrificing sleep at night to get work done. Work is a very important part of Japanese culture, especially hard work, for both adults and youths, although for younger Japanese the work is education-related, rather than conducted in an office. In a country where people compete to log more work hours than friends and colleagues, inemuri is the ultimate indicator of hard work.

Generally, inemuri is viewed as positive and acceptable for people in high-ranking positions, but not for the lower ranks. A superior in a work environment can indulge in inemuri in front of inferiors, in other words, but inferiors would not generally fall asleep before their bosses. Students may also engage in inemuri as they study for grueling exams and attempt to advance themselves in the Japanese educational system.

While long work hours and extreme stress may not be healthy, inemuri is actually beneficial. Brief periods of sleep can rejuvenate the mind, allowing someone to focus and helping to clarify ideas. Ideally such nano naps should last at least a few minutes for their benefits to be felt, and as fans of the siesta and the power nap know, a 20-30 minute period of sleep in the middle of the day can be quite pleasant.

The concept of inemuri explains why you may occasionally see high profile Japanese figures who appear to be napping during social and public events. Typically, inemuri is a very light sleep, from which the sleeper can easily awake, allowing him or her to follow events while resting the mind. As observers of cats may be aware, inemuri has also been adopted by the feline world.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon91531 — On Jun 22, 2010

Most people would sleep more easily if they felt safe and were not on high alert for danger. So from that point of view, falling asleep might show confidence in the other people present and that would be a compliment to them.

As for me, I have never fallen asleep in a gathering. I don't even sleep that well at night--and I don't even have guilty conscience, nor am I anxious.

As for the Japanese: I was extremely favorably impressed by them when I was there in 1974. They were hard workers and I never detected any hostility toward me. In fact, we were there during a school holiday and I was approached by many students wanting to shake hands and test their English and also to take my picture. Usually tourists take photos of the natives, but here, the natives were taking photos of the tourists. Also, every space was tastefully utilized. There were crowds and they even had "pushers" to get the last passengers into the bullet trains, but somehow I didn't feel overwhelmed by people (I am almost never overwhelmed). D.W. Bales

By anon91489 — On Jun 22, 2010

How is it pronounced? I must use it in the future if I fall asleep at work.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.