The other day, I was talking with some foreign engineers about ”同期” (dooki, synchronization) and ”非同期” (hidooki, asynchronous), and someone pointed out that dooki has another meaning.
At first, I couldn’t understand because we were taking about systems, but then I thought, “Oh! Of course!”.
In Japanese, people who enter school, graduate and enter a company in the same year are said to be douki.
For example, “会社の同期” (kaisha no dooki) (company same period) refers to people who join a company in the same year (for example, April 2010).
A “同期会” (dooki-kai) is when people from the same period gather together.
In Japan, most students graduate in March and are hired into companies as “新卒社員” (shinsotsu sha’in, newly graduated employees) on April 1.
So, almost everyone has “dooki” among coworkers.
At large corporations, there can be thousands of people who are dooki.
Mega banks particularly hire a lot of new graduates. In 2016, the Mizuho Financial Group was reported to have plans to hire 1920 new graduates.
Isn’t it amazing that nearly 2000 people could be dooki?
Note that in Japanese, the accent on the word douki differs depending on whether it is used to mean “synchronization” or “the same period.”
The syllable do in dooki is lower and uki is higher when used in the IT sense, and the syllable do is higher and uki is lower when used to mean entering a company at the same time.
As for the term hidouki (asynchronous), hi is low, do is high, and uki is low again.
Although the IT terms douki and hidouki are opposites, there is no opposite for the word douki when used to mean people joining a company in the same year.
So, be careful not to use the word hidouki to refer to people who join a company in different years, okay?
Fellow coworkers can be referred to using terms such as joushi (superior), senpai (senior), kohai (junior), and douryou (equal) depending on how old they are and when they joined the company.