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Kofuji

NY Times: Young Japanese Women Vie for a Once-Scorned Job

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You should have a komento!

Edited by ilovesumo

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Sorry, trying to be funny with a Kotooshu like comment about a serious subject. I think Kofuji wanted this to be lighthearted but...

I haven't visited any hostess bars. I don't plan to. I don't like the idea of paying someone to talk to me or more.

If they want to talk to me, they can. I'm here, I'm already married so talk would be all I'd want (really... yes, REALLY!). So far it seems young Japanese women aren't interested in talking to me outside of work but older Japanese women are very friendly and I made several friends in the Aichi prefectural gymnasium. Perhaps everyone thinking ILoveTochinoshin and I were married skewed things a bit... Asashoryuu was trying to set me up with some reporters though, even after asking if I was married; yes I think he was kidding but given his situation it was an interesting jest to make.

Getting back to worthwhile work for women, the problem isn't unique to Japan. Most female store clerks in malls, and many restaurant workers in Canada have some sort of degree, unfortunately in the arts usually which isn't appreciated much these days. My wife is working on her masters degree so she might be able to break even on daycare. I work in IT and there aren't many women in the higher paying areas, for some reason there are more in support and quality assurance rather than development and management. Sales and marketing however is an area where they excel. I'm not sure if some of this is stereotypical ("women are better at communicating, at interpersonal skills") or not. There just aren't many candidates when we're hiring, even for co-op positions so obviously they aren't entering university here for development or management type studies which is too bad and probably needs help at a very early age to encourage them.

As a parent I'll try to push my daughter to do something worthwhile but this is hard. Your kids are their own people. Not everyone can be a manager, etc. Hard topic.

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Sorry, trying to be funny with a Kotooshu like comment about a serious subject. I think Kofuji wanted this to be lighthearted but...

The comment to Harry was meant to be light hearted as I had the good fortune of sharing wings and beer with him in Waterloo a few weeks ago, and knowing he was in Tokyo, kid him about it a bit implying he'd be visiting the hostess bars.

But yes, the article was very interesting in it's own right and is a continuation of the geisha culture without some of the other skills that the geisha was expected to master like music and dance. Harry's assessment of the state of IT in Canada is bang on. When I had my software company, we tried to hire women, but good candidates weren't always easy to find, but the ones we did find were gems.

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The whole job situation in Japan has been tight for a while, both for men and women. There are large numbers of college graduates who are unable to command anything secure, and a number who are having to make do shifting from contract to contract rather than being taken on by companies. Times are certainly tighter than they have been.

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I often wonder why girls graduate at all.......only reason can't be to find a good future husband and then be the housewife.......

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Many didn't and still don't finish school and the joke used to be (still is?) that the main degree women get from university is an MRS. Bad sexist joke but sometimes these things still have the ring of truth to them.

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If any of you are in Tokyo, I will happily show you the hostess bar scene, on your dime, of course!

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I'm in Tokyo and I'm trying very hard to be good but you guys aren't helping...

Edited by Harry

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I'm in Tokyo and I'm trying very hard to be good but you guys aren't helping...

Yeah, do your part to support our Japan economy, go to a hostess bar tonight! Take your friends and colleagues too!

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Harry can't go to hostess bars he spent all his money on Sumo in Nagoya for over a week!!! (I am not worthy...)

He was right, the older women, especially Yamauchi-san took a liking to him in Nagoya! :-| But then her first loves are Chiyohakuho & Chiyotaikai so Harry has a backseat to them!

As for the women in Japan, as a teacher both high school and university I see many girl students whose objective is to get to work for a good company so that they can find a man in that company to marry. Whether they stay on or not comes up later! I teach for Kajima Kensetsu (one of the top 3 construction & research institutes in Japan) & I have had only a handful of women engineers during the past 21 years... and some office workers. Most of them admitted to coming to work to Kajima to look for a good husband.

Well as Harry says, you can't control what your kids want to do. The parents are sending the girls out to school to get good jobs and the girls are just husband hunting at the correct company.

Not all women I know but I've seen a LOT in 21 years in Japan!!!

I've had high school girls stand up & say "my dream is to marry a good man, have children & be a very good mother & wife" which I respect if that is what they want...

Whereas my coworker who has students say this tells them "that is bullshit, that isn't a dream"

Whose to tell anyone what is their dream & what isn't.

Jobs are scarce for women & men these days. Plenty of men are working contract work for temp agencies as are women. I've seen plenty of women in good jobs but they have to really WANT it to get it! In all the schools I've worked in over the years I've only come across 3 female principals.. and let me tell you they were all bitches! They hated other women teachers. I guess they had to be that way to get to where they were. Who knows?

ON a last note, those girls in hostess bars (some I know) are making a lot more money than the elementary school teachers I work with & myself as well! Work where the money is....

Just my 2 cents!

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The parents are sending the girls out to school to get good jobs and the girls are just husband hunting at the correct company.

I'd actually suggest that a lot of parents are sending their girls to school to get jobs at good companies (not necessarily good jobs) so that they can husband-hunt at the company. The reason this thing continues is because it is generationally ingrained. The girls don't just reach their early 20s and decide to husband hunt. This is presented to them as an option, usually by their parents (but perhaps by their school or the education system as well), and that is why it happens year after year and generation after generation. There are independent women out there in Japan who are seeking careers (and there have always been), but there are also many who are looking to make themselves and families happy by marrying well and producing kids because that is "the dream" for many.

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I've been out of the market for years but to my now out of date eyes, they come "dressed for success" every morning here. A Chinese friend who works as a translator says she was told it was disrespectful to come to work here without wearing fashionable clothes and lots of makeup. Certainly lots of war paint in evidence. I don't know how they walk in what seems to be everyday footwear here.

Edited by Harry

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I've been out of the market for years but to my now out of date eyes, they come "dressed for success" every morning here. A Chinese friend who works as a translator says she was told it was disrespectful to come to work here without wearing fashionable clothes and lots of makeup. Certainly lots of war paint in evidence. I don't know how they walk in what seems to be everyday footwear here.

Harry, I'm happy to see that sweet photo of you and Asaamami! He was so overwhelmed by the huge banner! But luckily all the shimpan are surely still talking about it on the jungyo! :-D I'll bring it along to the Honjo jungyo maybe he'll have a match if he's tsukebitoing for Asasekiryu!

Anyway yes, the girls are supposed to come to work like "that" you've described, even if they then turn around and put on a uniform for work. I have a rebellious Japanese girl friend who grew up on NYC, she wears jeans & Tshirt to work because she changes to office uniform anyway. She is a rebel & people are offended but legally she can't lose her job either. And she's not husband hunting at work! (In a state of confusion...)

It is a shame some of them feel pressured BUT I will tell you a LOT of them like it! They love dressing that way & wearing the brand stuff & carrying it! It truly amazes me!!!

About the shoes if the Japanese girls would buy shoes that actually FIT them they wouldn't have so much trouble keeping the stiletto heels on and possibly walking better in them. I wore heels from JHS til I was about 30 & wore them to school all day, walked a mile to the school up & down stairs etc... but when they fit it is a much easier task!

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Anyway yes, the girls are supposed to come to work like "that" you've described, even if they then turn around and put on a uniform for work. I have a rebellious Japanese girl friend who grew up on NYC, she wears jeans & Tshirt to work because she changes to office uniform anyway. She is a rebel & people are offended but legally she can't lose her job either. And she's not husband hunting at work! (In a state of confusion...)

It is a shame some of them feel pressured BUT I will tell you a LOT of them like it! They love dressing that way & wearing the brand stuff & carrying it! It truly amazes me!!!

About the shoes if the Japanese girls would buy shoes that actually FIT them they wouldn't have so much trouble keeping the stiletto heels on and possibly walking better in them. I wore heels from JHS til I was about 30 & wore them to school all day, walked a mile to the school up & down stairs etc... but when they fit it is a much easier task!

From the age of 22 (when the bones of the feet have strengthened into adult form and cannot be deforned by bad footwear) I regularly wore 3.5 inch heels; untill I got to Japan 35, going on 36 years ago, when I disovered that pretty well all my Japanese bosses were a litte taller than my real height; so reluctantly I threw way my high heels and started in flatties which gave my bosses a slight height advantage. This still serves me well.

In the main one of my four regular jobs the women come to work in virtually anything they fancy: casual, life's free spirit, drop-dead gorgeous, anything in between; but never, never, the hunting costume of the OL in seach of a really good berth (long straight black hair, perfect makeup, grey classic suit).

In my other three rather privileged workplaces the women know they have security (even if they take time off for a couple of kids) so they work in decent business attire but minimum makeup.

FWIW,

Orion

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