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10 facts about the life of women in Japan that are difficult for foreigners to understand


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The life of a woman in the Land of the Rising Sun is shrouded in secrets and rumors. The female role in modern Japan is multifaceted. And even the established patriarchal system of the country is gradually changing, and women and men are equalized in rights. But still, for Japanese women, there are some rules and prohibitions that are difficult for foreigners to understand.

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How women live in Japan, tells We don’t even know whether to envy Japanese women or sympathize.

1. Ban on glasses

Japan has a pretty strict dress code. The working uniform of women there, as a rule, is a black jacket, a white shirt, a skirt and shoes with small heels. Recently, many companies have begun to prohibit Japanese women from coming to work wearing glasses.

First of all, these are organizations related to the service sector: restaurant and hotel business, cosmetology, beauty salons. The main reasons for the ban are that the glasses do not show the beauty of the eyes, they hide makeup and in general spoil the appearance.

Company executives believe that without glasses, the girl looks much more feminine and this positively affects the prestige of the company and the quality of work. This rule has not affected men, and women complain about harassment by employers.

2. Female transport

In Japanese public transport, there are frequent cases of male harassment of women. This phenomenon even has its own name - chikan. When the number of complaints about men began to increase, the government took action, and cars exclusively for women appeared in the Japanese subway. Such wagons are usually located at the end of the train, and men are strictly forbidden to enter it, which is regulated by fines. Metro personnel are also required to monitor passengers and prevent the presence of males in the female carriage. Of course, exceptions are made for children and men with disabilities.

The government also took care of women who work late and return home in the dark. In this case, there is a taxi with female drivers, and it is intended only for women and children.

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3. Designed for women

But women's cars are not the only place in Japan where you will not meet a man: there are cafes and even libraries for women. There are also differences in the payment for goods and services. For example, medical services and some goods for men are more expensive. In addition, many public institutions have lady's day - days when there are big discounts for women. For men, such a system is not provided.

4. Discrimination in the profession

Women in Japan find it harder to get a job than men. Even if a woman has more knowledge and experience, employers will still prefer a man. Yes, and decent work more often goes to males. But if the girl is still lucky with the place of work, it is possible that she will receive a lower salary than her male colleague in a similar position with the same responsibilities. And instead of maternity leave, a pregnant woman can wait for a forced dismissal.

If the female applicant is not married, then the employer's refusal can be justified by the fact that she will marry and quit, as her husband will support her. Also, the employer may decide that the unmarried woman has a nasty character or any other shortcomings, which also does not contribute to her employment.

5. Woman manages family budget

Most often, after marriage, a woman leaves her job. Moreover, one of the reasons is the employer's reluctance to have ladies on staff whose marital status does not allow them to fully surrender to the business. But in the family, a woman is a full-fledged mistress: life, parenting and all finances are in her hands. And even if a woman works, all the same, all the housework responsibilities lie with her.

Most often, the wife manages the family budget in Japanese couples. Even despite the fact that in most cases only a man works and provides for his family. Moreover, sometimes the husband does not see his money at all, because his salary is immediately transferred to his wife’s bank account, and he already receives pocket money from her.

6. Single mother in Japan

Separate laws also apply to single mothers. The percentage of divorces and extramarital pregnancies is quite small, and yet it is and even increases. If a woman was left alone due to the death of her husband as a result of an accident (or for another “noble” reason, according to the Japanese), then perhaps she will be given good help.

If a woman is divorced or simply does not know who the father of the child is, she will face severe trials. In such cases, a single mother is unlikely to be able to get a normal job, and often a woman with a child is in distress. However, you can try to achieve state subsidies: payments are small, but it is quite possible to live on them.

Being on the allowance, the mother and the child cannot afford to make expensive purchases (phones of prestigious models, computers, travel): there is a chance of losing payments, or they will be reduced by the amount of the cost of a “luxury item”. Also, mothers should not receive expensive gifts: the Japanese believe that if there is someone to give, then there is someone to support the mother and child.

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7. Toilet etiquette

Going to the toilet is a sensitive topic for Japanese girls. It is considered shameful if someone understands for what purposes the lady went to the restroom. And to make any sounds is completely unacceptable. For this case, special toilets have been created in Japan: they not only can play the role of a bidet and air freshener, have the functions of heating the seat and drying, but they also have a built-in radio and can mask the noise with the help of nature sounds. And the most shameful thing for a Japanese girl is if someone guesses that she has menstruation.

8. A woman should be weaker than a man, even if in fact it is not

Girls in Japan cannot be smarter, stronger or faster than a guy. Even if in fact this is so, you need to be sensitive to a man: to give in or pretend. Also, girls should not talk loudly, much less shout, communicate arrogantly or impolite, and somehow show their leadership position.

It is also a shame to attract the attention of a man with his appearance or actions and generally give any signs of attention to a young man he likes. You can’t just invite him to a cafe, hug or kiss (even on the cheek).

9. A woman cannot be involved in sumo wrestling

Although there is historical evidence that women used to practice sumo wrestling in antiquity and the Middle Ages, Japanese women are currently not allowed to participate in professional sumo wrestling. The ring is considered a sacred place, which a woman should not touch, since in ancient times she was considered an “unclean” creature and desecrated the contest with her presence.

In addition, women are not allowed to take any part in activities related to this sport, even as a judge or a girl with a sign. And literally 100 years ago, ladies were forbidden to even watch the competition: it was believed that their “poisonous” look could harm the wrestlers. Now women are allowed to be spectators of the fight, they can also engage in an amateur version of this type of wrestling, but it is not recognized by the Sumo Association.

10. A woman cannot become a sushi cook

Representatives of well-known restaurants in Japan say that women are not suitable for the role of cook-sushist. And this is due to the fact that, according to chefs, women's hands, depending on hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle, can become warmer or colder, which will ruin the taste of sushi.

But in Japan there is one sushi bar where all the cooks are women. This is Nadeshiko Sushi in Akihabara, Tokyo. The restaurant chef Yuki Chizui thus fights against the country's patriarchy and prejudice.

We don’t even know whether we are happy that we do not live in Japan, or whether we are upset. And could you live in a country with such customs?

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