We started this year with a japanese themed evening ‘The Place of Women in Contemporary Japan’ led by a friend and local independent member whose daugther in law is japanese. Cynthia’s daughter in law had contacted former students from The Japanese Law School in London where she had worked in the 80s – replies were received from 4 women and 1 man.
Three of the women were living modern lives and struggling in the workplace to achieve promotion, they experienced lower pay and less favourable conditions than the men. One works for Reuters and mentioned this subject is often raised in ‘The Japanese Women’s Network’.
The other woman lives a traditional life in Kyoto and works with traditional crafts. She is very happy in her work situation and gets on well with her fellow male workers. She is not looking for improvement but understands it is ‘not so happy for those living a modern lifestyle’. Osechi celebrations ( New Year) is an example of this where the women have to clean the house from top to bottom, prepare the meals and then serve the drinks.
The male who replied observed that some areas of life favour men and not ladies, but he could see that this must change and ended.
‘There are many career ladies I see in Japan and I think they are all amazing’.
Cynthia ended her talk with a raffle – apparently japanese love to gamble. She also gave us traditional paper gifts sent from her daughter in law’s sister in Tokyo.
Dom arigato, sayonara.