The Classic Gentleman is Back
- Jul 24, 2012
- Reaction score
Re: Japan, My wife is also the one that has a real hard hate and love relationship with it. She loves the conveniences and the lifestyle outside of work ie drinking at our buddies izakaya, enjoying the outdoors, family etc. However she hates working there with a fiery passion. She has even hated dealing with Japanese bosses in American companies she worked in. As a women, she always has to push herself further just to get the same recognition as her male colleagues plus the salary is pretty stagnant.
I've dealt with some of the Japanese work bs before, but usually I'm a training manager role for foreign hotels so it's not too bad since I usually get the control until we reach an impasse and nothing gets done.
Very much this. My wife is in that 40-something generation of educated women, who were really the first to reject the system completely in this way. Of her peer group in architecture, urban design and planning, about a quarter are living overseas, most permanently, doing a variety of things, and of the rest who stayed in Japan, a quarter are either independent practicing architects in Japan, another quarter are in academia or arts & cultural organizing, so probably only a quarter ended up in the traditional route of working for a company in a position way below their level of talent and ability until they got married and stopped working.
My wife, who is a published translator of both academic and commercial books into Japanese, these days, says that although she misses many things regularly, especially the food, the onsen, and the reliable and convenient public transport, she never wants to work in Japan again. Because things have not really got much better for women.
Interesting stuff, thank you for all of the perspectives. It was definitely a concern and part of the calculus when deciding to make the move or not, and with her interview process stretching over six months we had lots of time to work through those things. Long calls with female family members that are currently working or have worked in Japan, and recognizing that she's in a pretty unique position at this particular job. It's a European company but she's working for the Japan division of it, and all of the upper management here (and some in Europe) are women, which isn't an accident.Yeah me and my wife are a lot younger and although we love the idea of going back to live in Japan, she personally wouldn't again until she is working freelance for a foreign company or sets up her own company doing UI/UX. I personally wish we could be doing several months in Chicago, leave to Mexico when it gets cold, and live in Japan during the spring. Ahhh dreamssss.
And working in fashion/design, there is a lot of talk between her and her contemporaries about the toxic environments they've spent their whole careers in (no matter what country or city) and how they're now in the position to make a difference and stop perpetuating that. So that gives some hope for the future, it will just take this current vanguard to do it.