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Women in their 20s want to get married, live in a big apartment and become cute moms.

37 Comments

A 25-year-old female graduate student at a private Tokyo university. She says girls of her generation follow all the "How to get a man" guides, wear the really girly pink or beige low-cut outfits at dating parties and also try and catch the eye of a guy by doing things like dishing out the food. (Mainichi Daily News)

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How about learn to converse at an adult level with other human beings? That could almost find you a husband.

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If that's what they genuinely want, more power to 'em.

If some salaryman tries to squeeze his wife, girlfriend or daughter into that kind of mold when they don't want it, THEN get offended.

How about learn to converse at an adult level with other human beings? That could almost find you a husband.

Sometimes. Don't forget where this is.

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More power to them, at least they have a goal in life to achieve their happiness.

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I have the feeling that a woman is NODOBY in Japan without a man. My mother in low told me they have a saying: when a woman is born, she follows her father. When she marries, she follows her husband. And when she is old, she follows her son. Another "unique" aspect of the beautiful Japanese culture. As long as they accept this and don't want to change it, Japanese woman will be always wearing pink and putting diamond stickers in their mobile phone and absolutely ridiculous fake nails. I still have a hope that my husband will be sent abroad in a few years with his company, because I do not fit in here.

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"when a woman is born, she follows her father. When she marries, she follows her husband. And when she is old, she follows her son."

What's wrong with that? Ha ha ha!

"try and catch the eye of a guy by doing things like dishing out the food"

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

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A very "healthy" REGRESSION back into the Edo era, I see.

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Why the heck do they even go to college then? If all they dream of is being a stay home mom.

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zanza123 : where do you want them to find wealthy husband if they dont go to college !??!?!

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Why the heck do they even go to college then? If all they dream of is being a stay home mom.

Who would you rather have looking after your kids in their formative years, a well-educated woman who can provide them with a stimulating environment in which to grow, or someone barely literate with no personal experience of education and so no ability to pass it on to the children? (a bit of an exaggeration I admit, but you get the idea.)

Educate a woman and you educate a family (assuming that she actually looks after the family instead of leaving them with the au pair while she pursues her career - again a bit of an exaggeration, but again I'm sure you get the idea.)

Besides, if you find your future husband at college he's likely to be a better earner in the future than the high-school dropout you get to know working the till at your local conbini.

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"mother in low"

Er... freudian slip?

When she marries, she follows her husband...... I still have a hope that my husband will be sent abroad in a few years with his company

...you were saying...?

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Fake nails stickers & jangles on mobile phones are common to teenage girls here in Australia too:cjangles are purchased from those Squiggle & Hello Kitty shops. Don't blame the girls who can't converse at an adult level:blame rather the education system where chalk and talk is the norm & the follow on after him custom is entrenched firmly.If it was 'COOL' in Japan to be a female nerd,at the top of your grade as long as you were opinionated,independent,could analyse with good judgement & debate & fight loudly against all forms of injustice as it is here in Australia THEN you might get rid of the shut up, sit down, and follow after me syndrome that females live happily with in Japan.

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And this comes from a graduate student. I think it's so sad. There ARE Japanese women with great careers and supportive husbands, but you have to search REALLY hard to find them. I know only two, after almost four years here. I do know another very high-ranking lawyer, but I'm not sure if she is married.

When I came here, I didn't realize how pervasive this culture of submissive women was, but it hit me like a ton of bricks when my Japanese teacher asked me what my favourite food was and I answered "steak". She flinched, and said that a Japanese woman would NEVER give that answer, but would instead respond with something like "chocolate parfait" or "strawberry ice-cream" because it was more feminine and cute. She also suggested I give this answer with my index finger touching my chin and my head tilted to the side. I was incredulous. She is not a stupid woman either, she is simply operating as best she can in this culture, I guess.

I would worry greatly if I had to raise a daughter here.

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Perhaps I should run this JT article past all my university students and see what their take is on it.

...on my way out the door to buy some stick-on diamonds for my keitai.

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I am multi-lingual, and not only feel like but have also recently been told that I become slightly different people in each language. Apparently I'm "cool" in English, and "kawaii" in Japanese (and flirtatious in Spanish, hehe). Obviously this may have much to do with the limitations of my language sometimes and the simple way in which i have to phrase things sometimes. But I think it has more to do with the fact that I have TAUGHT to be cute, feminine, and somewhat deferential/less opinionated in Japanese. Yes the Japanese do tend to speak less directly, but its even less smiled upon for a woman to have an opinion of her own.

I even find myself doing stuff like laughing behind my hand here. It's a little shocking, because in other cultures I would never bend to expectations here or act a little airhead just to fit in. I've got a degree in politics, not beauty school. (no offence intended to nail technicians).

It just feels like societal expectations are so great . I'm at uni here - and I haven't yet met a Japanese girl with great ambitions. A fair few of them seem to looking for a western boyfriend, quite the fashion accessory I'm told.

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"When she marries, she follows her husband."

What? Is anyone married to a Japanese woman? Follow?! Folloooowww?? You are all on acid. Japanese women think men are dogs. "Fetch!"

Japanese women want to be paid to look after a baby, and hang out at culture centres with their friends. What is not big about that ambition?

Multilingual lawyers are so Big, but I bet the housewives have less stress and more fun.

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I don't see what is wrong with it... Everyone has their own aspirations. My friends and I in Japan have all married ans started families around the same time... we're in our early 20's and are all happy being younger mothers. It's the norm for us! I don't think it matters so much anymore, it's better than being 40+ with a baby, right?

We all shop at the same stores we shopped at before we had babies (pinky&dianne, LIZ LISA etc and that type of store) I don't see why we should suddenly turn into dorky Gap mothers with boring sweat pants and messy hair... why can't we be the same as we were? It's no problem to like cute things too...we just like to dress the same as we always have and enjoy our lives!

All of us have had education, it's not like we cannot converse with other adults! Liking a particular style of life has nothing to do with education. It's like condemning a professor for being gay, he might be the smartest book on the shelf... but because of his lifestyle and personal interests he will be looked down on by those who consider themselves "normal"

alexandrina(unfortunate name...couldn't your parents decide on just one?!)

Aussie girls also like to wear pants with their undies poking out? nothing else to say to your comment other than EPIC FAIL.

oh and, btw... stick on diamonds are so old... it's whipped cream and sweets now :)

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Sock it to them Kawaiitenshi. Or don't sock it, just tell them politely, like you have.

Ozzies and other Western women often try to look like men (jeans with pants sticking out the top, agressive look, "power dressing," not bothering to dress up at all). Japanese women are happy to be women. Even a lot of Japanese men would like to be or dress up as women. It is good to be a woman here. Men are "the second sex." It is good that at least someone in the word thinks so. It is time that Western women looked to their Japanese systers and stop trying to copy men. Being a lawyer is not fun, really. Wake up!

But then again it is nice that are some ladies like that. I'd be Miranda from Sex and the City's house-husband any day, partly because I have been in Japan for a long time and respect the house-wifey-lifestyle.

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stop the presses

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It's so sad, that in 2009, some people still believe that a woman being a lawyer is "trying to copy men". I'm very happy to be a woman too, and I take pride in my appearance, and enjoy my femininity. But please bear in mind that women are many and varied; not all of them are into sticking whipped cream and sweets on their cellphones. In my opinion that is for children, not adults. Some people are bored by a life at home, and seek stimulation in the working world. Why look down on them for their lifestyle? Japanese girls can be taught that women have varied talents and skills and personalities and that the one-size-fits-all approach shouldn't be applied to marriage and motherhood.

And kawaiitenshi - you are neither cute not angelic when you make fun of other people's names. I hope you don't encourage your child/ren to be so snide and rude.

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I find many Japanese women to be very beautiful...on the outside.

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This is the most idiotic 'quote of the day'---including the comments.

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I have a 30-something Japanese friend here in California who remained in the USA after getting an advanced degree in computer science. In addition to her job, which is demanding, she dotes on two cats. Most important, she seems happy. She goes home at least once a year; a Japanese citizen with a green card. But I doubt she would move back because she will be made to feel there's something wrong with her for making such choices. The upshot is, Japan's loss is America's gain.

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A 25-year-old female graduate student at a private Tokyo university. She says girls of her generation follow all the “How to get a man” guides, wear the really girly pink or beige low-cut outfits at dating parties and also try and catch the eye of a guy by doing things like dishing out the food.

Ah, yes, I remember hearing the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. There's nothing particularly Japanese about that. And guides on how to land a guy exist in every language I'm sure.

"Cuteness" may be considered a feminine attribute in Japan because it's obtainable. I'm way too tall to be "cute" by anyone's standard, so it's good I didn't have my heart set on that!

The Japanese, in my opinion, seem rather lost because they never went through a social revolution where traditional gender roles were examined which opened the door to stepping outside them, for those who wanted to do so, without being branded a freak.

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obtainable

Should have been attainable.

Some people are bored by a life at home, and seek stimulation in the working world.

I don't think this is what propelled women who could have stayed home into the workforce. Rather it was the need to create an independent identity from which to draw their sense of self-worth beyond caring for others. Supporting the hubby's career rise was important for the family, but it was his career. And the kids in whom most mothers make significant investment eventually leave home. Now some women were able to derive satisfaction and recognition for themselves through hobbies, but many looked outside.

One of the secrets of dual career marriages with young children is the role of hired help. Japan lacks a pool of guest workers/immigrants who disproportionately fill these jobs in other countries (Filipinas in Hong Kong, Latinas in the US, etc).

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Japan lacks a pool of guest workers/immigrants who disproportionately fill these jobs in other countries

Do people really want to leave the care and upbringing of their children to au pairs? The most important job in the family, and some minimum-wage outsider gets to do it?

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Do people really want to leave the care and upbringing of their children to au pairs? The most important job in the family, and some minimum-wage outsider gets to do it?

I had a friend based in Japan for a while who came to Hong Kong where we met up. She was surprised to see so many women in the workforce. I pointed out the invisible ones; the Filipinas ferrying the small ones home on public transportation.

Whether or not they had to work or chose to I don't know. Several of my male colleagues in the USA are counting the days until their youngest kids are in school, enabling their wives to return to paid employment, signalling the end of getting by on a single income will be over.

And of course there's always been criticism of women with young children who take high powered jobs with long hours. There's no one right answer but by not confronting the questions of proper balance in life the Japanese face a bleak demographic future. Too many people have opted out. My Japanese friend here who works in the high tech industry has an older brother and younger sister, neither of whom is married. Needless to say, they have no children.

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It`s really quite simple - happy Mommy, happy children. I work part-time and my children have been in daycare since they were small. I am REALLY happy with my life and consider myself very fortunate. My kids are wonderful and are growing up balanced and well.

But equally, my sisters whose sole ambition in life is to become a cute Mom and never work, or equally to become a high-powered lawyer, if that makes them happy, who am I to criticise them? I have no problem at all with the cute moms, the working moms, the moms with fabulous nails and the mums (like me) who have to wear gloves to hide their appalling nails - we are all different and the most important thing is for us to be happy with the choices we have made.

The only kind of woman I cant abide is the kind who projects her own choices onto other women and looks down on anyone not like her. So kawaiitenshi and all the others - you go ahead and be cute if you want to. Just please dont look down on the Gap mommies - we are not all blessed with your fabulous Asian skin and hair!

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It`s really quite simple - happy Mommy, happy children. I work part-time and my children have been in daycare since they were small. I am REALLY happy with my life and consider myself very fortunate. My kids are wonderful and are growing up balanced and well.

It's interesting how there was not one word of mention about the father.

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become a cute Mom and never work

lol. Spoken like one who leaves the childcare to day care. There is no harder job on this earth than raising small humans. Making them 'happy' isn't all there is to it (though it's a big part of course - and happy with the day care or foreign help is much better than miserable with a Mom chomping at the bit to be 'fulfilling herself' somewhere else.)

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Im sorry, but I think you know that I am not in any way suggesting that being a Mom is not work! And this is spoken like one who only got 4 hours sleep last night - again - as I have for the last 4 years. All I am suggesting is that every person has different circumstances and pushing your own opinions of what others should do is naiive and unfair...wouldnt you say Cleo??!

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All I am suggesting is that every person has different circumstances and pushing your own opinions of what others should do is naiive and unfair...wouldnt you say Cleo??!

Indeed I would. Some women choose to work outside the home, others have it forced upon them for financial reasons. I have been extremely lucky in that I have been able to choose to work from home, building my career and always being there when the kids came home from school. When they were little, we managed on a single salary so that I wouldn't have to 'work'. It pushes my buttons, though, when people seem to be suggesting (or stating up front) that a woman who chooses not to leave her children to the hired help is 'only' a Mom and somehow less of a woman.

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i must be going to wrong dating parties :|

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I have been a stay at home mom, and I have been a full time working mum, and I have been a mum who puts her kids in daycare and works part-time and is home early to be with them. I can categorically state from my limited experience to date that being a stay at home Mum is by far the most hard work. I would NEVER suggest a stay at home mum is less of a woman and in many cases I admire them! I am ashamed to admit that I was not able to do it! I think society and the culture we grow up in has a lot to do with the choices we end up making and the subsequent issues we then have to deal with as a result of those choices.

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"It pushes my buttons, though, when people seem to be suggesting (or stating up front) that a woman who chooses not to leave her children to the hired help is 'only' a Mom and somehow less of a woman."

I don't think anyone meant that at all. If anything, I understood from timtak and kawaiitenshii's comments that their opinion is that women, particularly Western women, who aren't "cute" or demure or traditionally feminine, or who, horror of horrors, wear jeans or unfashionable clothes, are somehow less of a woman.

And your use of the term "leave her children to the hired help" would suggest that you feel negatively about mothers who work outside the home!

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your use of the term "leave her children to the hired help" would suggest that you feel negatively about mothers who work outside the home!

When the kiddies are tiny and the mother isn't forced to work for financial reasons - I can't understand why any woman would prefer not to be with her babies. But that's just me. But as I've already said, if a woman is not happy staying at home looking after her kids, both she and the kids will be happier and better off if she sticks with her career, so long as the kids are properly cared for. So there is no need at all for kirakira25 or anyone else to feel 'ashamed' about any choices she may have made. We all do best what we do best.

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I'm a college graduate in my 20's and this is exactly what I want, except I'm American and I'd rather do this in Japan. Good thing I speak the language...Now I just have to find a Japanese guy who will go along with it.

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Curiosityband E-mail me!!! Let's go on a date-o!!! :)

curiosityband at 04:54 AM JST - 3rd February

I'm a college graduate in my 20's and this is exactly what I want, except I'm American and I'd rather do this in Japan. Good thing I speak the language...Now I just have to find a Japanese guy who will go along with it.

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