Miss Kawano

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My teacher at the 1st-grade was Miss Kawano. She was about a few years to her retirement, had no family, and lived alone. She was short with a round face […]

Hometown

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I was born in 1977, four years after my sister and two years after the miscarried sibling. The town I grew up in had long been a farming town. But […]

Conjugal protocol

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My sister once said to me upsettingly, “You despise the marriage system,” when I showed indifference to her upcoming matrimony. She was wrong. I scorned “people” who blindly pursued conjugal […]

Stigma

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In 2003, a book of an essay was released and became a best-seller – “Makeinu no toboe,” written by Junko Sakai*. The literal translation is “a howling of a defeated […]

Sister – rage against sister

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I went home for Christmas in 2015. By then, I had been living overseas for ten years. On Christmas morning, my sister and two nieces (9 and 7 years old), […]

Sister – smile

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The hostess bars often ranked the girls based on the sales they brought to the house. Regular customers asked to be served by their favorite girls. The girls earned revenue […]

Sister – queen

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Companies that used to hire college graduates of any qualities became selective in their recruitment. First, they hired male graduates from top schools. Then they picked male graduates of mid-level […]

Juliana’s Tokyo

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The strong economy from the mid-’80s to the collapse of Nikkei in 1991 brought the transformation of young women in Japan. There was a social phenomenon that young women were […]

Sister – the job market

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When my sister finished school, it was the mid-’90s. The Japanese economy had been declining. Companies went through lay-offs at an unprecedented level in the post-war economic growth period. Lifetime […]

Sister – resentment

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By the time I came back from Tokyo, I had concluded my sister didn’t have a great taste in men. But I also thought no men were that great, and […]