Japan and FAIL

I have recently read a few interesting articles on Japanese culture.  This article discusses men in Japan who have found companionship with their cartoon-decorated pillowcases.  This article describes the line of work known as “hostessing” in Japan.  Hostesses serve as female companions in swanky clubs to men who can afford their high prices.  The author  argues that this job, once considered improper, is gaining prestige in less than robust Japanese economy.  Hostess jobs are:

among the most lucrative jobs available to women and with the country neck-deep in a recession, hostess positions are increasingly coveted, and hostesses themselves are gaining respectability and even acclaim. Japan’s worst recession since World War II is changing mores.

Finally, this is a really interesting article on the use of the word FAIL, which is now being used as an interjection in addition to its common use as a verb.


9 responses to “Japan and FAIL

  1. The hostess positions for Japanese women can be a two way street. For one thing they get to enjoy the glamore life and make thousands of dollars a year which is more than what full time jobs offer in this counrty. The women over there do seem to like their choice of work or else they wouldn’t be a hostess at all. It is the type of position that no one can force them to work in. They have to make that choice on their own. The other part of the hostess job is that it can be a danergous position to work in. The article mentioned that it does not involve prosituation. If one of the girls meets up with the wrong man, she could end up raped, getting a diease, or even murdered. Is the job really worth the money? It may be a high paying job, but it did kind of make the girls look cheap and them not having very much for self-respect to show off like that. Suppose that some girls try out the hostess job and then apply for something else. If the employer finds out that she looked good just to sell men some drinks in a geltemen’s club, the employer might decide that they don’t need someone like that to work for them as that could ruin the busniesse’s reputation for work. The article also mentioned that one of the girls was a single mother while she was a hostess. Suppose her child is against what their mother does and even gets embrassed by it. Another thing that was mentined is that the hostess job is mostly for young girls. Once they grow older their hostess job is history as many men would prefer a young girl compared to an older lady. I would have to say that I would be against the hostess job as it seems that it does just take advantage of women.

  2. Hostessing in Japan:

    While I don’t find anything inherently wrong with a woman deciding to become a hostess that caters to wealthy men, there are still some troubling things with the profession.

    For one, I agree with women’s groups who say that women are probably pressured for sex in exchange for money in many instances. Pressure probably even comes from some of the women’s employers who want the return business of wealthy customers as well as popular establishments.

    In addition, in many cases this type of employment also leads many young women to have problems with alcohol (as they are expected to drink while socializing) and could also delay a woman going on to higher education by many years.

    But I understand how hard it is to make money in this economy and as the article says, in many cases these hostesses use their jobs as temporary vessels to help fund their education, start a business, achieve their goals, etc. So I would not fault or cast judgements on any woman who wanted to do this in order to earn a good living.

  3. I think the recent popularity of this particular meme will eventually run its course as well. And while I have to admit I have gotten a good chuckle out of some of the pictures I have seen over the past 2 years with the caption “fail” attached, I believe it is smarmy and counter-productive.

    A case could also be made that the popularity of this meme speaks volumes about our culture and who we are as a people. We are smarmy, snarky, patronizing and condescending. Many of us would rather tease, or laugh at people for their mistakes and shortcomings than we would offer them support or encouragement. We love to point out others shortcomings and failures while at the same time being comfortable with our own meager accomplishments.

    I thought the quote in the article by Anil Dash sums up this meme rather well,

    “FAIL’ isn’t advocacy; it’s the tool of those who don’t know how to be advocates, who don’t know how to persuade. It puts the ego of the complainers ahead of the cause they’re trying to advocate.”

  4. Wow! The 2-D body pillow article really reminded me of a movie called Lars and the Real Girl. Basically, Lars had such terrible confidence and social anxieties that he used a sex doll posed as his girlfriend as his way to reach out to the normal world.
    I wonder why so many Japanese have these anxieties to make them carry around a pillow all day? On the third page, I felt a little uncomfortable when the reporter described the pillows as 6th grade girls. A little red flag went up even though the 2-D pillow lover said he wasn’t sexually attracted to children in real life. It seems to me that there may be an unhealthy disconnect between fantasy and reality. It’s very, very important to have an imagination but I think a line is crossed when it holds you back in real life. I think it’s pretty clear that these people have some emotional/confidence issues to deal with.
    -Lindsey Lyford

  5. I agree that what these women are willing to go through is a bit womanizing the Japanese culture; however I don’t think it’s right to blame the men for everything, because you do have some women that choose such careers because they haven’t been given the opportunity and or voice to speak out and choose something that’s much suitable. But then you have some women who see the money that it offers and don’t have a desire to be anything more than a hostess.

    We are still in a world where women are still not as equal to men and especially in countries overseas. I just think it shows us that we still got a long way to go, if women are being mentally forced to do such desires of men, because they can’t get a job that pays the same if not more pay.

    And as the article said, many of these girls are college educated, but with the recession many women and men are being forced to take positions that are of their least desire just to make a living; so me personally I don’t put all the blame on the Japanese men, but I do agree and understand that if they’re going to throw out money so they can relax, why not put some of that money into the economy and help build jobs so that we all can relax. 🙂

  6. Love in 2-D…
    Wow…I don’t know if I should be disturbed or feel sorry for these guys who are so taken with pillow case girls. I guess if the one guy was suicidal and this helped him then its okay but I think there’s a dangerously fine line there if people begin to dream about little cartoon girls and them being around little real girls. I certainly wouldn’t trust that sort of person around my little girl.

    However, to be fair, if they find happiness and don’t hurt anyone then who cares!? If its all fantasy and stays that way then I guess it doesn’t really matter. One things for sure, they’ll never get an std from a pillow case…neither will their pillow case sue them for child support or alimony!

  7. Young Japanese Women Vie for a Once-Scorned Job: Hostessing…
    Very interesting article and as long as the women are not prostitutes or being forced to have sex and give the money to some pimp then why not? If men are willing to pay a pretty girl just to have drinks with them then maybe that tells you those men have money but always want something more…a beautiful woman at their side!

    Its a shame that there isn’t decent work available but with the economy the way it is if the women can at least do a non-demeaning work like that then its all good. I don’t see anything wrong with it. What’s wrong is if they are forced to do something they don’t want to do.

  8. Hostessing:
    While watching the video and reading through the article it reminded me of the book and movie Geisha Girl. They were hostesses in the early 1900s who wore kimonos and accompanied men. A lot of times men are not just looking for a sexual partner but someone to spend some time with or take to a party. A lot of these men travel for business and just want some company.
    I think if people in Japan are going to complain then they need to be making some job oppurtunities for younger people. Sad when hostessing job is #12 and nurses fall #22 on the list of most wanted job title.
    -Kristen Ash

  9. I read the blog about “Hostessing in Japan”. I was a little taken back by it, to think that women are needing to resort to this type of work. It sounds as though it is some what respectable, but I just feel that this is going to place these young women in difficult situations. I would not want it to lead to prostitution, but it almost sounds as though some of the women take it further than just hostessing. I understand that they are not finding jobs, and the hostess jobs are paying very well, but I think they need to really think hard on this before jumping into something that seems good, but in actuality is not. To me it sounds so degrading, but that is just me I guess. So many of these young women could go to college and pursue a career and possibly do something really great with their lives.

    Carol Peterson

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