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Gender

21

Apr

Reemergence of Old Eco Practices

By Dominic Carter

 

The trend towards ecologically mindful consumption is a well established trend in Western countries, spanning decades. But what about Japan? Taking a look at any urban streetscape in this country could lead one to think otherwise, but it’s fair to say that Japanese have the idea of “eco” running in their veins. More than merely a trend, an appreciation and even a celebration of the natural environment is a key pillar of Japanese culture.

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21

Apr

Cots & Dogs

By Dominic Carter

 

Japan’s population crisis is well documented.  In a country with the highest life expectancy in the world and one of the lowest birth rates, one could expect some good business opportunities in the aged care area.

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24

Jan

Homeward Bound?

By Dominic Carter

 

Coming from a land of suburban castles it’s sometimes a little surprising for Americans to see the relative lack of focus Japanese place on their homes as a form of self-expression. While it would not be uncommon for ordinary home owners in western countries to spend many thousands of dollars decorating their interiors with the latest furniture, fittings and decorative items, in Japan the look tends to be much more utilitarian.

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20

Jan

Hankyu to the Metrosexual

By Dominic Carter

 

Given that the market for luxury in Japan has been shrinking in recent years, Hankyu’s decision to double down by opening a luxury emporium exclusively for men seems like a bold one.

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12

Sep

Dark Days Could Lead to Dawn of Japanese Entrepreneurship

By Debbie Howard

 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, or GEM has pointed out that in “2000-2009, Japan recorded one of the lowest rates of entrepreneurial activity amongst the world’s leading nations.” The GEM report from 2009 said that “Japan’s citizens exhibit the greatest fear of failure among the 20 innovation-driven economies the GEM analyzed, and ranked dead last in the number of citizens who perceive opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

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17

Jan

“Perfect Marketing Storm” Means Smart Tactics More Vital Than Ever

By Debbie Howard

 

After the past few years of poor economic growth and constrained consumer purchase behavior, 2011 promises to be a challenging one from a marketing viewpoint.

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13

Apr

Sōshoku Danshi

By Dominic Carter

 

Walking up and down the streets of Shibuya on a Saturday afternoon, Yuuji Morimoto was surprised at what he saw.  Things seemed quite different to the way they were 5 years ago when he left Japan to attend university in the United States.  Everywhere he looked, there were an increasing number of men wearing clothes normally seen on women, standing outside with mirrors fixing their hair, walking with heads down and headphones blaring as they let their PSPs drown out the reality around them, and sitting alone in café’s reading novels while sipping lattes.  What was this new phenomenon, he asked a friend later.  It was then that he was told of the recent increase of soushoku danshi, or “grass eating boys” in Japanese society.  But where have all the big money-spending, sake drinking, secretary chasing carnivores of the bubble era gone, and who are these replacements?

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15

Jun

The Numbers Are In: Even Japanese Males See Value of Women in Workplace

By Debbie Howard

 

Attitudes toward women in the workplace in Japan are changing slowly but surely. Companies are getting on board and offering support for employees with families as a way to encourage women to stay in the workforce.  And even though women still have to make tough choices to make regarding their careers versus their family life, the evidence is growing to show that men are increasingly supportive of the changes that are taking place.

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06

Apr

Women Important Not Only in the Workplace, But Also as Consumers

By Debbie Howard

 

In past columns, I’ve written about the changing gender roles in Japan, the importance of incorporating women in the workplace, and even the statistically-proven positive effect of all this in improving Japan’s flat birthrate.

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22

Sep

Female “Work Returnees” Yet Another Valuable Resource

By Debbie Howard

 

I have often said that Japanese companies tend to be losing out when it comes to utilizing Japanese females as a valuable resource, especially compared to their foreign counterparts who are much more proactive about creating favorable workplaces for females.  While foreign firms still seem to have the lead, it appears that Japanese companies are beginning to institute practices that are gaining recognition.

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