Tomoko Arima

For Tomoko Arima's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Top talent turn part-timers after childbirth

Feb 21, 2014

Top talent turn part-timers after childbirth

Many women quit professional-level jobs when starting families, only to find it extremely difficult to return to similar work later on. Through staffing companies, however, opportunities are expanding — albeit as part-timers — as small and midsize firms hire such mothers for their expertise. ...

Dec 12, 2013

Shut-ins use a 'university' to get out

They call their gatherings “hikikomori university” — sessions that allow people who as a rule have little contact with others to share their difficulties with social interaction and learn ways to cope. At the “university,” lecturers are their peers and the students are other ...

Baby showers, treats for moms-to-be all the rage

Oct 1, 2013

Baby showers, treats for moms-to-be all the rage

Baby showers, a mainly American tradition of holding special parties for expectant mothers to celebrate the imminent arrival of their babies, are gradually gaining popularity in Japan. Tokyo Baby Cafe, a cafe near Tokyo’s Omotesando boulevard with an indoor playroom for babies and toddlers, ...

Male hairdressers struggle in 'charisma boom' wake

Aug 30, 2013

Male hairdressers struggle in 'charisma boom' wake

Male hairdressers are having trouble surviving amid the so-called charisma boom their industry gave rise to around 2000. The boom, hyped by TV dramas and variety shows with charismatic hairdressers, prompted many young men to take up the profession. The number of newly licensed ...

Mar 22, 2013

College students get global outlook in dorm life

With calls growing for universities in Japan to generate graduates well-prepared for the era of globalization, an increasing number of them are establishing “international dormitories” where Japanese students live together with foreign students. Kenichi Tasai, a 20-year-old sophomore at International Christian University in Mitaka, ...

Male beauty therapists, nail artists growing in number

Feb 4, 2013

Male beauty therapists, nail artists growing in number

Once the exclusive preserve of women, beauty parlors, nail salons and cosmetics retailers nationwide are seeing an uptick in the number of male staff. Kei Kishimoto, 28, has been working as a beauty consultant for Shiseido Co. at a drugstore in Osaka for over ...

More firms add autumn initiation for non-April hires

Oct 30, 2012

More firms add autumn initiation for non-April hires

In Japan, initiation ceremonies for new employees are traditionally held in April, the start of the fiscal and school years, when freshly minted graduates hired through the mainstream recruitment process begin their new jobs. But as companies adopt more diversified recruitment strategies, such as ...

Strained budgets mean finding new ways to save on weddings

Oct 22, 2009

Strained budgets mean finding new ways to save on weddings

As the economic slump drags on, young people are finding creative ways to have their dream wedding at more down-to-earth prices. According to a survey by bridal magazine Zexy, the average cost for wedding ceremonies and receptions is ¥3.17 million. The bride’s wardrobe is ...

Budget inns start going up-market to lure guests

Oct 22, 2009

Budget inns start going up-market to lure guests

Budget hotels, once known as places with narrow baths and beds, are transforming themselves by installing outdoor bathtubs, high-grade furniture and other distinctive services. The transformation reflects attempts to attract people on business trips and new tourists in the face of the recession. Budget ...

Bubble economy salarymen tagged as burdens on society

Aug 22, 2009

Bubble economy salarymen tagged as burdens on society

Men who were aggressively recruited by firms during the bubble economy in the latter half of the 1980s through the early ’90s are now being scorned as “burdens” on society — a sharp contrast to their vigorous female peers, who are called “arafo,” short ...