Tomoko Arima

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

Sweet jobs offered to athletes with star power

Jun 12, 2014

Sweet jobs offered to athletes with star power

An increasing number of companies are converting top athletes into full-time employees once they retire because they “have mental toughness and pursue success at any cost.” “I wondered if I could work at my desk from 9 a.m. until 5:35 p.m.,” swimmer Haruka Ueda, ...

Workplaces not yet up to global standards

May 1, 2014

Workplaces not yet up to global standards

In the spring of 2012, a major Japanese information technology company put a young Iranian man on its payroll in what was supposedly a worthy example of a new Japan embracing globalization. But the man soon discovered in his office that he was in ...

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 ...