Shigemi Kotaka

For Shigemi Kotaka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Made up just right for job hunt

National Mar 5, 2011

Made up just right for job hunt

As college students search for work in today's tough job market, young women face the additional challenge of learning how to apply makeup correctly to appear professional in interviews. To assist them, many colleges including national universities outside Tokyo are hiring beauticians to teach students ...

National Jan 11, 2011

Japanese service winning customers in Europe

Japanese enterprises are well known for their meticulous and cordial customer service, and now some are finding success in Europe by incorporating these standards in their business strategies. Usagiyama, a Japanese-style inn outside Zurich that serves haute cuisine from Kyoto, is one such establishment trying ...

Job transfers grow less onerous for women

National Nov 5, 2010

Job transfers grow less onerous for women

Among the perennial problems facing Japan's married working women, one is particularly sticky — whether to continue working when their husbands are transferred by their companies to assignments elsewhere. In many cases, women have had no choice but to give up their jobs and move ...

National Jul 22, 2010

Law gives dads time for parenting

Japan has taken another step to reverse its declining birthrate, as a law revision extending parental leave took effect last month with the hopes of encouraging fathers to play a larger role in raising children. Leave is now up to 14 months if both parents ...

For many, no final resting place

National Dec 19, 2009

For many, no final resting place

About 40 percent of Tokyo residents who responded to a metro government questionnaire say they have no burial plot and their hometown is just too far away to consider as a final resting place. In the heart of Tokyo, it costs nearly ¥10 million to ...

Low-priced clothing next big thing

National Oct 27, 2009

Low-priced clothing next big thing

Supermarkets and department stores are churning out low-priced clothing, actively taking part in the planning and production phases to become manufacturing retailers. "With this price, coming all the way here paying train fares is worth it," said a man in his 60s who traveled from ...

Networking, not gender law, gives businesswomen needed leg up

Business Oct 10, 2009

Networking, not gender law, gives businesswomen needed leg up

A decade after a law was passed aimed at ensuring equality of the sexes, women are still a small minority among Japan's top business executives, prompting some to turn to networking. Around 300 female company presidents gathered in May at Tokyo's Omotesando Hills retail complex ...

Market for pet funerals expands as owners opt for burials

National Aug 1, 2009

Market for pet funerals expands as owners opt for burials

The market for pet funerals is expanding as owners increasingly opt for cremations and entombing of the ashes, but the lack of a legal framework is causing trouble over crematoriums and funeral service fees. "Could you put these 'children' and me in the same grave?" ...

National Apr 28, 2009

Homeowners think small when renovating

Some elderly people and retired baby boomers whose offspring have moved away are hard at work reducing the size of their homes to a more manageable level. If a house is downsized, cleaning it is easier, and if a two-story house is rebuilt as a ...