I was one of those suckers who thought that the seifu (政府, government) might get it right this time, until scratch-the-surface economic analysis revealed that so-called Abenomics (アベノミクス, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy) is just a regurgitated version of the same old, rich-get-richer-while-the-poor-bite-the-dust thing that made kabutochō (兜町, Tokyo's equivalent of Wall Street) dance with glee back in the 1980s. Yapparine (やっぱりね, I should have known).

But this time around, the overall dancing environment is less friendly, mostly for Japanese women. Once upon a time the joshi (女子, girls) of the nation were courted, coddled, wined and dined. Christmas meant dinner at a swank shitī hoteru (シティホテル, city hotel) and the okimari (お決まり, routine) tryst in a deluxe double room with a bottle of Champagne. Two decades later one hears such things assailing the lives of women, sure. But these days, they are more likely to assail Beyonce than the average Japanese joshi.

Here's what's happening: One out of three single women between the ages of 18 and 65 lives on a disposable income of ¥85,000 or less per month. The masukomi (マスコミ, media) has dubbed them hinkon joshi (貧困女子, destitute girls) and in another 30 years, their number could increase by 20 percent. Even now, more than half of the women over 65 living alone get by on less than ¥70,000 after paying the rent. Not very encouraging.