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This series explores topics surrounding women who began their careers in Japan following the implementation of equal opportunities employment legislation in the mid-1980s. With many now reaching the age of retirement, it is hoped their stories can provide insight and lessons for women in Japan’s working world today.

Petite, soft-spoken and well dressed in a trim fuchsia jacket over a black dress one winter afternoon, at first glance Miyuki Suzuki exuded the aura of yamato nadeshiko, the quintessential embodiment of the elegance and grace of traditional Japanese women.

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