Today is Girls’ Day <Hina Matsuri>, a good chance to ramble on about Japanese girls with minimum risk of being labeled a Rori-kon oyaji (Lolita complex old man).
I love Japanese girls! They’re so C U T E, so K A W A I I !!!
Just think about it – more than half of Japan’s 127 million people are women (51%), and out of that, 8.5 million of them are under 15! That’s about the same as the populations of New York and Jersey City combined!
Can you imagine that, everything from JFK to Newark International one big pink Hello Kitty Land! If the cute didn’t kill you, the giggling would.
The big advantage of being a kawaii queen is that they don’t have to be Heidi Klum beautiful to rate as kawaii.
The cult of cute is the great social leveler for girls in Japan.
The only prerequisite for kawaii is to be young, “fashionable” and female.
Of course it helps if her height is below 170 and her IQ below 70.
Not that all Japanese girls are vertically or intellectually challenged. Au contraire. Every year they get taller and smarter. Ask any teacher and they will tell you their best students are invariably girls, (the boys blossom late), and when you are standing on the train these days, notice how often your view is blighted by an eye-level Amy Whinehouse coiffure.
Gone are the days when the education minister could get away with saying, “Smart is not kawaii.”
Todays’ girls can be kawaii even if they are smart; though there are still many who seem to be more comfortable with the old image. The dumbest people I’ve met here are female — but then so are some of the smartest.
Unlike in some cultures, the smart gals here have no problem being seen as adorable objects of childlike charm. In fact, the really sly vixens can just as well use their cuteness to best a man in business as to beguile him in romance.
What about the hard boiled Western femi-nazis who advocate a social revolution to overthrow the male dominated social system? Forget about it! Japan is no Afghanistan.
The closest thing you’ll find to a burqa is a beauty covered from head to toe in haute couture, her surgically enhanced eyes peering out over a white surgical mask voluntarily worn to ward off airborne viruses and the all pervasive cedar pollen.
So, if you want to lift the veil here, all you have to do is get rid of all those damn cedar trees the post-war government imported from the USA to repopulate the nation’s war ravaged forests.
And what about the inequities of the house-bound housewife? Fifty per cent of the labor force is comprised of women. No, not the tea pouring OLs – they all fell victim to the economic realities of the last depression. Japanese women today hold down highly skilled and responsible positions in nearly every field from banking to bartending. They may not yet have reached full equality with their male co-workers, but they are well on their way – and without having to relinquish their charm.
The modern Japanese girl knows who’s boss – and more and more, it ain’t the men! Walk into any school, from the de rigueur pre-school on, and you will see boys and teachers alike at the mercy of the darling dominatrix. The boys are losing ground to the girls day by day. They get the best seats, the best toys, and soon they’ll get the best jobs.
But, being prima donnas, they aren’t about to give up their special status as the purveyors of cuteness and objects of indulgence. When the family gets transferred overseas they take the girls with them to place in top notch international schools. The poor boys get left here to face examination hell so they can get into the increasingly irrelevant Japanese universities.
While still in their third year of college, the boys struggle to get committed to the drudgery of a salaryman existence, while the girls flit from one job to the next (with European vacations in between), till they find something that is worthy of their talent and charm.
Who wants to be liberated from that status?
Who wants to be equal when you can be all you want to be – and kawaii too?
No tears for the Japanese girl here –
a little fear maybe, but never a tear.
So on this Girls’ Day I say
Praise be to the the clever femme fatale
Who can pout and smile and have it all.
She’s just a pretty face you may think,
Till the boardroom gets decked in pink.
The Japanese girl knows how
To take the prize with a humble bow.
To paraphrase the old adage:
Happy is the man who has……………
an American income,
an English mansion,
a French cook,
a Japanese wife
(and a Brazilian mistress)
H A P P Y G I R L S D A Y
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