The People of Tokyo
Female office worker (Office Lady). This is the female counterpart to the male Salaryman. This is your typical Japanese woman. They are college graduates and work long hard hours at their typically boring and disliked jobs.
Japan’s equivalent to ‘geeks’ in America. The Otaku is known for his over-zealous interest in things such as cartoons (anime), comics (manga), computer games, Japanese pop music (jpop), and others. They are characterized by their poor sense of style and fashion, lack of social skills and total lack of confidence & communication skills.
There is a stigma attached to being labeled as an ‘otaku’, it is the ultimate of ‘uncool’ in Japan.
The word Otaku was coined in the early 80’s, having no negative connotation, however in 1989 in the advent of a geek serial killer rapist in Tokyo Tsutomu Miyazaki who was named “the Otaku Killer” the word polarized and so did society’s affinity to them.
With romantic images of helping the poor and weak and fighting against the establishment, the Yakuza despite being shunned by society are adored at the same time and are the topic of many TV show and movie in Japan.
The Yakuza had their beginnings as workers in fields which the Japanese saw as repulsive and to be shunned, any job that involved killing animals or humans (executioners, slaughter houses, leather makers) as well as peddling and gambling.
Members of the Yakuza are said to walk in a peculiar gait, with their hands in their pockets, heads slouched and legs open as they walk with their feet pointing to the sides.
As far as how they look you’ll find a variety and no ‘set’ image. However men in garish suits with no tie, a few buttons un-done, sunglasses and jewelry are stereotypical.
However some characteristics are irrefutable in telling them apart from the rest of the denizens. That being: body tattoos (not just a tramp stamp) and cut off fingers. If a member has erred and wants to take responsibility and honor his boss he will himself cut off a finger.
When asking the locals how they feel about the Yakuza they respond: “we don’t mind them particularly, just don’t look them in the eyes and you’ll be ok”
Simply the word ‘gal’ in English (as in, a woman), gyaru means essentially the ‘it girl’. Pretty, fashionable, etc etc. However there are negative accompanying traits such as: shallow, stupid, useless, gold digger, insincere and promiscuous. As they are essentially party girls who have no other purpose in life than to get drunk, look good, and have the best luxury items.
It is interesting to note that an ‘it girl’ in America can have any manner of style, fashion, makeup and hair. However in Japan they all have the same hair, makeup and look.
The male counterpart to the OL (office lady) This is Japan’s male office worker. They typically work around the clock and only get 5 hours of sleep a night. They are zealously dedicated to their careers and push themselves harder than most people in society.
They will sacrifice much of their free time and family time for their work, and they typically drink every day in order to run away from the pressures of their life.
Seen in places like Kabukicho in Tokyo and Shinsaibashi in Osaka, these handsome young in their leather pants, zebra skin belts and 80’s glam rock hair, lie in wait for a young attractive girl and then pounce. Their objective is to convince these girls to come drink and chat with the patrons at their bar. While it sounds relatively innocent it doesn’t always end that way.
If you happen to be in a red light district or near a house of ill repute you’ll find a ‘scout’ standing out front trying to tantalize men with pictures of the girls inside. They are typically fast talking old men in shabby attire.
Made famous for their unyielding adoption of the catholic school girl uniform, Japanese school girls take being cute very seriously, but not as serious as they take their school grades. Of course not all take their studies seriously. You could say roughly that the ones who study hard become OLs and the ones that don’t become Gyaru.
Japanese highschool girls are either shy and polite or loud and rude.