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Japanese Office Lady

Posted by Danny Choo On Wed 2008/04/09 05:29 JST In Japan
 92  716238 ja

So how do you like your office ladies?

A description straight from Wikipedia on "Office Lady" is... An office lady, often abbreviated OL (Japanese: オーエル Ōeru), is a female office worker in Japan who performs generally pink collar tasks such as serving tea and secretarial or clerical work.

Like many unmarried Japanese, OLs often live with their parents well into early adulthood.

Office ladies are usually full-time permanent staff, although the jobs they do usually have little opportunity for promotion, and there is usually the tacit expectation that they leave their jobs once they get married.

What that entry in Wikipedia doesnt tell you however is that in a typical Japanese company, most OL's are obliged to wear uniform at work.

Most internet and media related companies that I've visited before tend not to impose a uniform on the ladies.

Since we registered Mirai Inc as a business entity, we've been getting a load of business related catalogs from Dell and stationary sellers like Askul.

These are photos from the OL uniform section of the Askul catalog. Thought I'd show you what the typical uniforms look like and talk about what you thought about ladies wearing uniform at work.

I've only worked at one company where they required the ladies to wear uniform and they said that they didn't mind as they didn't have to worry about what to wear everyday.
Some said they hated it though.

If you were running your own company in Japan, would you make the decision for the ladies to wear uniform?
As you are the boss, you can also insist that the ladies wear uniforms in this way.

In an environment where the OL's wear uniform, the salary man (the opposite of OL) would usually be wearing suits.

And here are some other pages from Askul - they sell just about anything needed for the office.

Askul and Haruhi.

Haruhi in dakimakura pose.

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