Women Only Rules in Japan 2 – No Glasses at Work –

January 27, 2020 Juju Kurihara Culture, Lifestyle, Society Tags: , , , , , 4 Comments

After #KuToo movement, gender inequality is a hot subject on SNS in Japan. This is the second article of Woman Only RulesNo.2 is no glasses at work.


This all came out to the public after the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare made a comment for the first time in November 2019. As a response to a member of an assembly, Mr. Kato said, “when men and women have the same tasks and it allows the men employees to do something but not the female employees, the company isn't corresponding to the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, although each case is different.” This is probably the first time the government has stepped into the social phenomenon, according to a specialist.


So what does it mean “women are not allowed to wear glasses at work”? Here are some examples.


1. Traditional Japanese restaurant and inns


The reasons : – Kimono and glasses don’t match.   

                       – They could fall into the food

                       – It’s rude to look at the customers over the glasses

                       – No is No


2. Hotels


The reasons: – It’s not hygienic to touch the glasses while attending the customers

                      – The presentation is not nice


3. DEpartment Stores


The reasons: – It doesn’t give a florid-looking

                      – Glasses give a person evil-looking


​4. Beauty Salons


The reason: – Beauty is more important than the technique. They have to be mannequin 

                    – It’s dangerous when the glasses fall on the customers


5. Miko (Female attendants at shrines)


The reason: – As they serve God, they shouldn’t show their personality


6. Receptionists

The reasons: – It gives cold impression


7. TV Broadcasters


The reasons: – The face shape seems to deform because of the prescription glasses

                      – Gives a cold and gloomy impression


What cases are Japanese women experiencing?


A woman who works at a beauty salon:  She had a sty in her eye and couldn’t use contact lenses. But the shop manager told her to come with an eye-patch and contact lens in the other eye. Eye-patch is better than glasses? 



A woman who applied for a reception post: “No glasses” was written in the job description and she was told to make contact lenses. As the cost of making contact lenses was higher than the wage of that job (it was an event), she didn’t take the job. 



Not only when they have an eye infections but it’s true that there are people who can’t use lenses. But at some work places, it doesn’t matter if they have a medical certificate, female employees are forced to wear contact lenses. However, all male employees who have the same posts are allowed to wear glasses. 


The glasses are a medical appliance. Why they are so stubborn when it comes to female employees? It's normal that Japanese women feel that they are eye candies for male colleagues and customers. The funny thing is, this kind of discrimination is also coming from other female colleagues. Is this some sort of “I’m suffering and you have to suffer too”? This sounds like to me the problem is not only with men's conscience but also with women’s.   




If you find women in kimono with glasses sexy, you can check out here or type #眼鏡着物女子 in your search engine.  




The reasons of women only rules: https://otekomachi.yomiuri.co.jp/news/20200108-OKT8T195352/

Glasses ban: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20191108/k10012169991000.html

Business insider : https://www.businessinsider.jp/post-202755



  1. Beth Parkhurst 3 years Reply

    I don’t know whether to be frustrated or sad. I think I am both.
    Thank you very much for making this information available. I wish more people knew about it.

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      I think it’s good that Japanese women start making noises and having doubt about nonsense rules. 

  2. Al 3 years Reply

    That is… so messed up. Good that you’re writing about it!

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      It’s good that someone made a noise about this at the first place. I’ll pay more attention now to those female employees who may have red eyes from the contact lenses that they are forced to wear.

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