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Intriguingly Japanese occupation, reserved exclusively for young women and consisting of simple clerical duties, tea-making, and other surprisingly-to-the-westerner ineffectual duties.

Needless to say, to most western thought, this is a sexist concept, however the numbers of office ladies (aka OLs) in Japan are legion and these women are amongst the most free from societal convention of all Japanese. OLs also tend to have high disposable incomes, and like to enjoy life outside the workplace to the fullest.

Not so long ago, young Japanese women lived in terminal fear of becoming christmas cakes. Their predetermined goal in life was to find a husband a become a housewife. Higher education for them was seen mostly as an asset in the marriage market, not the foundation of a career.

The OL profession came into being as a way to kill time while looking for a husband, and as a way to meet prospective husbands. Many a married couple first met in the office.

Nowadays, all of this is becoming less universally true as Japanese society is changing.

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