Education and Work Oppurtunities for Gals

First of all, a big thank you to those who commented on the bang post. Oh hell I love comments on any post, but I really appreciate your comments and critique. I promise to do better!! :sparkle2: My motto for myself is: I did great yesterday, I’ll do better today :cheery: Because we need to be positive gals, getting fabulous and fearless together :hearts:

Also a big thank you to the super hot and talented pinksugarichigo, for the doll plug on her tumblr. Oh shucks it always warms my heart when people do unexpected kind things, I’m a giddy happy gal right now :stepup:

I opened up my formspring again since I have the time again now. Curious? Ask at missmitsu

So back in Ask Anything #1, malignita asked for a really good topic (actually tons of good topics), and I’ve been writing this off and on since then. It’s a lot of text, but a lot of info…so enjoy :sparkle2:

Education & Work Opportunities: Practically speaking, what opportunities exist for girls who want to continue with gyaru style but go to school or have a career? Gals be ambitious!

Hmmm this is looking at the question from a very American standpoint. I think about it, too since I am fine with being with a man and working instead of letting him provide solely for me.


However, most women hope to quit their jobs for marriage, so it’s more common in Japan to look very short-sighted in terms of careers.  This sentiment is changing a little with the movement for women to have an independent and happy time in their 20s and marry later.

But Tsubasa Masuwaka and Naoki Umeda decided waiting wasn’t such a good idea… :oops:

Within gal I don’t think that sentiment is as prevalent, especially with more getting knocked up it’s just not the case. Condom use is spare in Japan so getting knocked up is always a possibility. While abortions are very common Japan supposedly has the highest abortion rate of a ‘developed’ country, the US has the highest of a developed Western country so we’re not far behind (although the prevailing motivations in both countries are different read more about abortions and galmama hood here). I’ve heard men say to friends “I’ll marry you if you get pregnant, so honey let’s not use the condom”. It’s not just Tsubasa who gets pregnant, a 21 year old housewife here whose favorite websites to go to are hair and nail salons :sparkle2:

Celebrate baby-time with DECO :sparkle2:


Of course it’s possible to be gal and go to college. A few go to my university and pull of gal wonderfully, and look even in 1999 this old-school gal was going to college and a more recent gal who shops at 109 buys AgeHa and is a college student. When I went to Keio University’s winter festival my friend and I ran into a gyaruo-sa who went to Keio. Keio is considered the second best university in Japan and 3 of the last 4 Prime Ministers graduated from Kieo. So you best have done a ton of studying in high school to have those kind of grades. However, when going around the festival I saw no gal ladies. Japan has risen up in gender equality surveys from last year, but honestly I still feel there is a similar mentality. Many women at Keio looked like Ebi-chans (Ebihara Yuri) who is considered the face of OL and many men’s ideals.

Everytime I’ve been to Keio campus I’ve seen the same type of girl. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t gal-types at higher universities. As a girl who plans on continuing to graduate school, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving style and study at the same time.

However, many Japanese girls head into trade schools instead. These two-year colleges where they expect to come out as OL later and possibly work as secretaries or something similar. A few of my gal friends are currently in college doing this.

109 stores do not usually hire college students to work part-time. Gilfy mentions that it does not want college students, but a staff-chan I know who works at Cecil McBee is a college student.

College in Japan holds different expectations than European or American universities expect. In America we might laze around in high school and finally decide to work and challenge ourselves in college. Instead, the Japanese school system is different and once you past your choice of college’s exam and get accepted then you have it moderately easy in Japan.

I’d tell my Japanese friends I can’t do something because I had school the next day and they’re like…so? It’s JUST college. :icon_eek:

College is also cheaper and more state subsidized in Japan so you don’t leave with a pile of debt (hello my life :(   )

Blea has long been considered the gal college and highschool, and does happen to be located in Shibuya. Fashion, hair, nail and make-up courses are taught there. So they are teaching gal skills. However, BLEA girls do get a bad rap around Centaa-gai. A faction from the school are known for being the most out-there kogals. The blondest hair, the shortest skirts, the loosest socks; they have to have it all.

Seeing them in stores and around Centaagai with extremely older men it’s obvious there’s an amount of enjou kousai (or paid dating) between it. Whether it’s dates or pure prostitution who knows…

Other than BLEA there’s other beauty schools or deco schools to learn a gal trade such as deco, extensions, hair, or nails. Often these trade schools don’t expect a high school degree so some gals drop out early and go into these. BLEA is not the sole answer for fashion education.

Go to BLEA and you can have your class taught by Gilfy’s Emina.
No seriously, read about it here.

The whole Blea class

Emina even doing a girl’s make-up :sparkle2:

Jobs without Education:

Freeters – On the side of streetsnaps you’ll often see a girl list freeter as her occupation. Even some girls who appear in magazines often and seem like they are part of the regular cast might list themselves as freeters. Daichi Tanaka before he got his designing gig kept saying he was a freeter even though he’s been quite popular in Men’s Egg for a long time. Freeter is simply someone who works a part time job or baito. They tend to do it for minimum wage and don’t consider the job as a career or rung of any job ladder. When people say they’re freeters they could work handing out tissues at train stations (a very common way of advertising in Japan), working in fast food or retail, working as an on-call model appearing in ‘street snaps’ or working in a call center or such. Freeter usually means any menial job they can get to meagerly support their alternative lifestyle.

Most freeters live with their parents and use their earnings for themselves while their parents are still feeding and housing them.

Soapland – Soapland is basically a brothel. The term “soapland” originally came from sexual masseuses who gave their clients a sponge bath with sexual undertones either ending in a handjob or blowjob. Now soapland refers to all sexual massage parlours, hooker joints, and sexual kyabakura places. Yoshiwara and Kabukicho both have these kinds of places in them for entertainment. Although they may be hookers many are pulling in good cash for this.

無料案内所 (Muryou Annaijo) – aka a Free Information Desk to direct you to hostess and sex clubs

Some may be curious about stripclubs, and the fact of the matter is there are not many. When you can get much better “service” it’s hard to enjoy the blue-balling titllation of strippers. I always wondered how Japanese men tip strippers since 100yen and 500yen (around 1.5 and 6 dollars) are in change, so uhhh instead of “making it rain” you “make it hail”? OUCH~! :x  Actually the men give bills (usually 1000 yen or $12.00  folded via chopsticks). Who knows maybe it’s another thing about how Japanese prefer to hand money over while not making contact with a person (i.e. all the money trays in Japan). :!:

Hostesses – Hostesses are women dressed in gowns looking like Barbie/princesses who exchange witty banter with their clients and occasionally go on paid-dates with their clients in order to receive brand goods in return. They work nighttime and often stay out late. Sex is not considered the end-game with female Hostesses although a woman may choose to. To say hostessing is an easy route is completely wrong. Most ex-hostesses talk about the wear on their body, and being near several during hairset appointments I did not feel they were looking healthy (i.e. tired skin, smokers cough, frailer than average bodies). :^_^;;:

Two hostess clubs in Kobe.

Jobs with Education:

Hair/Nails/Facial aka the Este bunch: Most of these get into a beauty school which works in a similar way to American schools. After they graduate they work in the jillions of salons that powder Japan. In more populated areas you can pass a hair salon every 30 seconds of walking. Not to mention all the nail, facial, eyelash exte, hair exte salons that cater to all types of Japanese women. Egg Model Nonoka works at ISM body which is primarily a waxing salon. Many of these girls aren’t planning to do this for their life, just until they meet someone. Therefore staff in most of the este places are very young and managers even are quite young.

pictures from the esNail salon in Shibuya, other staff pics here.

Apparel: Apparel is often the pinnacle of a gal profession. Many gals really hope to get into this, you’ll notice many models will move into apparel. Egg’s Romihi, Men’s Egg’s Joy, Daichi, Umeshan and others… Apparel is pretty much working for a brand to decide looks, choose fabric etc…  109 brands do not sew their own clothes or such.

How 109 clothes come into the making is this: They get a set of materials that they can work with for their collection. Fabrics with prints, buttons, etc… that can help make a collection distinctive. Then they draw mock-ups, attach fabric samples and send the work to a Chinese factory. The factory sends a mock-up back and the design team in Japan makes choices on whether or not to alter it. Then they order a set amount and continue the design process. The whole back-and-forth happens very quickly and continuously so it needs a lot of staff. These staff are often trained by colleges (usually 2 year) to work specifically on apparel. It’s essentially a trade school. :panda:

Now to say that there are many gals in apparel isn’t exactly true. Most have graduated to onee-gyaru and enjoy celeb-kei or mix mid-range brands such as Marc by Marc, Tory Burch, and Burberry Blue Label with adult gal brands. Their hair isn’t the type you immediately associate with gal often, even at the DIA headquarters. It’s a bit more simplistic and often closer to black. Then again these girls have all probably had at least 4 years of dressing gal under their belts, which tends to make someone go more onee-gyaru or blend with higher priced items.

I’ve seen these types of girls often, because I lived close to many main apparel brands on my street, so on my way to pretty much anywhere I could look in or pass by these types of gals. Even though apparel is a coveted job, many of these gals do not go full out with their looks. Instead they prefer a more Japanese high-low style.

The main headquarters staff of Delyle, not very gal really… :oops:

A girl who works apparel at Spiral Girl.


  1. March 5, 2010 / 10:17 am

    Interesting post! I really enjoyed reading all that! I am a bit mixed on the info about Keio as I know it is consider prestigious but a lot of it is honestly money. That doesn`t mean the university tests aren`t hard, but I have heard from several students that went through the tier system (went to the connecting high school etc) that the tests are really easy to pass for insiders :/

    I’d tell my Japanese friends I can’t do something because I had school the next day and they’re like…so? It’s JUST college.

    TOTALLY totally agree with this sentiment!!! A lot of my friends from uni when they came overseas for a year or more were incredibly shocked with the amount of work expected. University in Japan is a time to play.

    Soaplands! The rumors surrounding soaplands always intrigue me. Mainly because while I knew about them I never realized how extremely popular they were with guys and how casual guys were about using them until I started dating my now fiance. Possibly because it is harder for foreign guys to get in or feel accepted about using them so I didn`t hear about it as much–nor is it a common topic of conversation! Nice to see it mentioned.

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:19 pm

      Wow how was the OL Princess herself? I was always shocked hearing gyaruO say their type was “Ebi-chan”.

      Exactly, so casual. My friend teaches English in Tokyo and a guy walks into class and my friend asks what the guy did this weekend and the student replies “I fucked a prostitute”. :icon_eek: As casual as can be.

      Yeah a lot of Keio is elevator system and a lot of that is old money. An older Japanese woman in one of my university classes had a daughter at Keio high, she was in the horseback riding club. :icon_eek:

      • March 6, 2010 / 7:26 am

        LOL. She was quite nice. I didn`t speak much to her as I care very little for celebrity in most cases so I just ended up complimenting her shoes (they were nice shoes) and then went about my business. I guess she was doing a store promotion, as people were not being allowed into the shop (my friend and I were the few exceptions).

        I can`t say I am too surprised at gyaruo liking her type. After all, a lot of gyaru will date men that are not exactly gyaruo. And if you look at it from a society standpoint, by dating her they would be “moving up” in the social circle so to speak. I feel bad saying it that way, but the style you enjoy doesn`t necessarily dictate the style you are attracted to.

        Yeah, soaplands are sooo casual. If a guy is celebrating something he may take all his friends out and pay for their time etc. Or they just go after a drink out etc. Not to mention, all the varieties offered (cheap to expensive–expensive meaning no condom which squicks me out so much). So shocking to me!

        • Mitsu
          March 7, 2010 / 6:36 pm

          I never thought about the moving up idea, that’s a good way to look at it :up:

          LOL I notice shoes, too. If I’m complimenting someone IRL I tend to do on shoes :mrgreen:

          Yeah but Soapland girls are making tons of money. I have a friend who does it. She pulls in serious cash. :oops:

  2. March 5, 2010 / 10:21 am

    Also, I just realized the “ideal girl” you posted about was Ebi-chan and ironically enough I have met her. She is totally cute, but definitely not gyaru. You are right about her style being popular (or at least was popular, not so much anymore) with that type of subgroup. I wish more gyaru went on to higher education and didn`t get such an automatic bad rap. :(

  3. Rii
    March 5, 2010 / 10:29 am

    I LOVE this post!
    Thank you so much for doing this, it helped me alot.
    A question: Do Gaijins also have the chance to get into BLEA or something like that?

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:21 pm

      Sure everyone has a chance, but I mean we’re talking about an extreme language fluency. I’d think it’s better to learn you trade abroad and take it to Japan. A lot of hair and clothing stylists that are Japanese are revered because they studied in Europe.

  4. March 5, 2010 / 10:36 am

    Great post! Im thinking about moving to Japan to do the working holiday visa and am seriously considering what i can do for work! Id love to learn how to do things like in BLEA but im not that creative so im not sure >..<

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:22 pm

      A holiday visa you might end up teaching, but who knows. If you have a marketable skill show it off :o

  5. March 5, 2010 / 10:38 am

    eh? my comment got half cut off!
    Following on…. Id love to learn how to do things like in BLEA but im not that creative so im not sure , but would I even be able to get into a place like that (like Rii says above me)
    I want to go and have the whole gal experience, nails, hair, the lot, but where would take me? :( If you have any ideas it would be much appreciated!

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:23 pm

      No not really. I mean that’s just not an accepted look within a workplace, be in American European or Japanese. We all have to learn that certain compromises must be made. If you want to be in Japan, see what will get you there then learn how to be the best weekend gal you can be. You’ll probably enjoy doing your hair more special those days and treasure your gal style even more since it’s a small precious thing to be done :stepup:

  6. Dolly
    March 5, 2010 / 10:54 am

    Thanks for this post! It was a very interesting read. I think it’s so strange that stores do not want college students but I guess they have their reasons.

    I was also curious what freeters was for awhile since I always saw it in magazines, thanks for clarifying! :) Btw, the bangs tutorial was really useful! Thanks <3

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:24 pm

      Happy to help out on both posts, thanks for your lovely words :bow:

  7. March 5, 2010 / 11:13 am

    Wow Mitsu, you have really cornered the market on real, valuable and useful gal-formation (I made the word up, but I’ll let you use it haha jk ^^) This article was very well written and it covers a nice variety of topics relating to gals after high school!

    Yeah, I think the whole concept of marriage in Japan is attached to pregnancy and babies. Without one there’s no reason to settle down, and I too have heard guys say “I’ll marry you if you get pregnant” or “Our relationship is not serious until you get pregnant” That is just bizarre to me. And it often produces loveless marriages :^_^;;:

    I’m going to uni now (I hate it so much, I am not the studying type) but I really have no idea what I want to do after I graduate. Luckily I have a little more time to decide! Apparel is a great job in my opinion, or being a stylist for a model or magazine would be awesome^^

    I met a girl who was a stylist and worked for Soup magazine, my god she was so adorable, and her style was something out of Zipper, so I see what you mean about designing/fashioning clothes but not dressing that way yourself.

    Wow, Hana, you met Ebi? That must have been interesting^^ I know that OL look is popular with Japanese men, but I wouldn’t care to dress like that until I’m in my 40s haha :cheery:

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:26 pm

      Yeah. Apparently the divorce rate is climbing in Japan. :( I hope people can work through it. It’s gotta be double hard being a single mama, everyone can’t be Momoeri 8)

      Gosh, you say such nice things and I feel so unworthy. We’re all joining together to provide galformation :hearts2: it’s great to see so many bloggers do it :korila:

  8. March 5, 2010 / 11:32 am

    thiiiis was interesting to read. thanks for writing it all~~ :peer:
    even though it has little to do with me, i love reading about the LIFESTYLE of a typical gal. i think it’s a shame the entrance exams for college are so hard and put off so many gals from even trying or graduating high school -_-

    ps, you are my hero!! haha. i love seeing girls who are fashionable but also educated, a real femme fatal~ :hearts2:

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:28 pm

      Oh shucks, don’t mind me. I’m just too stubborn to stop studying, definitely not a brain :icon_eek:

      Hmmm I think girls may not think of it that way, just maybe think wow college will lead to an OL career, that’s not fun. The idea of doing something gal everyday like hair/nails and such I think appeals to them more. Although one of my nailists was like “I dropped out, but I was an idiot. Nails are better for me.” and I was like, okay keep enjoying yourself :up:

  9. March 5, 2010 / 12:02 pm

    Thank you for your interesting blog!!! Really you give a lot of information and we can now more aobut gal life, and the most important, you tell us the truth :)
    I love this post, it really answered a lot of questions that I had!!!

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:29 pm

      hehehee I guess my skill of blunt honesty paid off :icon_eek: Happy to help, let me know if you’re curious about anything else in the next Ask Anything :up:

  10. Pauline
    March 5, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    Mitsu! Idk if I ever introduced myself (sorry!), but I found you via kogal panel when my search for all things gyaru led me there.

    Anyway, this is another really informative post. I love the insight you give into real Japanese culture & your posts are very eloquent. It is so crazy how forward japan is in some aspects, but also how it still holds onto very traditional beliefs, such as a patriarch focuses marriage. I cannot imagine being fully dependent on a husband (too American), but I can def now appreciate that it def lets girls flourish as gals & the gal lifestyle. That peice of the puzzle was missing for me, esp bc I’m always trying to work gal into my working lifestyle.

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:31 pm

      hahahah I’m the same way. I found some new cute blogs today and I just jumped in without saying I was new :oops: I think commenting like that is fun, no need to be the newbie :love: Welcome!!

      Yeah I think maybe galmamahood really appeals to girls, and I am sure it’s keeping the nail/hair/exte salons in business since more gals can do it longer :o

  11. Lindsey
    March 5, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    Wow Mitsu! You out did yourself once again! I can’t help but the thank you emmensly for these informative posts, really as far as GAL occupations are concerned I knew about BLEA and not much else! Thanks for opening my eyes wider into the world of GAL!!!!

    • Mitsu
      March 5, 2010 / 8:32 pm

      EEps, happy to do so. Hopefully I covered everything :!:

  12. March 5, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    I am so happy you covered this topic! I have been wondering how gals can exactly support themselves than the obvious hostessing jobs. And thank you for mentioning BLEA!!!! I will definitely look into the type of programs they have, THANK YOU!!!

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:37 pm

      Good luck, although it might be best to learn in your own country and get some cred. Learning JLPT level 1 for a beauty school is pretty extreme :icon_eek:

      • March 7, 2010 / 10:30 pm

        Oh for sure I will def get some experience in my hometown first! I just want an excuse to live there for a little bit really! I will def. be studying hard for my JPLT!! Thanks babe<3

  13. March 5, 2010 / 10:34 pm

    thanks for posting about this~! i was wondering about the apparel jobs in japan since one day i want to (hopefully, haha) work for apparel for one of the gal brands i love :love: i’m already going to a fashion college so hopefully that helps haha~ but do you think it’ll be hard to get an apparel job in japan?? :?:

    anyways thanks again for writing about all these different jobs, it was enjoyable to read ^^

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:38 pm

      Happy to do so :sparkle2:

      Jobs for gaijin depend on language skills first and foremost and secondly on connections. You get those two and then worry about the rest :stepup:

      • March 7, 2010 / 11:11 pm

        haha thanks for letting me know~ i took japanese before but i should definitely improve on it XD thanks for the info~ :wink:

  14. March 6, 2010 / 7:34 am

    SO.MUCH.INFO. haha thank you!! :hearts:
    I love it when you do these topics. It’s just as interesting to know how the lifestyle, career etc. is carried out as well as the style :D

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:39 pm

      lol it’s nice to sidestep and get away from fashion, if only a tiny bit :-D

  15. March 6, 2010 / 9:47 pm

    wow. very interesting read. sorry you had to typed so much!
    I personally like ebi-chan-ish style and high low style better.

    I wondering how about modeling? doesn’t Japanese girls wish they could be a magazine model?
    What’s the culture or mindset about modeling?

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:41 pm

      Most models just don’t make that much. I’d talk about modeling, but I feel its furthering the stereotype that models are making money. It’s only maybe 2 or 3 each out of the big magazines that are making money. Like can get an apartment, support oneself money. AgeHa girls are often still hostesses while they work. It even took Momoeri sometime before she joined AgeHa to quit hostessing. The rest jump to apparel jobs.

  16. March 7, 2010 / 2:27 pm

    This was such an interesting entry~ it’s sad that not many gals enroll in non-trade-type university… I wonder if it’s just not considered cool? Although honestly I can understand it~ gal to me seems so fashion/beauty oriented, it seems pointless to go to university for a ‘classic’ education when your interests don’t lie in that :^_^;;:

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:42 pm

      Yeah I think you worded it perfectly, and well most gals see their futures after universities as glorified coffee pourers who are forced out of work after pregnancy. :mad: That glass ceiling is hella low. :-S

  17. March 7, 2010 / 4:23 pm

    Very interesting post:DI like reading posts like these,finding out about other aspects of gal’s lifestyles.
    Working and looking gal is something I think about aswell seeing as I currently can’t dress the way I want to where I work(not that I think of myself as a gal just influenced).
    Shame I got into itl when I did seeing as I could have dressed that way while I was at uni :(
    Its odd that motherhood/housewife seems to be alot of japanese girls main goal in life.I couldn’t do that I like working and I’d get bored.

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:45 pm

      Yeah I’m not looking forward to working and being gal on the down low, but well… I think I’m the opposite of gals. I used to work as a buyer for a very small start-up clothing company, and I realized I hate fashion while being in it. I’d rather be on the outside. So for me being able to separate the two is much more happy than combining it ever was :hearts2:

  18. March 7, 2010 / 5:42 pm

    Thanks again for taking your time to answer my question so thoroughly! You did a super job explaining everything.

    I really enjoyed reading the entire article, but it was especially great to learn about the behind-the-scenes happenings at gal brand design houses. I didn’t think it was such a business-oriented process!

    • Mitsu
      March 7, 2010 / 6:46 pm

      You challenge me chica :hearts2: I’m glad you enjoyed the read :up: I owe you an e-mail ASAP :oops:

  19. Y
    September 21, 2010 / 2:42 am

    I see my name in the second picture! (Though that’s not me, of course)

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