“No please, not again!” I pleaded to my father, awaiting another lecture from the head of our household. He continued to scold me. His face was red and his fists were tight. H was wearing his black suit and a deep red tie. He was wearing fancy clothes because he had just got back from an interview with one of his employees. He ran a sushi restaurant of his own. He was very good at making sushi. He taught me when I was young and I made it for my family so many times and they loved it when I made sushi. But my dad didn’t want me making it in front of other people.
“Dad, I want to get a job as a sushi chef. It’s my passion. I love sushi and why can’t I be part of that tradition? I want to be a pioneer, not just a regular worker or mother.. I want to raise a family of my own. Own my own terms.” I argued, even begged.
“No!” he replied sternly. “You are not going to break tradition and take the job of a man and embarrass the family.”
I could feel my face heating up, my heart beating all the way into my ears. “Fine!” I screamed. “I will get job without your help! Even if it is a job for a man!” I remember that argument so well because it has kept me going for all these years.
My name is Yuki Chuidui. I am 21 years old. I have short black hair. I am short, well I always kind of been short. I live in Tokyo, Japan. I love Tokyo it is where I was born and where I have lived my whole life. I like Tokyo because of the feeling I get when I’m there in the core of the city. I can look around and see a lot of little shops with glowing signs. And when I look up I see skyscrapers with bright neon billboards. Everywhere I look there are people walking around or eating. I feel like I fit in more than I ever have. Because Tokyo is my home, home is where the heart is. Anyway it’s also been really hard for me recently because I want enough money to raise a family of my own. And the best way to do that would be to get a job. All the jobs that I want are jobs for men. One job I especially want is to make sushi in a restaurant. I don’t know what to do about it. It is traditional for men to be sushi chefs because they are bold and stern. And women are not normally stern and bold. I know that I am going to have to work hard and persevere. My first step is applying at a sushi restaurant in a small town. Outside of the big city. I am starting with a small town then if I get the job I will go to bigger and better restaurants.
I am wore my best kimono to the interview. It was blue with light pink flowers on it. A kimono is a silk dress that is traditional for Japanese women to wear on formal occasion. I was wearing it to show respect because that is a part of the Japanese culture. Anyway I am so nervous. My hands were all sweaty and my stomach was doing flips during the ride to the restaurant in a taxi. I stumbled in to the office of the man that manages the restaurant. As I entered I softly said, “Hello.”
“Hello,” he said. “My name is Tysoyaki Tamahiko.” He was wearing a kaki colored suit with a white shirt and royal blue tie. His face looked kind but his words were demanding and stern. “And your name?” He asked.
“Yuki Chuidui,” I replied softly. As I looked around the office, he checked some things off of a paper. The office was so neat; there was nothing on the floor or on his desk but the stuff that he needed. The walls were clean and cream white with a gray carpet floor. He kept asking me questions until the time was up. As he was checked a few more things off of the sheet when suddenly he answered,
“No. You will not fit for the job.” I was stunned.
“Why?” I asked politely.
“Well because you can’t change culture. You can not have the job of a man.” He said as if I was a pile of dust on his counter. Just like I had five years ago. I had been turned down because the job I want is for a man. I do not think that it is fair for women to not be able to have a job because it is for a man. My face heated up, boiling from anger.
“Thank you”, I said sweetly as I speedily walked out of the door. I was mad but I always try to be the best that I can be so I tried to stay happy.
I was really disappointed that I did not get the job.
I am feel mad and angry with my country about the rules with gender equality. It makes me feel like I am not as important as all the men out there and that they think that they are better than me. I don’t think that they should be able to boss me around because they think that they are better than me. I am going to show them that we are all equal in power and just because they are men doesn’t mean that they can rule all women. I am going to figure out how to prove that women should have equal rights to men. Even if I change culture and break rules I am going to help make all the jobs that are now only for men be for women too. Just because we are girls doesn’t mean that we cant do what men can. I have decided that I am going to open my own sushi restaurant with my life savings. I am only going to hire women. I haven’t worked out the details but I am working on it. I am going to show men that women can do the same things that men can and they don’t have more power then us..
So I need to get money, and to do that I am going to go to the bank and get a loan.
“Why do you need this money, you know that you have to pay us back right?” The banker asked me. I nodded vigorously,
“I know, I’ll be able to pay you back.” I smiled and thanked the man. I got onto the subway, my friend had told me about a great spot in the center of Tokyo where I could probably open my restaurant. Her brother owns that part of town, and he said that there was empty shop that I could rent out. I couldn’t wait to see it. I got off at a busy subway stop and I walked up the stairs to the surface of the city. There were people everywhere, and I loved it. It felt just like home. I opened up my phone and used the map to find the way to the shop that I was going to use. I was meeting my friend there who had the key.
“Yuki! Over here!” My friend called, apparently I had missed a turn and she was waving like mad across the street. I waved and rushed over; a car actually almost hit me. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the crosswalk. She pointed to the shop that I would be using,
“Its all yours! Just pay rent every month to me and I’ll give it to my brother.” She handed me the key, “Hey, I have to go to this class, but I might be able to check on you later. Feel free to re-decorate. Bye!” She hurried off. I turned towards the shop, it was great! Well… the location was great. I mean, it was a super busy street surrounded by shopping malls and other restaurants.. All of the windows were boarded up, I used the key and pushed the door open. It creaked, and a spider web fell on my head. Boy did this place need some work.
After about a month of re-decorating, hiring (only women of course) and creating a menu, we were finally ready to open. I couldn’t sleep that night. What would happen if it didn’t work out? I still had to pay back my debt, and I really needed this Sushi Restaurant to be a success. The next morning I put on my uniform and I took the subway to work. When I arrived at my restaurant, all of the employees were there to greet me. We prepared the morning menu, and we turned on the sign. The lights shined out above the early sunrise. After about half an hour of nervous agony, a young kid, and probably about 19 came inside. Our first costumer, and we were determined to impress.