Japan’s #1 Hostess

A hostess in Japan is a modern equivalent of a geisha without the training in dance and music.

I’m surprised they can earn $46,000 USD a month

    on average.

I wonder how many years hostesses average in this career.

I definitely think they cherry-picked the customer, who was so young, rich and good looking. Why doesn’t he have a girlfriend? Perhaps he does.

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Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Image 47 : 25 May 2019

 

I’m struck by all these wonderful hats in this photo.

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Nationaal Archief Nederlands, n.d.

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Millinery Shop, Canada, 1905

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Internet Archive, circa 1918

This dapper man sure can sport a hat. He looks familiar, but I can’t place him. Can you?

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 460 : 9 March 2019

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and it’s this week’s inspiration for Sepia Saturday. Look what I found on the theme.

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Source: Nationaal Archief, Flickr Commons, 1951

I didn’t know ostriches liked to read.

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Mennonite Archives, Flickr Commons, n.d.

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Florida Memories, Flickr Commons, 1940

Woman in Sarasota reading (with schadenfreude) of the harsh winter weather up north.

I started wondering about what artists have done to portray reading. Here’s what I found.

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“The Reader,” B. Morisot, 1888

Picasso

Reading, Picasso, 1932

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Nurse Reading to a little Girl, M. Cassat, 1895

To see more Sepia Saturday posts from this week, click here.

Women’s Balcony

Women’s Balcony took me into a new world, to an old neighborhood in Jerusalem where during a bar mitzvah the balcony where the women worship crashes to the ground. The temple is closed leaving the community lost spiritually. The old rabbi is so upset about his wife who’s fallen and in the hospital. Since he can’t lead them, the community is in flux.

After finding their temple chained up and unsafe for use, the men are at a loss about where to pray each day. They doubt they’ll find enough men to hold their daily prayers. Fate sends a young rabbi who soon brings plenty of men to pray. He’s soon seen as their rescuer.

However, when this rabbi shares his very traditional ideas about women’s deportment and takes over the plans for reconstruction, he drives a wedge between the men and women. Furthermore, he divides the women as some take his chastising to heart and start to observe by covering their hair and dressing more modestly. The more liberal women feel betrayed.

The rabbi’s reconstructed temple is completely unacceptable to the women, who feel they’ve been given a second class space.

The story was compelling and took me into new territory. I loved how the characters were portrayed. There were no one dimensional stereotypes. All were shown with understanding and everyone was acting from strongly held beliefs so they had my sympathy. I also loved how sweetly relationships like marriages and neighbors were shown. Woman’s Balcony is an absorbing film that has universal appeal.

The film is on DVD, but I saw it on Kanopy, a new streaming service that my library offers. The one problem was Kanopy had some buffering issues, so if you can, get the DVD.

The Radium Girls

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The Radium Girls by Kate Moore tells the story of the young women who worked in factories painting iridescent numbers on watch and clock dials. In New Jersey and Illinois after WWI, girls were hired to use paint made with radium to make the dials glow in the dark. The technique they were required to use was to lick the tip of the brush, dip it in the paint and paint the numbers. Then they were to repeat. No step to clean the brush.

At the time radium was believed to be an ultra-healthy substance. No safety precautions were taken.

These girls were proud to earn good wages and had a good lifestyle. Proud of their work, when they would go out dancing, they would take the radium dust rub it on their eyelids and skin, which made them glow.

As you can imagine, the women started to get ill. One woman had awful jaw pain, and when she went to the dentist her jaw fell out, which was the first of many ailments that inflicted her and her colleagues. One after another, the girls began to experience horrific health issues. The radium would attack their bones. Others, as you’d guess, got rare, devastating cancers.

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Statue of a Radium Girl, Ottawa, Illinois

The girls began to take legal action and the two radium companies fought them tooth and nail. The story soon turns to one of courage and tenacity as these women fight for their lives and fight for justice in the courts against two Goliath companies.

In many ways the story is hard to take, but because these women banded together and had great resilience and remained strong in spirit and clung to hope, The Radium Girls was not a depressing story. My only critique is that the author’s scope covering two factories which weren’t that connected, made the book confusing at times. Yet I understand her desire to tell the full story. I think it would have been better if Moore had focused on fewer girls and added an epilogue about the others. I highly recommend reading The Radium Girls.

(Janice, thanks for recommending this compelling, yet sad book.)

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Image  424 - June 2018

This week we’re prompted to post on farmers, agriculture or harvest. I descend from city folk, none with a green thumb that I know of so I’ll dig through the Library of Congress and Flickr Commons to find some images of Irish farmers since I’ve got a lot of Irish blood.

To see more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

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Ireland, 1920, National Library of Ireland, Flickr Commons

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Harvesting, Ireland, 1899, National Library of Ireland, Flickr Commons

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National Library of Ireland, Harvest, 1897

Here’s one from the U.K., since I’ve got some British blood and I’ve never seen an oyster farm:

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Report on Oyster Cultivation, U.K., ca 1870, Flickr Commons

I Just Learned that . . .

not voting

I’m reading Louise de Koven Bowen’s memoir Growing Up with  City. She became a Suffragette after reading about the British Suffragettes who locked themselves to fences in protest. She figured if these women would take such actions, there must be good reason to want to vote. (She was not an uneducated or stupid woman by any stretch so go figure. We sure can’t assume anything about people in the past.)

She describes the speeches she gave and the events she attended in this movement. After the women got the vote in 1923, Bowen was shocked that so few women did vote. I found a fascinating article that states that in 1923 in Chicago only 35% of women voted. The reasons were surprising to me. Some women didn’t believe politics was feminine. Some had husbands who wouldn’t permit it. The chart above shows all the reasons and data.

So the lesson is assume nothing. I had assumed that most women would vote after such a long fight for the right.