|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
"A woman who feels she has nothing to lose is capable of anything," Kana Shimada tells Spa! (9/11).
"I myself became a frightening woman."
Shimada, author of the recently published book "Hito no Otoko wo Toru Houhou" (How to Steal Somebody's Man), speaks from personal experience, and gives this account.
"Once, during an affair I was having with this married guy, I purposely left behind a tube of lipstick in the door pocket by the rear seat of his car.
I knew his wife always rode back there because they had a child seat for their kid in the front.
"The next time I rode in his car, I checked and the tube of lipstick was still in the pocket.
But when I opened it, I found a message from his wife inside!
It read, 'Wow! You, madam, are a real piece of work!'
That really made me feel invigorated."
Is there any truth to the perception that it takes a woman to really hate another woman?
Spa!'s survey of 100 women between the ages of 20 and 50 would appear to bear this out.
When the subjects were asked if there was a woman they hated, 53.7 percent gave "yes" replies, as opposed to only 10 percent who replied they felt a similar hatred for a man.
Some of the worst examples of female enmity occur in the workplace.
An unnamed 37-year-old restaurant employee, who has since left her job, tells her story.
"Sadako, our supervisor, took a dislike to a younger waitress named Emi, who had recently been hired.
After their shift ended both women went into the changing room, and Sadako told Emi, 'The laundry service is here, so I'll give them your uniforms to wash,' and carried hers off.
Then when Emi opened her locker, her street clothes were gone, and Sadako was nowhere to be found!
Emi had to wait for an hour until she could borrow another woman's clothes and go home.
As it turned out, her clothes eventually turned up, freshly laundered of course."
The aforementioned Shimada, who was once employed as an office worker, recalls a certain female co-worker who admired her "sempai" (senior) so much she began imitating her hairstyle, makeup and dress sense.
"They were like identical twins," Shimada relates.
"There was something really disconcerting about it."
As it turned out, the younger woman decided that her senior's boyfriend appealed to her as well, and began pursuing him.
The copy, as it turned out, turned out better than the original, and she was successful in landing the man.
The humiliated senior tendered her resignation and the younger woman took over her position.
Ironically, notes Shimada, history appears to be repeating itself -- a newly hired female staff member is already starting to impersonate her boss.
Misato, age 22, worked for a delivery health (outcall sex) service.
One day her co-worker, Kasumi, confided to Misato she had the hots for young Mr. Aso, who worked in their shop.
"Actually, Aso and I were already a pair," Misato relates.
"But I couldn't let her know that, so I told Kasumi that I had seen Aso walking down the street holding hands with another girl in our shop.
This infuriated Kasumi, who felt betrayed.
'I'd already told her I liked him -- how could she do that to me?' she exclaimed.
"To get even, Kasumi began spreading rumors that although our shop had rules against engaging in 'honban' (sexual intercourse) with customers, this girl had been going all the way.
And to make matters worse, the girl, Kasumi insisted, was badmouthing her colleagues.
'You'd better get rid of her,' she advised them.
She also told the customers that particular girl would have intercourse with them if they insisted on it, and the customers, believing it, began requesting her, leading to complaints when the girl refused to put out.
"After two months of this I'd had enough," says Misato.
"I called Kasumi to my place, thinking to ask her to return the key I'd lent her.
I confronted her and scolded her for acting out of spiteful jealousy.
We argued back and forth until the trains stopped running.
I told her, 'Not only are you hurting the business, but you should apologize to our colleague for spreading those rumors -- phone her now!' And she did!"
"Based on health statistics, women suffering from borderline personality disorders tend to be more numerous than males," writes Takehiko Kasuga, author of Kurui no Kozo (The Structure of Craziness).
"That said, I get the impression that things are changing in Japan.
When Riyo Mori was voted Miss Universe earlier this year, the general reaction from other women was praise, not jealousy.
And with growing numbers of women holding down good jobs, catfights seem to have declined.
They are often attractive and come from wealthy families, and less inclined to that kind of behavior.
"It's in the old-style companies -- where women are just there to adorn the office environment -- that you still see these problems," smiles Kasuga.
"In those places, it's still business as usual." (By Masuo Kamiyama, People's Pick contributor)
September 15, 2007