Shining women suit shining teeth.
I’ve been working for teeth whitening field for about 10 years,
and had my patients teeth shine and brighter as a dentist.
Recently I realized that I’d love to know people’s life more.
Normal life never exists.
Each woman has her own story.
These are super shining women that I’ve met all over the world.
I hope their words will help you to inspire your life.
Remi Kitabayashi DDS
Jocelyne is a successful translator/interpreter.
Here is her story to share.
What is your profession?
I’m a Japanese-English translator and interpreter.
I generally translate manga and novels,
and interpret for artists and novelists.
I've heard that your major was math in university.
Why did you select it? At that time, you are not interested in language at all?
How is it connected to be a translator?
Please tell us about your career path.
I’ve always loved math, ever since I was a little kid.
I was always in whatever math club or advanced math class my schools had.
So when I started university, it seemed like the obvious major,
even though I knew it likely wouldn’t lead to a job.
But I was always very interested in language.
I lived in a French-speaking region when I was very little,
so I learned a lot of concepts in French before I knew them in English.
And I studied French from kindergarten through to university.
I also did an exchange in Sweden and studied Swedish,
plus some German and Russian.
Math is also a language, so it seems like a very logical extension to me.
But math doesn’t pay the bills,
and I realized that I might be able to get a job with my Japanese skills.
After teaching English and French for a few years in different parts of Japan,
I got hired as an in-house editor and translator for an automotive company,
where I worked with some amazing people who taught me so much about translation.
After a few years there, I decided to move back to Canada and work freelance,
which is what I’ve been doing ever since.
You've been working as a translator for more than 10years.
What is the important thing to you for your job?
The internet and my writing app, Scrivener.
I don’t know how people translated anything before the internet came along.
I look things up constantly to understand the nuances of a word
or the details of a location or the meaning of a particular plot point.
I’m totally not afraid to admit I don’t know something and go look for the answer.
And I used to work in Pages (the Mac word processing software),
but I came across Scrivener a few years ago,
and it’s really allowed me to streamline my work process,
so I’m actually translating better and faster. I can’t live without it now.
When do you feel bliss as a translator?
When your book is born and published?
For me, the bliss comes when I fall into the story
that I’m translating and there’s just the joy of seeing it all unfold before me.
There’s this moment when everything sort of clicks,
when I can clearly see the tone and style of the book in English
and how this wording is exactly right to convey the intent
and style of the original Japanese.
It feels like every piece of a puzzle slamming together all
at once to form the finished picture.
What do you like and dislike about Japan?
I love the clear boundaries of so many things, all the set phrases.
When you leave the office, you say “Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu”.
You change into your summer wardrobe on a set date.
It’s so much easier to break the rules when you know what they are.
I love how there is such an emphasis on seasonality
and making everything special.
Every region of Japan has their own specialty,
their own dialects and customs.
All of these make my own life feel richer,
marking time and space in a meaningful way.
And of course, I love Japanese.
Even after all these years of working in it, this language can still surprise me.
I dislike how hierarchical the country can be.
I dislike the focus on cis, able-bodied men to the detriment of everyone else.
I hate how poor people, disabled people, women, people of colour,
the indigenous Ainu, the Okinawans are systemically left out of society
and fall through the cracks.
There’s no room to be different from the expected norm.
And that can be very frustrating and depressing.
Is there any difference in working environment between Canada and Japan?
Motivation, salary, commuter train, paid holidays, anything.
Do Canadian women keep their career after they get married?
In Canada, is it OK to live together and have kids without getting married?
Why Japanese women are always under the pressure like
"have to get married before 30years old!" or something?
How about Canadian women? Please tell us about your opinion.
I think in Canada, there’s more of an attitude that when you’re done your shift, you go home.
There’s not really a culture of overwork like in Japan,
although people do work hard here, too.
And if you have a job that offers paid holidays,
you take them rather than letting them accumulate or using them instead of sick days.
But I’ve never worked in Canada as an adult,
so this is just what I’ve gleaned from the world around me.
Canadian women generally keep working after they get married.
I think it’s more unusual to quit your job.
It’s also very common to have kids without being married.
Women often live with their partners rather than get married for a variety of reasons.
It can actually be better in terms of income taxes not to be married.
There’s still a lot of sexism in Canada,
but I do think it’s better than the situation in Japan.
For instance, you can get married and still keep your own last name if you want to.
Or you and your partner can have a hybrid last name,
a combination of both of your names.
Same-sex marriage has also been legal in Canada for a number of years now,
so I think it’s easier to be gay here (although there is still discrimination, of course).
The pressure on Japanese women to get married young and not end up “Christmas cakes”
really stems from sexist ideas about women.
It’s the idea that women are fragile,
that they can’t make it on their own,
that they need someone to take care of them.
Plus, women tend to make less money than men
and have fewer opportunities to advance in their careers,
which leaves them more economically precarious.
So naturally, their family and friends
and society at large want them to get married
so that they can be economically and socially secure.
Marriage in Japan especially is based on this idea of a man taking a woman into his house
and becoming her caretaker.
It’s reflected in the language about marriage.
Yome ni iku—she goes to become a bride, while men receive a bride—yome ni morau.
And the idea of the koseki or family register.
She officially and legally leaves her birth family and is registered with her husband’s family.
It’s an extraordinarily sexist and subjugating system,
so it’s no wonder that all these dated ideas about the helplessness of women continue
in present-day Japan.
It’s built into the very foundations of the system of marriage and family.
I think Canadian women feel a similar pressure to get married,
to find their value in the eyes of a man,
but it’s much more common not to get married or have children.
And it’s become more normalized even over the last twenty years or
so thanks to more and more women having careers
that allow them to be independent
and thus able to choose whether or not they want to get married for their own reasons,
rather than because they have no choice economically.
Please give your message to Japanese women
who want to find their way and be independent like you!
Follow your heart and your passion,
and decide what to do based on what you actually want
and not what society expects of you.
Ignore all those voices telling you what women should be like
or what women should want.
There is no one way to live life. Don’t give up on yourself!
Thank you, Jocelyne!
Her words encourage us, and inspire us!
Because she is a Japanese-English translator,
she has two points of view.
I think it makes her sense of value wider.
So she doesn't have any prejudice.
I'm very happy to interview this "shining woman" and
share with you.
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前4-19-8 アロープラザ原宿122