‘Mom Business Cards‘ As Status Symbol Cause a Stir Online

Japanese mothers carry "mom business cards"

It’s quite common in Japan for acquaintances and business associates to exchange meishi (business cards), but a recent trend has housewives handing out their own meishi to advertise their status as stay-at-home moms.

A new article out this week indicates that these “mom business cards” have become something of a status symbol, as some wealthy moms have begun creating expensive cards with the names of their husbands’ companies included. Netizens were largely disgusted by this trend, with some taking it as an opportunity to air their misogynist viewpoints.

From News Post Seven:

“Mom Business Cards” List Husband’s Name and Even The Name of His First-Rate Company

Four years ago the fashion magazine “VERY” (published by Kobunsha) took the trend of stay-at-home moms creating their own business cards and started a website to sell them, which is one reason behind the recent boom in “mom business cards.” The cards have typically included information such as the mom’s name and her child’s name, her phone number, e-mail address and other contact information, and a bit about her hobbies, but recently more and more women have been including their social networking information as well.

Hearing about these cards, it may seem like a very useful tool, but they also carry the potential for unexpected trouble. Ms. A (42), a housewife from Aichi Prefecture, was warned about swapping business cards by her child’s dance studio.

“My daughter, who is in grade school, started learning ballet, so I passed out my business card to the other moms in the classroom. There was one mom that couldn’t make it to pick up her child, so I wasn’t able to give it to her. We weren’t really close because I never really got a chance to talk to her, so I never gave her the card afterwards. Apparently later someone showed that woman’s daughter the card, and she got really down, thinking ‘My mom didn’t get one…. We must be getting snubbed,’ and she completely stopped coming to the class. I was warned by the ballet teacher to ‘please stop with the business cards.’”

While some make these business cards at home, others order them from a vendor. The design and the information included on the cards also vary based on the person. If you get them from a vendor, you can have them made for about 2,000 yen for 50 cards. It is precisely because you are completely in control of the design that certain “disparities” arise.

“When I compare with the business cards made by other moms, I get so embarrassed about my cards…” Ms. B (38), a Tokyo housewife, said sadly. “This April, my daughter entered her third year of elementary school, so she changed classes. Since there were new moms I hadn’t met before, I went to hand out my business card, but some of the moms had cards made from high quality washi, with their husbands’ names and even their husbands’ companies written on them. They were first-rate companies that anyone would recognize. I didn’t bother to write my husband’s boring old third-rate company on my cards, which I made on my own home printer using thin, cheap paper. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t even give mine out… Somehow I was last out of the gate when it came to making business cards.”

※From the April 30, 2015 issue of Josei Seven.

Comments from 2ch.net:




Women are so vulgar.


Are titles really that important to married couples?


How is your husband’s job relevant to your social status?


This type of person who swaggers around under borrowed authority and not their own social standing is the absolute worst.


Creating disparity based on their apartment level, creating disparity based on the quality of their business cards and their husband’s salary, aren’t they all just idiots worrying over totally unnecessary stuff?


I’m glad I was born a man.


I’m sure they’re completely embarrassing their husbands who are working hard at those first-rate companies.


What kind of world is this? I have acquaintances that I know through stuff with my kid, but I don’t know what their jobs are and I don’t care either.


Is there really a hierarchy among housewives who don’t do anything during the day? w


Working women who read this article will probably scoff at this. LMAO at how childish the housewives in this article are.


This must be a joke, right?


Women are such troublesome creatures.


It is precisely because you are weak that you fight with other weak people


What happens when two parasites start comparing themselves?

キドクラッチ(静岡県)@\(^o^)/ [in response to above]:

Their rating is probably determined based on what it is they’re leeching off of. It’s only natural!


If you do stuff like that, you’ll be seen as a person lacking refinement.


With idiots like these, I think gender equality is impossible…


It’s because they love assigning status to things, right?


These have been around for a while… and there are also children’s business cards, too!

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  • SorayaVonDerAlm

    These women do not represent all women just like gropers or rapist don’t represent all men.
    Reading this i wouldn’t want to be a housewife (i could end the sentence here) in Japan. I’d be bored and annoyed.

    • tomoe723

      They certainly don’t represent ALL women, but they do concentrate roughly most housewives in a particular neighborhood. So if ever you find out you accidentally transferred into such neighborhood, better pack your bags and find another one, or suck it up with all the pretentiousness.

  • vonskippy

    Poor Japan, struggling to keep their imperialistic racist sexist identity in a modern world – and FAILING.

    • guest

      Truly impressive you got all of that from an article about… shitty business cards that don’t mean anything.

      • Jap Zero Shot Down

        No, people can get it from how your society operates based on lies, like ridiculously claiming and believing that the US attacked Japan.

    • Guest

      You people seriously need to get a life and stop being so obsessive about Japan.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    I don’t think it’s as bad as they make it sound.

    These kind of situations, it’s only as bad as you allow them to be. So what if people show off their higher earning husband? We all know people are not all equally rich, yet we can all achieve something with our lives.

    All we have to do is say, “Why, good for you. I’m happy for you.” And then proceed to do whatever we were already doing.

    And if they wish to look down on people, that’s on them, is it not?

    • commander

      Face-saving is the norm and the order of the day in Japanese culture, so it is especailly embarrasing when you give out your business card made of cheap paper and you have few things to boast of while someone you meet offer a expensive-looking business card showing off a high profile, including a high-rolling husband, a high-end residence address etc.

      The shallow joy from being ostentaiousness feeds on the humiliation and embarassment of ordinary Joes and Janes in Japan. That’s exactly about what this article says.

    • Miniluv101

      They can look down on the less affluent all they want, let them have their fun while it lasts.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    After the death of Sony, the only thing remotely intersting coming out of Japan are their hot AV chicks.

  • FYIADragoon

    I don’t know if I’d jump to calling these comments misogynist when they’re just calling it the way it is. These women making the cards are idiots. Get a job and stand on your own if you’re so desperate for a card.

    • the misogynist ones I was referring to were “women are so vulgar” and “women are such troublesome creatures.” i would definitely agree that the cards are pretty stupid, but attributing the idiocy to the gender and not the personality of the people creating them is sexist.

      • David

        I agree. Incredibly ignorant and DEFINITELY misogynistic. Only a dick would make comments about how housewives don’t do anything all day.

  • Rnr2

    Sad sad sad.

  • Jay K.

    PACOPACOMAMA auditions!!!

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