My conventional work experience and future outlook

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

Before I went to London, I had been also self-employed.

I prepared the documents needed to register the setting up of small businesses, submitted the applications to the Legal Affairs Bureau, and helped the owners to set up a company that meets their requirements as closely as possible. I also provided advice about legal matters related to company operations.

I handled procedures for the purchase and inheritance of land and building assets and the registration of mortgages and leases over them.

I represented people who were struggling with multiple debts not exceeding ¥1.4 million (about£1,000) owed to credit companies in the Summary Court, and negotiated an out-of-court settlement.
I managed the pre-trial proceedings relating to compensation, loan agreements, consumer protection, labor and poverty issues including the collection of evidence, introducing the action, and initiating the appeal procedure to the Summary Court.

I prepared written complaints and replies, petitions for arbitration, and other judicial documents.
I also prepared documents for procedures related to divorce and other family disputes as well as the preservation or seizure of assets.

I wrote two books about the trust system (Publisher: Shin-nihon houki (Mar 2009)). and procedures of Commercial Registration Act (Publisher: Shin-nihon houki (May 2010)).

Now I am back to Tokyo, Japan and became self-employed again but at this time, I want to be a more specialist of property and commercial law. I started my legal practice and will establish it.

The Japanese traditional working system and future outlook for woman

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

The traditional idea for woman
Today, I would like to start by saying a few words about Japanese working idea for woman.Traditionally people think women should stay at home after they get married. They are in charge of raising their kids and do housework. Women should not eat out, drink out with friends especially in the evening. People in Japan think ‘Sengyo-shufu’ is the best way for woman to live. I don’t know if you are familiar with ‘Sengyo-shufu’. ‘Sengyo-shufu’ means staying at home and doing all housework and not going to work outside. That is something to think about, and I will return to this point later. So I have divided my write up into two sections. First of all, I will explain the current opportunity. After that, I will go on to talk about the challenge to future and I will conclude with some comments about how it will develop in the future.

1.Current opportunity
Moving on now to look at how is a current situation in Japan. Against the traditional idea, women are becoming more free to choose to be an employee, an employer, self-employed or an entrepreneur. Some women are quite ambitious and some have already made a success of their lives. But on the contrary in Europe, more women are employers than counterparts in Japan. Even though women have their own work, it is still considered that they will obey what men say.

2.Future challenge
Firstly women recognize their right to express freely what she wants to do and have a passion to work. I don’t mean to push woman to work. Women can , of course, choose to stay at home as a housewife. Women’s network is also a good way to share their experience so that it is a good idea to make a small group and help each other. For self-employed people like me, it is a good idea to share their office with someone who also has a kid around same age. Because raising a kid is also important and as a self-employed, they needn’t to put their kid to a nursery all the time, but they need to have a business meeting with clients, In case of a meeting, they need someone to help. If someone who has a kid at same age has a similar feeling, they can help each other. There are many working ways women can choose.

Agreement from Men and collaboration
As a human being, we should take into account empathy and harmony. And this brings me to the last point. Nobody achieves her purpose without help. When women want to go to the society, men’s help is essential. To say in other words, team work is needed. To sum up, we should listen to what a person wants to do and say either at home or work more freely. When we collaborate, it leads a better result in future.

Work-life-balance in Japan

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

Already one month has passed since I came back to Japan.
Now I am going to greet my old clients and colleagues.
They are all helpful and said they are happy to work with me again.

We never know what may happen in future and even though they said they will, some might not work with me.

You may feel that what I say is negative, but I am really very positive.

I always believe that clients choose me because of my personality.
If I stay positive and can attract people, that will bring me a good luck.
Even though I like to work with someone, he might not want to work with me, but never mind.
Something new will come in the future.
I will still get in touch with a person like this though, as he might change his mind in future.

Anyway, now I have to do my legal work, do my housework and look after my kid, who is 20 months old.
I found a nursery for him and he goes there from 10am to 2pm every day.
He is very playful and doesn’t sleep much.
He sometimes gives me a hard time but he is still my lovely baby.

Despite my affection to him, I need my own time, too.
I told my husband that he must look after our boy at weekends because I want to have some rest then, as he is busy and has no time for child care on weekdays.
I work hard during the weekdays and want my husband to work hard during the weekends.
So my husband took my baby to a playgroup last Saturday.
There he was said to be amazing, just because he took our son to a playgroup.
Is only taking a baby to somewhere amazing!?!?
Such a traditional country…

Traditionally, raising kids is women’s work and earning money is men’s work in Japan.
Nowadays things are getting changed, and a couple may both work, but still people think that in traditional way.

I hope I can break that rule and that people will become freer to choose work, stay at home, earn money or take longer holidays.

There is one digression, in Japan,it is not appreciated if you take holidays.
People normally take only a week of holidays annually.
If someone took a holiday for a month or two, he might loose his job.

I know a lot of people who have a holiday only once in 3 or 5 years.
Please value the quality of life…

Now we have to think about the balance betwween personal life and work.

The study module to be a Shiho-Shoshi lawyer

The Shiho-Shoshi lawyer examination requires the knowledge of eleven Japanese law codes or statutes, the four principal ones being the Civil Code.

Constitutional law
Civil Law
Criminal Law
Code of Civil Procedure
Civil Provisional Remedies Act
Civil Execution Act
Deposit Act
the Real Property Registration Act
the Commercial Code (Companies Act)
the Commercial Registration Act
the Judicial Scriveners Act

The examination includes two written tests, and one oral test.

What is Shiho-Shoshi?

The term “Shiho-Shoshi” is sometimes translated as Judicial Scrivenerand roughly equates to solicitor or notary public, as opposed to “bengoshi” meaning advocate or barrister.  

A Shiho-Shoshi lawyer is authorized to represent their clients in real estate registrations, commercial registrations, preparation of court documents and filings with legal affairs bureaus, or in negotiating out-of-court settlements.

The Shiho-Shoshi lawyer may also represents clients in summary courts, arbitration and mediation proceedings but not in the superior courts.


Someone wishing to become a Shiho-Shoshi lawyer needs to pass a qualifying exam, and only about 3% of those who sat the test pass annually. I passed the Shiho-Shoshi lawyer exam administered by the Ministry of Justice in 2006.

Help or not help?

In London, some people say the people are cold, as few people will help a Mum who has a buggy to carry at the stairs at a station.
However, I feel people in London are very friendly.
I was always helped to carry the buggy. Some people offered me help first and others simply just carried it along with me, so I always thought Britain was a country of gentlemen.

Anyway, back to Japan…
Nobody helps me. Never ever.
Even if a person was going downstairs at the same time as me, he just ignored me.
It is like I was not there.
It is so disappointing…
Never mind.
I am strong enough: I can manage it on my own.

One day, a train assistant kindly offered a help, but he said to me, “Please hold your baby and I will carry the buggy downstairs.”
At that time, my baby was sleeping in the buggy and I didn’t want to disturb him and I said, “Would you please carry the buggy with me.”
Then he told me he could not help.

Why not???

I don’t know…

If he helped me to carry the buggy, might he fall over and injure the baby??

I cannot see any point.

Is it a cultural thing?
No. I don’t think so.

However, no worries.
Japan is a high tech country.
At almost all stations, there is a lift!!
That is good news, isn’t it?

Hello from Akiko Hori

Hi, there!

I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshosi lawyer, now living in Tokyo, Japan.

I was living in London for 3 and half years, but I am now in Tokyo.

I don’t want to lose my English and want to tell people what a Shihoshosi lawyer is and how I work.

I would also like to write something about Japan, such as its strange culture, unique custom and so on.

It will be all from my own point of view, so the contexts of this blog are from my personal ideas.

I hope the people who see this blog will enjoy it and understand what Japan is.