Although it's a rare occurrence today, it used to be quite common in Japan for women to get curious looks when they entered a restaurant with a predominantly male clientele by themselves.

When she was young, Manga artist ごぼふく gobohuku (@gobohuku) used to eat at ramen stores alone.

Unfortunately, she was sometimes subjected to jeering or teasing by male customers.

In a manga, she recalled one such episode which started out just like another bad ramen shop experience but had a happy ending.

Reproduced with permission from ごぼふく gobohuku (@gobohuku)

English text added by grape Japan

As she was eating, once again subjected to teasing and jeering by a group of male customers, Gobofuku heard a loud slamming noise from across the counter.

The owner apologized for making a racket, but then immediately scolded the customers, saying:

Right now, that lady is face to face with my ramen, so please don't bother her!

The owner probably couldn't tolerate their behavior which was not only morally objectionable but prevented the shop from providing the level of service they had worked hard to establish to one of their valued customers.

Gobofuku was grateful to the owner who, though somewhat clumsy in his ways, had the courage to scold them. Although it may not have been the owner's intention, he ended up driving them out. As for Gobofuku, she was smitten with the owner and vowed to become a lifelong customer of his shop.

Gobofuku's manga was widely viewed and elicited numerous comments such as:

  • "It was so cool! I wish we could live in a society where people are free from this kind of teasing and jeering, regardless of gender, age, nationality, etc..."
  • "I think things are better than they used to be, but even now, when I go to restaurants at night, I sometimes encounter this kind of thing."
  • "I think it's the will and courage of Gobofuku and many others like her that has led to the diversity we have in our society today!"

All customers should have equal rights to enter a restaurant, except in cases specified by law, such as minors entering establishments where alcoholic beverages are served.

Let's hope that society can evolve to the point where this kind of behavior is truly a thing of the past, and where shops have a zero-tolerance policy for it.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.