A woman working for Kanebo’s Oita branch in northeast Kyushu was penalized for her failure to meet her sales quota. The employee, a 61-year old woman, was forced to wear over-sized bunny ears. She was even told to wear costumes for failing to meet her required targets.
Wearing cute costumes and bunny ears is not something new in the cute-loving country of Japan. Some even practice it for promotion purposes, though it’s not common amongcosmetics companies. It may look cute on little children and adolescents, but having it as a punishment has caused the woman mental distress. The unnamed employee of Kanebo claimed that photos of her in costumes were used in training presentations. She said that the photos were captured by four of her seniors. Because of humiliation, the woman’s mental distress even caused her to be physically ill.
The 61-year old woman filed a lawsuit against the cosmetics company demanding 3.3 million yen (approx. 33,000 US dollars) for amends. The court ruled in her favor, but Kanebo was only required to pay 220,000 yen (2,200 dollars). According to the woman’s lawyer, she has also received a larger amount from the firm. Kanebo was founded on 1887 and is one of Japan’s internationally renowned cosmetics companies. Actress Keiko Kitagawa (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and singer-actress Mika Nakashima (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution) were some of Kanebo’s endorsers. Chinese actress Zhao Wei (Shaolin Soccer, So Close) also served as a spokesperson of Kanebo.