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Yokonokai at a glance

What does ‘Yokonokai’ mean?

‘Yokonokai’ literally means “lateral networking.” In 1984, three working women in Osaka got together and discussed the working environment for women. At that time, the number of working women was still small and they had to struggle by themselves. They found that networking beyond the category of business and specialty was the most effective way to improve the situation. They sent letters to their friends and acquaintances to call for their participation and held the first meeting in June 1984. This started the 30-year history of Yokonokai.



What are the purposes of Yokonokai?

  • To exchange information on jobs and working environment. To learn from each other how to
    solve problems and how to live and work by our own resources.
  • To have a chance of self-education.
  • To have a wide range of quality information by listening to lectures or having conversation with
    other members at the monthly meetings.
  • To develop our faculties by involving ourselves in the management of meetings and the committee.
  • To accumulate and share know-how about working and life in general, by the continuation of
    those activities.
  • To record and deliver this information to the next generation.



Who are the members?

The variety of the members is our asset. Yokonokai consists of some 110 members ranging from 20- to 80-year-olds. The group includes journalists, architects, government employees, company owners, accountants, free-lancers, and of course many of us work for various private companies. The only common element among us is that we are working women (or women who have a will to work).



What are the activities?

Monthly meeting
We have a regular meeting in the evening of the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  The most typical style is that we invite a lecturer from inside/outside of the network or have a discussion according to the theme for the year.

A 6-page news letter is published for members each month. This includes a review of the monthly meeting, ‘person-of-the-month,’ brief report from the members and information from the committee.

Group activities
Voluntary activities approved by the committee are budgeted by Yokonokai.

Public activities

Nov. 1987: Symposium & Party ‘Do You Enjoy Working?’
Mar. 1991: Symposium & Party ‘To Find Another Aspect of Yourself’
Oct. 1993: Symposium & Party celebrating 10th Anniversary ‘Can Career Women Survive in the 21st Century?
Oct. 1996: Symposium & Party ‘For Working Women in their 30s and at the Turning Point of Life’
Mar. 2000: Symposium & Workshops celebrating 15th Anniversary ‘Work Style in the 21st Century:
     Collaboration between Women and Men’
Nov. 2004: Symposium & Workshops celebrating 20th Anniversary ‘Happiness in Continuing Career’
Oct. 2006: Lecture Meeting & Party celebrating publication of ‘My Work and the Way I Work’
Jun. 2009: Symposium & Workshops celebrating 25th Anniversary ‘Let’s think about the quality of workstyle’
Sep. 2014: Symposium & Workshops celebrating 30th Anniversary ‘Let’s think about work and life from the 30’s, and step forward!’

Yokonokai published a book in 1994 titled ‘How Can Working Women Continue On Their Professional Path,’ which was sponsored by Osaka Prefecture.

A book titled ‘My Work and the Way I Work’ was published in 2006, introducing 72 women’s work styles and lifestyles.

Yokonokai was recognized by the Governor of Osaka for excellence in contributing to formation of a gender-equal society on May 3, 2004.


To join us

Guests are always welcome at the monthly meetings.

To become a Yokonokai member, you need to attend a monthly meeting as a guest three times within a 6-month period. You can also become a member with an endorsement by an existing member. The committee will welcome you after examining your application.

To contact us

E-mail to: info_yoko1984@yokonokai.org