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Female Bus Driver, Male Guide Reverse Norm

Date Posted: 2000-10-27

A tour bus operating in the northern Okinawa boasts a female driver and a male tour guide. Itís the reversal of the norm and the first in Okinawa. Driver Ayako Nakama, 23, used to work at a cargo company in mainland Japan. She obtained a professional bus driverís license in May and joined Hokubu Kanko Bus Company as a driver in October.

She says that many customers express surprise and sometimes doubt whether a woman is able to drive a big bus, but says that she is able to prove them wrong each time she sits behind the wheel. She says that she does not feel anything special about her status as the first female bus driver in Okinawa.

Wataru Omine, 20, is in an equally unique position being the first male tour guide on the island. He says that the best part of his job is to be able to meet lots of people. He likes to joke and make his customers laugh. ďTo me, this is like being on stage. I just love it,Ē Omine says.

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