Japanese women are investigating detective careers

TOKYO — TOKYO -- In the days of equal opportunities for men and women, the next Sherlock Holmes may be a female.

According to a newly opened school in Tokyo that trains detectives and researchers, women account for about 70 percent of the 300 students taking beginner courses.


Some of them said they want to acquire skills to look into their husbands' cheating.

Tokyo Intelligence & Research College, which opened last month, offers six-month, twice-a-week introductory courses for 300,000 yen ($2,500) each. Classes are taught by former officers at Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department and former officials of the Defense Agency, as well as lawyers and private investigators.


The curriculum includes lectures on research and police-related laws and field training on tailing and monitoring suspects.

Most of the more than 200 women enrolled in the introductory courses are in their early 20s to early 40s, according to the school.

About 120 are housewives and more than half of them have kept it secret from their husbands that they attend the school.

One of the students, a 46-year-old Tokyo housewife, said she decided to go to the detectives' and researchers' school because she was not satisfied with conventional courses that teach women how to arrange flowers and how to put on a kimono properly.

"Because my children don't need much care any longer, I went to schools teaching flower arranging and kimono. But I'm not interested in them any more," she said.

Another student, a 45-year-old housewife in Tokyo, said: "I tried a job as a sales person at an insurance company, but I quit because I figured the job was not for me. I had to go to the office every day and I had a sales quota.

"With a job as a researcher, I can continue to work after I turn 60. I want to start a research firm in the future with my friends."