Young Japanese Men and Women Reject Marriage, and Ultimately Each Other

According to this article, Japanese over 35 may find it “impossible” to wed. In 2005, the percentage of unmarried men between the ages of 35-39 was 30.9%. 5 years later, of that same subset of men (now 40-44), 27.9% were married – indicting that only 9.7% of the unmarried 35 to 39 year olds tied the knot during that 5 years- and only 3% of the overall male population does so during that age bracket.

This data, which comes from the 2010 Census, indicates that marriage rates for woman in the same age group are slightly lower –10.8% of unmarried women get hitched in that interval, only 2% of the female population. And after 45, only .1% get married.

According to some “marriage consultant”, there are a few reasons the Japanese are increasingly remaining single. First, it is becoming more socially acceptable to stay unmarried. “Peculiar” personality traits of men over 35 also play a part; many unmarried men over 35 are immersed in hobbies (otaku alert!) or work (salarymen alert!). They have few friendships and tend to go through life “unseen” (hikikomori alert!). Another problem- it is a tendency of both men and women to “shoot high” and spur compromise. Men in particular tend to overvalue themselves; even in cases when the relationship is unfolding pleasantly, and a couple suit each other, the consultant explains, often the man will think “I’d be better off single than with this person”.

because these people look happy.

Those who participate in konkatsu (marriage parties) are both more desperate and more selective (“specs” such as income and career become more important than in traditional dating), making one’s chances of finding someone through these parties very slim. Therefore, a man with a below-average income has virtually no chance of securing a mate through konkatsu.

There are many ways to analyze this data. I see the movement away from marriage as part of the passive rebellion occurring among the young in Japan.“Herbivore men”, who spurn the materialistic and status-seeking identities of their fathers, refuse to participate in demanding salary man jobs and aggressive spouse/girlfriend/one-night stand-hunting; but not knowing any other options (or in Japanese society, not having any), they sit out altogether- from the dating scene, from the job search.

More obviously, women also find themselves choosing to stay single rather than settling. More ambitious and educated than ever before, the new generation is very much at odds with tradition here. Wanting both a job and a husband is hard when most Japanese men still expect the woman to do all the housework, even if she works as well.

Written almost 11 years ago, this excerpt from the LA Times I think explains some of the data; “During the “bubble” economy of the 1980s, women got choosier but remained more pragmatic than romantic in picking a mate. They still defined a good catch as a man with the “three highs”: higher education, high income and height. Now young women who can support themselves have added even tougher criteria for Mr. Right. Chikako Ogura of Aichi Shukutoku University says the new standard is the “three Cs”: financially comfortable, emotionally communicative and cooperative in housework and childcare.” You know, the typical Japanese male.

Fewer marriageable men on the market = less marriage. Doesn’t seem like brain surgery to me. Yet, I have heard from a number of haters that analyses invoking simplistic “demonizing” of asian men is a western interpretation, and that the issue is more complicated than that.

Of course, it is more complicated than that, but any analysis that fails to include the shifting expectations of women is simply incomplete. There is actually evidence that the declining birthrate can be at least partially attributed to women refusing to have children due to ” their husbands’ lack of participation in child rearing and housework” (Ishii-Kuntz, 1994, 2003). Again, opting out.

And from the same UN report, the discrepancy of hours spent on housework (according to a 2005 study, women spend a daily average of 4.26 hours doing housework compared to 1.38 hours for men) is one of the most oft-cited statistics by women.

Marriage Consultant highlights the fact that the young, choosier than ever, are passing up opportunities and waiting until it is “too late”. Specifically, men are starting to have more unrealistic expectations, and according to the U.N. data, the same could be said of women. God help you all!

 

 

Published by

Stephanie Nakajima

Stephanie Nakajima

Contrarian philosopher, half-woman, half-Japanese, all dolphin.

53 thoughts on “Young Japanese Men and Women Reject Marriage, and Ultimately Each Other”

  1. Sounds like unreal expectation multiplied by a lack of compromise. Added to that is the acceptance of non-marriage
    This is not that different than what is happening in Europe though. The acceptability of not having kids, drives this. Good birth control drives that. The drive to procreate is shorted out because of individual choice, which is not surprising as children are rewarding, but difficult. The layers of culture, marriage and relationship exist because procreation forced them to. This is a worldwide problem for educated countries. Sweden has the same problem, even though shared work in marriage and child rearing is the norm. There is much more partnership with employers for work/life balance too. And yet, their birthrate is similar to Japan.
    Compromise happens when something forces it to. Without that individual choice is king.

    On the bright side, baby booms don’t take long. If people find the need.
    Will they?

    Came in from Jake’s tweet.

    1. I think the problem is japan is that daycare is woefully inaccurate and Japanese males do not help rear the children–not just because they don’t want to but because of the crazy working hours that they have. A woman who has a child, even with a husband in Japan, is essentially a single mother.

  2. Have you looked at Japanese fertitlity figures? Half of Japanese women born in the 70s are childless. It is far deeper a cultural issue than women raising their standards too high. I think you started to scratch the surface when you mentioned parasite singles. Today most first world nations have managed to delay adulthood and thus deincentivize parenthood. In Japan they call them parasite singles, in the UK they call them KIPPERS, in Italy bamboccioni.

  3. My greatparents didn’t have daycare, and my greatgrandfather was a farmer who worked hours just as long as any Japanese, with no vacations, and he didn’t help ‘rear the children’ in the semse you use it. However, they had several children. The solution to Japan’s problem is not simply boosting childcare and making fathers work less.

  4. Hey! Thanks all for commenting.

    ArthurFrDent- interesting to hear that about Sweden! My boyfriend is Danish and it seems like the Danes, too, are having less children- but it seems so (from my limited observations) because they start much later and are therefore limited to one or two. What are your thoughts?

    Yebisu- I became interested in this subject after talking to my Japanese friends and cousins about their marriage/baby choices. I have one friend who has had one child, and when I asked if she was going to have another, she said, “No way. Too much work.”. She was disappointed her husband didn’t turn out to be the father that she had hoped for. Another friend divorced her husband after years of trying to get him to stop working the grinding salary man hours. So while anecdotal, it was interesting for me to see statistics that affirmed my experiences with Japanese women.

    I think Westernization has brought some unfortunate things to Japan, but I consider a more balanced perspective on work/family life to be one of the positive things.

    I too think parasite singles are part of the problem, but why wouldn’t it be when your options are between a soul and time-sucking salaryman job for men, and for women only 1/2 to 2/3 the wage of a man? I might “passively rebel” too.

  5. Stephanie Nakajima, did you read “Understanding Japanese Communication” by Ayako Sato (1992)?
    Do you think its relevant to Japan 2011?

    I’ll copy paste:

    The Type of Men that Women Like

    When men gather together in drinking places, they often say things like, “You’ll get on well with that one by looking a bit helpless and bringing out her motherly instinct.”
    But they are barking up the wrong tree. They are completely missing the fact that the myths of masculinity and feminity are falling apart in Japan today. In the past Japanese men were brought up to be strong; however difficult a situation may be, men never cry in front of others, they are taught. So the adult man must be macho – strong, brave, and reliabe. This belief continues this day. But some men now shed tears in front of others without thinking of their appearance. Some men suffer from a mother complex, failing to become adults and forever holding on to their mother’s apron settings, having been overprotected in their childhood.

    I carried out a surver of female postgraduate students at Tokyo University, asking them what was the most important quality they desired of a future husban. The replies: “a kind person”. A few years ago, the answers would have been reversed.


    Another chapter is called “Why Japanese Men Hate Intelligent Woman”.

    The Type of Men that Women Dislike

    No doubt most Japanese women have experienced a situation in which the behavior of their countrymen has vexed them. There are three typical situations: Some Japanese men change their manner of speaking when addressing women of a lower status, they display different values when it comes to using money, and they display different apperciation of relations with other men who have gotten into an unsuccessful situation.

    [Too much to type sorry!!]
    The second case involves the sense of value of money. In this case, the man who generously pays Y 3000 for a bottle of beer in a bar is relucatant to hand over just Y100 when asked to make a contribution toward a fund for traffic orphans… From a woman’s point of view, such men cannot be trusted.

    Japanese women also hate opportunists. And uninteresting men.

    Man’s traditional Image Destroyed

    Japanese women are often overwhelmed when they travel overseas and are treated with exceptional politeness by Western men.

    So Japanese women are delighted when they go abroad and come into contact with Western men who have been brought up on the ladies-first principle. When A Western gentlemn helps her carry her luggage, opens the door for her, and pulls back the chair for her in a restaurant, the Japanese woman has a tendency of falling into the illusion that he must be in love with her. This can be the cause of much misunderstanding and trouble.


    Some Japanese men have no imagination at all. They see women only as prostitutes or mothers.

  6. I fully agree that insane work hours are a major factor to the lack of fathers helping raise their children, but their attitude is also abhorrent at times. I know one father who wouldn’t change diapers because they “smelt bad.” Serously.

    That said I’ve recently encountered more fathers with their children in the sento, but that could have been because of the New Year’s holidays. Still I was happy to see more happy fathers around.

  7. Back when Japanese had big families, do you think the fathers changed diapers? You all are missing the mark when you blame fathers’ attitudes and working hours for the low fertility rate.

    1. You keep talking about the old days but at that time women didn’t have any occupational choice. The marriage was the only way out to survive and to reproduce was the condition. There were not much human rights or constitutional legal rights for women. Yeah, if you stole all the rights including the birth control and the occupations from the women like how it used to before, it would be how it used to. But is that what you dream? The world without human rights and more gender discrimination?.

        1. Yes, exactly. The racists and sexists are right. Feminism and multiculturism lead to race-death. (((Adelstein))) is in the early innings in advocating feminism and multiculturism in Nihon, while his co-ethnics enter the home stretch in subverting and destroying White countries like the USA, Sweden, Germany, France and the U.K.

  8. yebisu: Can you then tell the real reason if it isn’t?

    Family sizes have shrank worldwide and not just in Japan. Japan though has seen bigger shrink than countries where fathers started participating in household works and taking care of children after women started working outside of the home. That makes it look like it there’s a connection there.

  9. I have been told by more than one Japanese that the epithet “parasite single” is almost exclusively reserved for females in Japan.
    Giving birth to and raising multiple children was part and parcel for married women in Japan for ages. But what about that other part of married life – domestic violence – that everyone here seems to be too polite to address? Up until recently, there was no social taboo against this. Statistics from the WHO show that Japan still has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. Who’d want to marry into that?

  10. I apologize for the rhetorical question at the end of my post – that was tactless. I still stand by the rest of my post. I would also like to stress that my own country of Canada has serious issues in this area, as do most (if not all) others.
    I know it’s something few wish to discuss, inside or outside of Japan, but it’s still a crime.
    And this is the baddest Japan-related crime-exposing website there is!

  11. I do agree with those people who argue that the data and reasoning for this phenomena is way too simplistic. One of the things that not taken into account is the number of homosexual men and women who self identify as straight but are in reality gay and are closeted because of fear of rejection from their family. They use the excuse of a higher standard to explain or hide their lack of socially acceptable mates. You now also have a new set of gays who refuse to even hide their sexuality by marrying, having children and searching for same sex,sexual pleasure outside of marriage(down low). These people would account for about 10% to 15% of that data.
    Also missing in that data is the internet revolution and how that has affected both men and women and how they interact with each other. Men and women are now able to get their sex via computer and use sexual toys to satisfy themselves there by eliminating the need to deal with sometime difficult relationship issues.
    There is also the “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” syndrome. I believe that is pretty self explanatory.
    The fact that because Japan is more homogeneous than other countries doesn’t hide the fact that many countries have the same situations. Here in the U.S.many people are getting married later and having fewer children. Even in my own family, which is quite large by American standards, we are facing the extinction of about 10 surnames after the next generation dies off. While one brother married in his 20s the rest of his siblings did not suit. One sister recently got married at 47 after a 18 year courtship and no children and a brother who will be married in the coming year at the age of 53. again no children. This is the first marriage for both siblings and the first marriage for their partners who are in their 50s and 40s respectively. This leave me and another sister who are unmarried and I’m in my really early40s and my sister will be 50. This not unusual, most people that we know are in this very same situation, getting married late in life or not at all. But because of people who for lack of a better word are socially and economically challenged it seems to have skewed the data in the U.S. In other words the poorer the people , the more children. ,
    The one other thing that isn’t mentioned is that this is more detrimental to women than for men. While it may seem to cast a negative light on Japanese men, it is the women are on the losing side of what’s happening in Japan.They suffer not only in financial but cultural standards. Not to be chauvinistic but its more likely that a man will marry a much younger woman than a older woman will marry a much younger man. The biological clock ticks for women the first time she has her period, whereas men have been known to father children in their 60s.
    One one good things is that Japanese on the whole look younger then their age (sorry Jake). So even if they die alone they’ll look between 10 to 20 younger than their real age.

  12. Anon right above me: one hell of a comment. Tonnes of food for thought (and discussion). I believe your most revelatory point is the first one. These sorts of surveys always assume 100% heterosexuality in the human population. Gimme a break! Even if Japan embraces same-sex marriage, these surveys would still be framed as contrived “he said she said” battle of the sexes scenarios.

  13. I’ve been wondering something about the long working hours that Japanese keep having. Basically Japan is internationally very wealthy country and people work long and hard. But when I’m looking at gdp per capita figures both the US and the wealthier European countries like Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, France have about the same or higher gpd per capita levels. Now, I find this interesting because in Europe we have shorter workday than most Japanese do, and also longer holidays, yet it seems like the effectiveness of economy hasn’t suffered because of it.

    Now this of course raises the question of why is that so. Maybe it’s because of the still relatively weak participation of women to the workforce, which leaves smaller segment of population in charge of creating all the wealth, when in Europe the more active participation of women increases economic effectiveness enough to compansate for the shorter time spent on working? Or maybe Japanese company sturctures are simply too rigid and need longer working hours to compansate for it?

    Anyone got any ideas?

  14. What GDP years were you looking at? Japan has changed as mentioned in the article. More and more men are rejecting the old Japanese way of life and work culture. More and more Japanese men are working part time or even not at all getting government subsidies. The amount of overtime has dropped also considerable since the bubble economy of the 80s and 90s. In japan there was a notion of work hard, play hard. After work you were asked (require) to go out and party after work. Most of the salary workers would get up early in the morning, work and then go out with the boss after work(again required)until late. In Japan if you wanted to advance or get a bigger bonus this was a part of work culture. What women used to do was wait until their husbands received their company pensions, which was a one shot deal and for sometimes millions of dollars and divorce him, taking half his pension. Things are different today because such payout are being eliminated and some companies only use the social security system like of here in the U.S..
    One point of contention that isn’t mentioned or admitted by mothers in Japan is that their role in child rearing changed In the late 80s to even now, Japanese nationals living in the U.s. would send their kids to Japanese schools for their education . When their children were sick and the Mothers (who weren’t working) were called to pick up their children, the vast majority made up some excuse about being busy and having other things to do so they couldn’t pick up their sick children.They were out goofing around, just doing it in the daytime. I know this to be true because more than one school employee who was family had this same story and this wasn’t confined to one region of Japan but all regions because these schools catered to Japanese Nationals..The same situation didn’t happen in the U.S. until the internet bubble. At least over in the U.S. they were able to claim they were working..

  15. Hey, anon, are you the same anon from above? ‘Cause if you are, I liked you a whole lot better when you were commenting while sober.
    Let me try to follow here – Among the small percentage of Japanese mothers who reside abroad, among those mothers the tiny percentage living in the US, among those the infinitesimal percentage who have children attending full-time Japanese language schools in the US, and among those the “vast majority”, we have irrefutable proof, courtesy of more than one relative of anon’s, that “…their role in child rearing changed In the late 8os to even now…” which justifies anon’s misogynistic worldview.
    Anon, have they sent out a search party yet from 2chan? You should head home – they must be worried about you.

  16. Gaijinme- Wow! Interesting stuff. Japanese men are still very much a mystery to me; what they say is very much so filtered according to the gender, nationality, etc. of the listener, much more so than I think Western men, so its been difficult for me to feel as if i know what any given Japanese man really thinks. As far as Japanese females, i have heard many times the desire for a “kind” and fatherly husband. And the image of the “traditional male” being destroyed is most certainly true. Japanese women watch American movies and want the same adoring prince that Western women want; not just a cold and distant “provider”.

    Anon- I fail to see how any of your points don’t apply to other countries as well. For many years, gay men in the West also married to conceal their sexuality. (and also, where do you get the 10-15% statistic? a quick google search shows that in most places around the globe, homosexuality occurs in a much smaller percentage).

    In the U.S. many are marrying later – but they DO marry. The point of my article is that for the Japanese, it becomes near impossible to get married after 35 or so. This, I argue, is due to changing expectations for both men and women.

    My other point is that marriage and (especially) birth rates are plummeting faster in Japan than in western countries – which also have experienced the phenomenon of Internet sex, the increasing acceptance of homosexuality, women’s liberation. So why Japan?

    1. I agree with Stephanie “that marriage and (especially) birth rates are plummeting faster in Japan than in western countries – which also have experienced the phenomenon of Internet sex, the increasing acceptance of homosexuality, women’s liberation. So why Japan?” Why indeed.

  17. Stephanie: I really feel for you about the lack of frankness. I think this is true for many nationalities. For example, my own background (hint: “Somewhere in Europe”), asking some simple questions can feel like navigating a minefield. There’s so much defensiveness, like, “You’re a ____, too. You should not need to ask/ should know better.”
    As an outsider, I get a much longer leash to roam on. I absolutely love to tease the shyer Japanese guys. I can also stand my ground with the starched collars. I have no appetite for lighthearted convos with most guys raised in my mother country. Too much baggage or familiarity, maybe?
    Maybe it’s ’cause I’m getting old, but I for one care less and less what guys are thinking. I still care what my fellow humans think, just not “as guys”. Sounds cynical, but it’s actually pretty mellow, and it helps if you like teasing Japanese (and other guys) as much as I do. 🙂

  18. Stephanie, I had taken a a course called “the psychology of deviant sexual behavior” and that where I got that figure that I used. Just as an aside, The problem with studies that deal with the percentage of gays, whether in the U.S. or the rest of the world is that it is very subjective. I have seen studies that place it at a low of 6% to as high as 21% in a Gallop poll. I had to take one of those surveys as part of the course and the problem is that you have to self identify what you are and at the time everyone identified as straight and the instructor said that he had yet to find one person willing to admit to be gay and this was during the Aids crisis. In some studies people are asked questions about their sexual behavior or your leanings, percent of attractiveness toward the opposite and same sex. and they make that determination for you and even if you haven’t acted upon same sex or straight sex you could be labeled straight or gay depending on how you answer questions or how the answers are perceived. by the interviewer. One major problem with world polls of homosexuality is that prejudices still exist in many countries which will skew figures. An example is the Iranian stance that homosexuality doesn’t exist or in Jamaica where holding hands with the same sex will get you beaten to death, people are far less inclined to admit to being gay or bisexual even in confidence. In Latin American countries people marry but participate in bisexual behavior but do not consider themselves gay or even bisexual. There are even countries a person is considered to be homosexual only if they function as the receiver and women wouldn’t even be considered gay because of the lack of pitcher/catcher roles. In Turkey, soldiers can be dismissed from active duty if they claim that they are gay. but they must perform sexually in front of their superiors and they must again function as a bottom and not a top. If they perform as a top then the homosexual claim would be dismissed. .And of course it goes on and on. You have to remember that even in the U.S.y homosexuality was only taken off the list of mental illnesses a couple of years ago.
    You use the word “impossible”. Its rather a strong word to use when describing the possibility of marriage after 45. My point was that just because a certain age group doesn’t seem to be making progress on the marriage front doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I would use the words that marriage is NOT PREFERABLE for these people, What you are showing is the beginning and the middle, but not the end results. In order for that to be true you will have to follow these people to their death. The examples that I used were really people who decided to marry after the age of 45 but don’t represent all the people I know who are over 45. There are many people that I know who aren’t married(never) and are over 45 with no prospects. These people are in the same age groups that you are talking about in your article and don’t seem in any hurry to get married Many people even in Japan seem to be opting to live together, either as a try out or as an alternative to marriage. Even my Mother who is much more conservative than her Mother now advocates living together as opposed to getting married. She used to believe that her children should date our own race and marry before living together. Her stance changed when my brother was the first in our family history to get divorced My brother’s divorce and child are a link to his ex that we can’t eliminate even today and there have been attempts(what a B*tch).
    Another possible reason is that people are living longer and are really not worried about getting married in their 20s when there is another 60 to 70 years left (I’m talking future mortality rates). They are able to do what they want without worrying about time running out. While this does not help the declining birth rates it does raise the question of if the boom in past generations is the problem that Japan is facing. Japan is one of the most populated countries in the world, yet its land mass is the size of California and its livable land is the size of Idaho. Can you imagine putting 126 million people in the state of California. I’m not sure that this amount of attrition, for lack of a better word is necessarily a bad thing. While the World Fact book does rate Japan at near the bottom if you look closely the most developed Asian countries are also at the bottom of the heap as well as Germany, Greece, and Italy, countries that have far fewer people. and are at greater risk even though their birth rate are higher than Japan., And while the U.S. has fared better than Japan, we also have a much larger immigrant .and illegal immigrant population. Many of these people come to the U.S. to obtain citizenship for their children through birth.
    Stephanie my feeling is that as people get older and lonelier and other things fall by the wayside they will find each other And while that may not help current birth rate,, it doesn’t mean. that.future generation are going to have the same views of marriage and children
    i

  19. AndreaC, why do so many Jewish men marry Japanese women? The answer ” Japanese women remind them of the way Jewish mothers used to be. The coined term is “JAP”(Jewish American Princess). The problem is that Japanese women are now no different than there Jewish counterparts. And while I like the misogynist name, I can’t claim the observation and I’ll explain. The observation was made by several Japanese women raised in Japan and working in the Japanese school. They are women who were so appalled by the behavior of these Mothers that it prompted calls to family and friends in Japan. The standard answer was”japan has really changed since you were living here” or “that’s the way it is now”. These women who made these observations were mother who worked and went home to cook and clean. The Japanese Mothers didn’t work because the first of all they can’t speak English and also because of work visa issues even if they wanted. The school employees worked in the school between 15 and 25 years respectively and saw thousands of kids throughout all of Japan and because the parents are Japanese nationals they are here only for a few years and the turnaround is roughly 1//6 the enrollment twice a year or 1/3 enrollment. Some student were coming down to the offices after 1st period and when asked why they didn’t tell their Mother they were sick, the standard answer was”Mommy said I have to go because she has something to do”. It had gotten so bad that additional cots had to be purchased and placed in various spots in the office because there was no room for the students in the nurses office. The greater embarrassment was when a teacher who were called down and asked why their wives couldn’t care for their sick children. Again, this was not once in a while incident but common and annoying for these office worker because they are Japanese women,working and taking care of their households and because they had to care for these kids and they had to neglect their administrative jobs.
    Many Japanese women don’t cook anymore and the ones who do are the one who need the premade or fast food meals the most, single Mothers. Look at the average Japanese kitchen, a 2 burner stove or hotplate and a microwave, In other words a college dorm room. Japan is also the vending machine capital of the world, you can get anything through a vending machine and it has the most Michelin star rated restaurants in the world. That’s saying something considering the ethnic cuisine is mostly whatever was found and eaten just to prevent starvation. Its food was not nearly as refined as it is today
    AndreaC if you get past the man hating attitude maybe you’ll see that this problem with marriage and children could have its hand in the changed child rearing done in Japan and maybe the reason many people are rejecting these institutions is because their childhoods were less than idealist.

  20. ^ Wow, good points. Not to be a jerk, but could you separate your ideas into paragraphs next time? Dyslexia kicks me hard sometimes, but I like to read your thoughts.

  21. anon- if you took a class on the psychology of deviant behavior, and they determined that the natural rate of homosexuality was 21%, were they using Kinsey scale data? i find it hard to believe that one in 5 of my friends is either gay or hiding that they are gay.

    As i pointed out in the article, after the age of 45, only .1% of the Japanese population marries. That seems pretty “impossible” to me.

    I was interested in this article because of my experiences with young Japanese people in Japan. I felt that these statistics and findings corroborated my anecdotal experiences with Japanese women and men.

    It seems, Anon, you are very interested in maintaining traditional gender roles for men and women. I am engaged to a man who comes from Scandinavia, where those roles have come very close to disappearing. For any educated women who has seen the traditional Japanese family and the traditional, say, Danish family – the Western model wins hands down. Sharing the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and even taking maternity/paternity leave makes for a much richer experience for mom, dad, and child, and i think japanese women are starting to see that and want it. Yay for them!

  22. Stephanie, The class didn’t use 21% as a bases. That’s where the 10% came from. Subsequent polls and studies pointed to the 6& to 21% figure. The Gallop poll was one of the one that said 21%. I also find that hard to believe , that why I discounted it. It is hard to tell though because some fields has much higher percentages of gays and lesbians. Working for a nonprofit or the entertainment industry there is a huge gay population and working in what was once a male dominated industry has a much larger lesbian population such police officers.
    . I will tell you the one thing that is going around, concerning age, which is 60 is the new 40 and 50 is the new 30 so we will see when and if these people get married .
    AS far as gender roles, I concern myself more with the roles of homemaker and breadwinner and let’s face it the work place is still male dominated and males still make more money than their females counterparts. Being on both sides of the fence, working 60 to 100 hour and travel, when I got home I didn’t want to do anything until I decompressed and I didn’t want to move or talk. When I made the decision to care for my Mom, I knew it was a 24 hour deal and that it was going to cost me financially and I would lose those years. Caring for an adult is harder than a child because the child grows and becomes more independent while a parent becomes more dependent as time goes by. But I accept it as my decision even though I have 4 brothers and sisters. My thing is to just do it and try to complain as little as possible. At shogatsu, I made the nishime, mochi and sushi. I then had to make the soba at midnight and start cooking again until it was time to make the ozoni sleeping at 8:00a.m.to 11:00 and cooking until 8:00 p.m. While that is an exteme because it was a holiday, I do those things on a daily basis, I cook and clean and do repairs what ever is necessary because that was part of the job and I’m just deal with it. But let’s look at it this way, if a man was a homemaker and spent his wife’s money and played video games when the children were off to school, would you look at it the same way as these women staying at home and going out when the kids are at school 10 to 12 hours a day?

    1. Nobody forces a woman to work outside the home. Paid work for women is a self-indulgent, selfish lifestyle choice. You should have been contented to live within your means and stop being such a greedy, overambitious cow.

  23. Stephanie, I shouldl also mention that when I made the decision to care for my Mother, I was a Chief Financial Officer of a couple of medium sized companies so it wasn’t giving a job as the next fry boy at McDonalds..

    1. Women are brainwashed by the West. A young girl is tricked into believing that if she isn’t some superstar executive making a bucket load of money to spend on useless consumer junk she isn’t a success. When will women grow up and realise money can’t buy happiness. Women trying to be men is funny, but also so tragic.

      1. Everybody is entitled to dream what they’d like. If you were a really content person yourself, you wouldn’t have been judging women that way.

  24. Nakajima san,

    great read and an interesting debate following that –

    Being scando myself (norwegian) I agree with you that the western (especially scando) model wins hands down. It is not only unfair to the women of Japan that they are denied either a family or a job – it is unfair to the men as well, who are forced to work their fingers to the bone. everybody in japan suffers from this, even if they are not aware of it themselves. many have misinterpreted the situation to be a “work balance thing” – while it is in fact a gender balance thing. (circular though)

    In scandinavia it is a problem solved through forced reform – for instance mandatory paternal leave. (if it is not forced, it will not “take” as Japan has experienced since putting gender equality into law in the seventies.) and by our women who are brought up strong enough to straighten our any lazy man.

    what I miss in Japan is the will of people to go into the streets and demand changes. clearly, their cause is just. where is their fight? why are the women not dragging their men to the marches, as my mom dragged our family through the streets in the eighties? why is nothing happening?

    it’s sad, really – the political and social passivity of the japanese citizen.

    K

    1. Scando, if gender equality laws are forced onto a populace, how can that be a good thing? Don’t the good people of Scandinavia believe in freedom? Can men and women freely choose their own gender roles and choose to adopt traditional roles, if they see fit? Scandinavia seems very anti-freedom. You have taken away the right of your women to be full-time wives and mothers and forced them into wage slavery. As for your men, you have brainwashed them into being something they are not. Scandinavia is conducting its own gender war on biology. Scandinavia is very, very bigoted. No wonder the women are so unhappy and the men are turning into homosexuals by the millions. There are now more gays living in Scandinavia than the rest of Europe combined.

  25. love japan hate the work ethic ,and the adultery issue as well as no gaijin vote
    love the people,festivals food and comedy though.

  26. Man-hating feminist analysis:

    Man setting high standards = man overvaluing himself
    woman setting high standards = woman setting high standards

  27. search “marriage strike collapsereport” and you will see what’s really behind all this.

    I think society is so twisted now and women are the most easitly brain washed. It is NOT about chores.

  28. I’m extremely inspired along with your writing abilities as well as with the structure to your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  29. I am extremely inspired with your writing skills as well as with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to peer a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  30. Hmm, Japan has low birth rates because Japanese women are self-centred and lazy and can’t be bothered being good wives and mothers. How truly pathetic and immature of the Japanese woman! She should be deeply ashamed. And what’s all this nonsense about men doing childcare and housework? Why do Japanese women want to be married to men who act like women? Are Japanese women all lesbians or something? I wouldn’t marry a man who did housework. How very effeminate. Japan is rich. You guys should all hire nannies and cleaners, given your two incomes. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with having no children. There are too many Japanese people as it is.

  31. I’m a single Korean woman in 30s. Korean men even do less housework than Japanese men. Therefore I have fear to marry suspecting if it will be the way to an unhappy life. I easily get attached to men so I’ve been avoiding to even date with Korean guys. Because I know myself that if I met someone then I’ll likely get attached ,then, before I know I could be walking in the isle to regret after I got rational when it’s too late. My priority interest is getting fianancially independent and being self sufficient. However, I can see some progress in Korea. Men are expected to raise a child more and to cook. But a societal change is always a bit later and less than our wishes as the statistics show that Korean men still only do 16% while the women do 84% of the housework. If I became a working mother and have to always observe that I’m the one exhausted with cooking, cleaning, washing and raising a child while my husband is doing much less of it, I’ll find it unfair, unhappy, tired, end up hating the husband and being depressed. I secretly dream to meet and marry a westerner even though I know not all of them are nice.
    It is funny how both Japan and Korea scream that their low birth rate is serious.
    What they do is pressuring and blaming on women treating them as if they are born with the mission to give birth like a baby machine.
    No one really cares about women’s happiness but the women themselves.
    It is very natural for the women that they want to be respected.
    The countries that do not respect the women neigther deserve to have more kids nor to stay economically advanced.
    Working like a horse for long hours is effective until a certain level of manufacturing industry when it doesn’t need creativity but it cannot generate the profit being innovative and develop to the next level in such a way.
    Because each individual at workforce is treated as a group of tools rather than an important contributor or a valuable resource.
    Gender imbalance in power blocks the sustainable growth ultimately. Because it shows how the country is insensitive of human rights in general.

    1. It is very sad that people take either sex for granted. There is also something wrong with a society in which men (and women) never come home because the work is endless and the office hours are long. You might consider that Korean men and Japanese men do so much less around the home because they are rarely home. Thank you for writing in.

  32. This is an interesting discussion. I am a 30 year old Southeast Asian woman, I have a stable job and I am independent. I am unmarried, however it was not my choice, it just came to be, and yes as I age I slowly realize that my chances of getting married also lowers. Raising standards is also out of the question, I guess the reality that I am not attractive enough is the main reason for me being single. To balance things, I just try my best to earn and save and “buy” things and experiences to make me happy.

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