Marriage In Japan; Does It Change?

1229 words - 5 pages

In Japan, getting married is one of big events in one’s life and many young people hope to get married and family with someone in their future. These days, various types of marriage life is existed, but stereotypical image of household, men work outside to feed their family and women take care of household, is still alive within Japanese people. To examine concept of Japanese marriage, I want to discuss about main characteristics of gender system of Japan in marital life and institution of marriage in Japan.
In Japanese marriage and conjugal roles, I think that many people still believed that “men work outside of home and women do house work and child caring” is ideal gender system in the ...view middle of the document...

When I forcing on women, I think there are more expectations for women to be a wife compared to the expectations for men to be husband. According to White, in many families, wives manage family budget, take care of children, cook the meal for their family, clean the house, do laundry, and participate in P.T.A or resident’ association assembly (1987: 153). For these daily tasks, women are expected to be good manager of money, care-giver of whole house, and so on. Some men say that they can work hard and devote their time to work and they have no worry about household because their wives do everything about the house. In that point, many men expected that women should be able to do anything about household to make their husband to concentrate their work, not to worry about their house. Conversely, men think that their job is to earn money and feed their family. These ways of thinking can be considered as gender system in Japanese society.
When I think about the institution of Japanese marriage, I think it is not changing because there are various problems remained which include stereotypical image of gender role, low use rate of social systems, and women’s working environment.
As I mentioned in first part of this essay, I think many people consider that “men should work outside and women should take care of the household”, and the way of thinking is deeply rooted in Japanese people. Evidently, it is shown by research for families with children under six, husbands do housework only 17 minutes per a day on average compared to that of wives, about 2 hours 39 minutes. (Nihon no Ronten 2000 1999b: 688; cited in Mathews 2003: 117). As we can see from this result, since many men devote most of their time to their work, women need to take care of household automatically. There are companies that provide household caring services or baby-sitter instead of busy couples; however, these systems are not common in Japan. Many people unwilling to rely on these services because they think that taking care of their household should be done by themselves.
Second one is low rate of use of social systems; especially I want to focus on paternity leave. Even though more than 10 years have passed since paternity leave was accepted by law, it is still uncommon in Japanese society. As it is discussed in the Ota’s article, the rate of paternity leave is about 0.16 percent in middle of 1996 (1999: 86). More recent data, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, in 2013, it was 2.63 percent...

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