Public Seminar: The Real Story Behind Japan’s Marriage Crisis

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In this special public seminar, sociologist and opinion-maker, Professor Masahiro Yamada (Chuo University) joins us to examine the reasons behind Japan’s falling marriage rate and what the future holds for the country’s ‘parasite singles’.

Joining Prof Yamada in discussion will be Professor Joy Hendry, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University.

ABSTRACT
It is not just that the rate of marriage per se is declining in Japan, relationships between men and women are not actively developing in toto. The reasons for this are 1) the expectation that men ought to shoulder the burden of paying for household expenses after marriage continues to be strong, 2) the incomes of young men have become increasingly unstable, and 3) almost all unmarried people continue to live in with their parents. In short, although people would like to form ‘traditional families’ (nuclear families) of their own, the economic circumstances will not allow this and the number of unmarrieds who continue to live in their parent’s home as ‘parasite singles’ is increasing instead. One consequence of this is that young people are increasingly attracted to ‘virtual romance’ in anime and with idols.
ABSTRACT

It is not just that the rate of marriage per se is declining in Japan, relationships between men and women are not actively developing in toto. The reasons for this are 1) the expectation that men ought to shoulder the burden of paying for household expenses after marriage continues to be strong, 2) the incomes of young men have become increasingly unstable, and 3) almost all unmarried people continue to live with their parents. In short, although people would like to form ‘traditional families’ (nuclear families) of their own, the economic circumstances will not allow this and the number of unmarrieds who continue to live in their parents’ home as ‘parasite singles’ is increasing instead. One consequence of this is that young people are increasingly attracted to ‘virtual romance’ in anime and with idols.

Date: 6 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, London

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