Young Japanese views on marriage, children and divorce: part 3 of 3

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What is the ideal lifestyle for your wife? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Following up on my recent report into Japanese demographics, in particular the lack of children, here is the results of a survey from the Meiji Yasuda Institute of Life and Wellness, Inc on the views of young Japanese (between the ages of 20 and 39) on marriage, birth and divorce. In February of this year they surveyed 759 people (I think it was by face-to-face interviews, but it is not clear from the survey) from the Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa areas (basically the capital city and surrounding prefectures). As the detailed demographics are important to this survey, I’ll present them within the main text.

In the final part we look at how people meet; for me, I’d definitely be in the “Other” category, as the tale of how I met my wife is perhaps not an unusual method for foreigners (no, I wasn’t her English teacher!), but the circumstances surrounding it were quite interesting. Basically, the timing was perfect for both of us, but if any one thing had happened differently we may never have lasted more than one or two dates; even an earthquake in Portland played a part…

Q11A: How do you expect to meet a partner? (Sample size=417, single people, multiple answer)

  All Male, N=232 Female, N=185
Introduction from friends 53.8% 51.6% 56.6%
At same company or workplace 38.1% 33.3% 44.2%
Hobby or sports group 29.1% 22.5% 37.3%
Dating party 19.3% 22.5% 15.2%
Schooldays classmate, etc 18.9% 19.6% 18.1%
On the street or on travel 14.8% 18.4% 10.2%
Customer at work 13.9% 10.5% 18.1%
At school reunion 11.4% 11.9% 10.8%
Omiai 7.9% 8.8% 6.8%
Introduction from boss or colleague 7.0% 6.2% 8.0%
Introduction from parents or relatives 6.6% 5.3% 8.2%
Childhood friend 5.9% 4.6% 7.5%
Omiai party 3.3% 3.4% 3.2%
Matchmaking service 2.9% 2.6% 3.2%
Internet site 1.8% 2.7% 0.6%
Other 1.2% 2.1% 0.0%
Don’t have any expectation 18.8% 19.0% 18.6%
No answer 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Q11B: How did you actually meet a partner? (Sample size=417, single people, multiple answer)

  All Male, N=232 Female, N=185
Introduction from friends 44.4% 47.3% 40.8%
At same company or workplace 36.8% 34.5% 39.7%
Hobby or sports group 13.3% 12.9% 13.8%
Dating party 21.0% 24.0% 17.1%
Schooldays classmate, etc 42.4% 42.2% 42.6%
On the street or on travel 7.8% 6.6% 9.3%
Customer at work 7.3% 6.6% 8.2%
At school reunion 1.7% 2.4% 0.9%
Omiai 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%
Introduction from boss or colleague 1.6% 2.5% 0.4%
Introduction from parents or relatives 1.4% 1.6% 1.1%
Childhood friend 2.1% 1.3% 3.0%
Omiai party 1.4% 1.2% 1.6%
Matchmaking service 0.3% 0.0% 0.6%
Internet site 6.7% 5.9% 7.8%
Other 3.6% 3.1% 4.3%
Not met anyone yet 8.1% 7.0% 9.5%
No answer 0.2% 0.4% 0.0%

Q12: What sort of person will your marriage partner be? (Sample size=417, single people, multiple answer, free choice)

Rank Male choice Percentage Female choice Percentage
1 Good character 84.1% Good character 81.3%
2 Same values as me 64.7% Fun to be with 78.3%
3 Fun to be with 63.0% Same values as me 77.9%
4 Healthy 55.0% Healthy 67.3%
5 Nice figure or looks 45.7% Financially sound 60.0%
6 Normal family 42.4% Secure job 57.5%
7 Shared interests 36.4% Cares about my parents 45.4%
8 Respects my current job 33.5% Shared interests 45.3%
9 Thinks the same about having or not having kids 28.1% Thinks the same about having or not having kids 40.3%
10 Cares about my parents 28.0% Doesn’t interfere more than necessary 33.6%

I think the last one from the women is concern about perhaps the man being too controlling?

Q13: After marriage, how far from your parent’s house do you want to live? (Sample size=417, single people)

  All Men Women
Live together 6.5% 7.7% 4.9%
Live nearby 53.6% 41.0% 69.2%
Live further away 39.4% 50.5% 25.6%
Parents dead or no answer 0.5% 0.8% 0.3%

For those who wanted to live near their parents, they were asked how far away in minutes of travel time; the average time was almost 34 minutes for both men and women. Just about half the sample for both sexes and all age groups chose between 15 and 30 minutes journey time.

Q14A: What is the ideal lifestyle for a married woman? (Sample size=232, single men)

Working mother 49.7%
Have children but not work 26.0%
Full-time housewife without children 0.8%
Work without children (DINKS) 2.6%
Other 6.8%
No answer 14.1%

Almost two-thirds of men between 35 and 39 years old were in favour of working mothers.

Q14B: What is the ideal lifestyle for a woman? (Sample size=185, single women)

Working mother 62.8%
Have children but not work 25.9%
Full-time housewife without children 1.0%
Work without children (DINKS) 4.7%
Work but never marry 4.4%
Neither work nor marry 0.0%
Other 1.3%
No answer 0.0%

Women became less keen on being working mothers as they got older; 72.3% of those in their early twenties were in favour of that option versus 51.1% of those in their thirties.

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

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2 comments »

  1. Gogo said,
    September 6, 2009 @ 23:55

    Q14A: What is the ideal lifestyle for a married woman? (Sample size=232, single men)
    Working mother 49.7%

    Okay. That confirms my suspicion. This poll is pretty skewed. No need to take it too seriously.

  2. Gato said,
    January 12, 2010 @ 00:45

    I liked your report, I have a japanese girlfriend (of course i am not japanese) so… I guess It will be very useful for me to know all about it.

    Thank you.

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