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


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)

 AllMale, N=232Female, N=185
Introduction from friends53.8%51.6%56.6%
At same company or workplace38.1%33.3%44.2%
Hobby or sports group29.1%22.5%37.3%
Dating party19.3%22.5%15.2%
Schooldays classmate, etc18.9%19.6%18.1%
On the street or on travel14.8%18.4%10.2%
Customer at work13.9%10.5%18.1%
At school reunion11.4%11.9%10.8%
Introduction from boss or colleague7.0%6.2%8.0%
Introduction from parents or relatives6.6%5.3%8.2%
Childhood friend5.9%4.6%7.5%
Omiai party3.3%3.4%3.2%
Matchmaking service2.9%2.6%3.2%
Internet site1.8%2.7%0.6%
Don’t have any expectation18.8%19.0%18.6%
No answer0.0%0.0%0.0%

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

 AllMale, N=232Female, N=185
Introduction from friends44.4%47.3%40.8%
At same company or workplace36.8%34.5%39.7%
Hobby or sports group13.3%12.9%13.8%
Dating party21.0%24.0%17.1%
Schooldays classmate, etc42.4%42.2%42.6%
On the street or on travel7.8%6.6%9.3%
Customer at work7.3%6.6%8.2%
At school reunion1.7%2.4%0.9%
Introduction from boss or colleague1.6%2.5%0.4%
Introduction from parents or relatives1.4%1.6%1.1%
Childhood friend2.1%1.3%3.0%
Omiai party1.4%1.2%1.6%
Matchmaking service0.3%0.0%0.6%
Internet site6.7%5.9%7.8%
Not met anyone yet8.1%7.0%9.5%
No answer0.2%0.4%0.0%

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

RankMale choicePercentageFemale choicePercentage
1Good character84.1%Good character81.3%
2Same values as me64.7%Fun to be with78.3%
3Fun to be with63.0%Same values as me77.9%
5Nice figure or looks45.7%Financially sound60.0%
6Normal family42.4%Secure job57.5%
7Shared interests36.4%Cares about my parents45.4%
8Respects my current job33.5%Shared interests45.3%
9Thinks the same about having or not having kids28.1%Thinks the same about having or not having kids40.3%
10Cares about my parents28.0%Doesn’t interfere more than necessary33.6%

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)

Live together6.5%7.7%4.9%
Live nearby53.6%41.0%69.2%
Live further away39.4%50.5%25.6%
Parents dead or no answer0.5%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 mother49.7%
Have children but not work26.0%
Full-time housewife without children0.8%
Work without children (DINKS)2.6%
No answer14.1%

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 mother62.8%
Have children but not work25.9%
Full-time housewife without children1.0%
Work without children (DINKS)4.7%
Work but never marry4.4%
Neither work nor marry0.0%
No answer0.0%

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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  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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