Lifestyles of the Japanese (2007 version): part 3 of 3

Why do you work? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office Japan recently released the results of a survey they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic conducted two years ago, which may be useful as a cross-reference. See also part 3 of the survey from 2005.

Demographics

Between the 5th and 22nd of July 2007 10,000 members of the public were randomly selected from presumably the electoral rolls. Of that number, 6,086 people actually took part in the survey, conducted by means of face-to-face interviews. The sample was 53.2% female, 9.1% in their twenties, 14.5% in their thirties, 15.4% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.7% in their sixties, 15.2% in their seventies, and 4.5% aged eighty or older. In addition, 8.7% lived alone, 24.4% with a spouse, 48.9% in a nuclear household, 15.6% with grandparents or grandchildren, 0.7% in other types of family environment, and 1.7% in other non-family-based living arrangements. 73.7% were married, 12.1% divorced or widowed, 14.0% unmarried, and 0.2% did not answer. 80.2% lived in an owned house, 2.5% in an owned apartment, 3.9% in a rented home, 10.8% in a rented apartment, 0.3% in a company house, 1.6% in a company apartment, 0.4% in other arrangements, and 0.1% didn’t know where they lived. Finally, 27.2% were daily internet browsers at home or work, 16.5% were occasional browsers, 6.8% just used email, and 49.1% barely used it at all, with 0.4% don’t knows.

It’s been an interesting survey; almost all positive answers are up one or two percentage points on last time, although it isn’t clear as to why there has been this slight improvement. Perhaps the outlook for the economy doesn’t look quite as gloomy as it did two years ago?
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Lifestyles of the Japanese (2007 version): part 2 of 3

In your daily life, do you have time to take a break or pursue your interests, etc? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office Japan recently released the results of a survey they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic conducted two years ago, which may be useful as a cross-reference. See also part 2 of the survey from 2005.

Demographics

Between the 5th and 22nd of July 2007 10,000 members of the public were randomly selected from presumably the electoral rolls. Of that number, 6,086 people actually took part in the survey, conducted by means of face-to-face interviews. The sample was 53.2% female, 9.1% in their twenties, 14.5% in their thirties, 15.4% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.7% in their sixties, 15.2% in their seventies, and 4.5% aged eighty or older. In addition, 8.7% lived alone, 24.4% with a spouse, 48.9% in a nuclear household, 15.6% with grandparents or grandchildren, 0.7% in other types of family environment, and 1.7% in other non-family-based living arrangements. 73.7% were married, 12.1% divorced or widowed, 14.0% unmarried, and 0.2% did not answer. 80.2% lived in an owned house, 2.5% in an owned apartment, 3.9% in a rented home, 10.8% in a rented apartment, 0.3% in a company house, 1.6% in a company apartment, 0.4% in other arrangements, and 0.1% didn’t know where they lived. Finally, 27.2% were daily internet browsers at home or work, 16.5% were occasional browsers, 6.8% just used email, and 49.1% barely used it at all, with 0.4% don’t knows.

I decided to highlight the figures from Q6 that suggest one in five feel they have plenty of spare time and 44.2% have some; this compares to a recent survey from MyVoice where just 46% felt they had free time. This apparent disparity can be explained partially by the sample sizes; 40% of the sample here is past retirement age, so no doubt they have much more free time than the MyVoice community, which has a high percentage of young office workers and housewifes with school-age children.
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Lifestyles of the Japanese (2007 version): part 1 of 3

How fulfilled do you feel in your daily life? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office Japan recently released the results of a survey they conducted into citizens’ lifestyles. I translated a survey on the same topic conducted two years ago, which may be useful as a cross-reference. See also part 1 of the survey from 2005.

Demographics

Between the 5th and 22nd of July 2007 10,000 members of the public were randomly selected from presumably the electoral rolls. Of that number, 6,086 people actually took part in the survey, conducted by means of face-to-face interviews. The sample was 53.2% female, 9.1% in their twenties, 14.5% in their thirties, 15.4% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.7% in their sixties, 15.2% in their seventies, and 4.5% aged eighty or older. In addition, 8.7% lived alone, 24.4% with a spouse, 48.9% in a nuclear household, 15.6% with grandparents or grandchildren, 0.7% in other types of family environment, and 1.7% in other non-family-based living arrangements. 73.7% were married, 12.1% divorced or widowed, 14.0% unmarried, and 0.2% did not answer. 80.2% lived in an owned house, 2.5% in an owned apartment, 3.9% in a rented home, 10.8% in a rented apartment, 0.3% in a company house, 1.6% in a company apartment, 0.4% in other arrangements, and 0.1% didn’t know where they lived. Finally, 27.2% were daily internet browsers at home or work, 16.5% were occasional browsers, 6.8% just used email, and 49.1% barely used it at all, with 0.4% don’t knows.

There seems a high level of general satisfaction with their current lifestyles, which goes against the typical foreigner’s (or perhaps I hang out in the wrong neighbourhood?) perception of the miserable wage slave slogging his life away on pointless work. Perhaps the true answer is a mix of the two images; or perhaps it is my bias, the average worker is accepting of his lot.
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Just one in ten wants life in the slow lane

Do you have financial room to breath? graph of japanese statisticsJapan could do with more slow lifestyles and slow food, as the impression I get in my working life is that I myself barely get any time to breath, so I don’t know how my colleagues who are in the office far longer than I cope. To find out how the average person felt about their leisure or lack thereof, MyVoice performed a survey about lifestyles.

Demographics

Over the first five days of August 2007 12,308 members of the MyVoice online community successfully completed an online survey. 54% of the sample was female, 2% in their teens, 17% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 27% in their forties, and 15% in their fifties.

For the sake of this survey, Slow Life was explained as “even if it is inconvenient, live the natural life for yourself surrounded by nature”; Fast Life was “even if it takes money, live a luxurious and convenient life with all the city benefits in a gadget-rich environment”.

I’d love to see the breakdown of the answers in Q2 by type of employment. I feel I have little room to spare for me alone (although we have enough time as a couple) but I don’t know how my colleagues feel. I suspect (or worry) that they are resigned to week-days being written off, and the image of Japanese salarymen is that at weekends they more often than not do their own thing golfing, fishing, gambling or whatever.
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Japanese and today’s society: part 3 of 3

How many children would be best for you to have? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Between the 18th of January and the 4th of February the Cabinet Office Japan conducted a survey into what people thought about society.

Demographics

10,000 people were selected randomly from all Japanese citizens aged 20 or older for face-to-face interviews. 5,585 people were available and agreed to take part. 54.5% of the sample was female, 7.9% in their twenties, 14.8% in their thirties, 15.2% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.8% in their sixties, 15.4% in their seventies, and 4.8% aged 80 or older. 74.6% were married, 11.8% were divorced or widowed, and 13.5% never married.

Another knee-jerk from many in the foreign community was when Japan’s Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa talked about it being only natural that couples want at least two children. Some bloggers did go against the trend, I’m glad to say, and this survey shows that the majority of married people want, in fact, three children, and even the younger generation much prefer two to one or zero.

At least the topic of children brings out the brighter side of the Japanese. Education costs are a major concern, as even most public schools require the parents to pay for the basics like text books..
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Japanese and today’s society: part 2 of 3

Should love for your country be fostered more in society? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Between the 18th of January and the 4th of February the Cabinet Office Japan conducted a survey into what people thought about society.

Demographics

10,000 people were selected randomly from all Japanese citizens aged 20 or older for face-to-face interviews. 5,585 people were available and agreed to take part. 54.5% of the sample was female, 7.9% in their twenties, 14.8% in their thirties, 15.2% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.8% in their sixties, 15.4% in their seventies, and 4.8% aged 80 or older. 74.6% were married, 11.8% were divorced or widowed, and 13.5% never married.

People do not seem very enamoured by the government in Q7! As in part 1, in Q11 and Q12 there seems to be significantly more pessimists than optimists. Interestingly, however, is that in Q8 “cohesiveness of the people”, perhaps another way of phrasing “homogeneous”, comes very low in the list of praiseworthy aspects of Japan, despite what Bummei Ibuki might think. Personally speaking, I have to agree with him on this if you look at the data from a statistical viewpoint.
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Japanese and today’s society: part 1 of 3

Do you play your part as a member of society? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Between the 18th of January and the 4th of February the Cabinet Office Japan conducted a survey into what people thought about society.

Demographics

10,000 people were selected randomly from all Japanese citizens aged 20 or older for face-to-face interviews. 5,585 people were available and agreed to take part. 54.5% of the sample was female, 7.9% in their twenties, 14.8% in their thirties, 15.2% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.8% in their sixties, 15.4% in their seventies, and 4.8% aged 80 or older. 74.6% were married, 11.8% were divorced or widowed, and 13.5% never married.

This first part is rather depressing, as can be seen in Q4 and Q5 where people see the darker side of society much more clearly, although this can be offset by the personal society-oriented opinions expressed in the earlier questions. I’m not sure exactly what Q6A and Q6B are saying. Successful people, on the whole, get there due to effort, but perhaps “successful” here refers to people who inherit rather than work for their wealth, such as many politicians or ex-politicians who land cushy jobs on retirement due to the practise of amakudari.
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Nibbles

About how often do you eat snacks? graph of japanese opinionFollowing on from yesterday’s survey where we learnt that the Japanese on the whole will be watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ at home, MyVoice also surveyed their community at the start of May to find out what they thought about snacking, perhaps whilst watching the football on the TV. 14,171 people responded to their private internet survey. 46% were male, 22% were in their twenties, 40% in their thirties, 25% in their forties, and 13% in their fifties.

The particular type of snacks considered is おつまみ, otsumami, a word that refers to finger food that is consumed with a drink, usually of an alcoholic variety. When exactly a snack becomes an otsumami is one of these mysteries of the Orient; does a biscuit with a cup of tea count? A large slice of cake doesn’t seem to, but how small does it have to be to become an otsumami? An individually wrapped shop-bought cake slice counts but a home-baked and cut doesn’t? Who knows!

For more information about the drinks that might be consumed whilst snacking at home, please consult my earlier translation of a survey into alcohol at home.
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Even time is miniaturised in Japan

With the Golden Week holidays coming up fast in Japan, goo Ranking published the results of a survey on how long a holiday their regular readers were taking. As with most of the goo Rankings, sex and age demographics are not available; as I understand it the votes were though a presumably anonymous web poll. In the results, the top vote score 100 points, with the relative number of votes for the options expressed as percentage points, I believe.

Golden Week refers to the sequence of holidays at the start of May in Japan; the first holiday, みどりの日, midori no hi, Greenery Day is in fact on the 29th of April but it usually doesn’t technically count as part of Golden Week (don’t ask why!). This day used to be the previous Emporer’s Birthday Holiday, 天皇誕生日, tenno tanjobi, a national holiday (the current one is on the 23rd of December), so when the previous Emperor Showa died, they decided to keep the day as a holiday, so they renamed it to Greenery Day.

Returning to the main topic, the three main holidays start on the 3rd of May with 憲法記念日, kenpo ki’nenbi, Constitution Memorial Day, followed by 国民の休日, kokumin no kyujitsu, National People’s Day on the 4th, then こどもの日, kodomo no hi, Children’s Day on the 5th. In my case, work is shut down for the whole week, plus I’ve booked this Friday off as a personal holiday, so I have ten days off. Note that this means that my posting frequency might decrease next week.
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Most Japanese wear glasses: part 2 of 2

Top spectacle wearers in Japan, Atsuya Furuta, Yasuko Mitsuura, and Arare chan[part 1] [part 2]

Following on from a previous survey that looked at toothbrush habits, this survey addresses another popular stereotype of the Japanese, the wearing of spectacles. DIMSDRIVE Research interviewed 7,851 members of their internet monitor group, 56.9% female, by means of an internet-based questionnaire. The age demographics were 1.5% teenagers, 20.8% in their twenties, 35.6% in their thirties, 25.6% in their forties, 11.7% in their fifties, and 4.8% aged sixty or older.

I found it a bit strange that many of the women voted for seemed to be more a list of sexy women who have once or twice been photographed wearing glasses rather than a list of regular wearers who suit them.

Also, Mari’s Diary recently published an entry regarding eyeglass fetishes.
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