Japanese Culture

Family

The Japanese feel a heightened sense of belonging and loyalty to their family as interdependence is emphasised in the collectivist society. Individuals are expected to serve their family’s interest before their own and show preferential treatment to fellow family members. Furthermore, families also have a collective face in Japan. The act of a single individual impacts the perception of one’s family name by others. 

The typical Japanese household follows the nuclear family model; however, the extended family is usually kept in close proximity and is visited often. Paternal grandparents may live with their family as they grow older, but Japan’s small living spaces usually limit multigenerational household situations. 

The archetypal Japanese man works 6 days a week for long hours. It was once considered inappropriate for mothers to hold jobs. While, gender equality is now embraced, with women receiving equal educational and employment opportunities, men still dominate the workforce. 

Within the family, the structure is generally patriarchal. The husband/father is expected to be the breadwinner and receive the utmost respect from his family. The wife and children should facilitate his home-life needs as much as possible. Most mothers devote their time to domestic duties and raising children. They have a lot of authority in their households over their children. They make most of the decisions for their children’s future, seeking the best educational opportunities available to them. 

Many Japanese parents are utterly devoted to their children’s success. They want their children to receive a good education and attend university. However, this is often expressed in a way that places heavy expectations on the child to excel to reach their parent’s aspirations – particularly in wealthier families. 

Dating and Marriage
Dating practices in Japan are similar to those in Western cultures. Children usually start dating around the age of 15 but only get married at an average age of 26/27. 

When a couple does marry, the wedding can be very elaborate. The bride and groom may have multiple outfits for photographs and the ceremony, varying between traditional kimonos and modern dress. Guests may give typical wedding gifts or money to the couple and may even leave with a gift from the couple.
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