Japanese Culture

Family

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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.

Marriage and Dating
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.
Japan
  • Population
    126,702,133
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Japanese (official)
  • Religions
    Shintoism (79.2%)
    Buddhism (66.8%)
    Christianity (1.5%)
    Other (7.1%)
    [2012 est.]
    Note: Total adherents exceeds 100% because many people practice both Shintoism and Buddhism.
  • Ethnicities
    Japanese (98.5%)
    Chinese (0.5%)
    Korean (0.42%)
    Filipino (0.16%)
    Brazilian (0.15%)
    [2012 est.]
    Note: The Ministry of Justice in Japan correlates nationality with ethnicity; they have no official data on the actual ethnic breakdown of people in Japan.
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 54
    Individualism 46
    Masculinity 95
    Uncertainty Avoidance 92
    Long Term Orientation 88
    Indulgence 42
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  • Australians with Japanese Ancestry
    65,708 [2016 census]
Japanese in Australia
  • Population
    42,421
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Japan.
  • Average Age
    36
  • Gender
    Males (68.3%)
    Females (31.7%)
  • Religion
    No Religion (52.6%)
    Buddhism (26.3%)
    Catholic Christianity (4.1%)
    Other (12.4%)
  • Ancestry
    Japanese (82.7%)
    Australian (5.1%)
    English (3%)
    Chinese (1.2%)
    Other (7.9%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Japanese (79.1%)
    English (17.4%)
    Mandarin (0.6%)
    Other (2.3%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 79.5% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (34.2%)
    Queensland (29.2%)
    Victoria (19.3%)
    Western Australia (10.1%)
  • Arrival
    Prior to 2001 (42.1%)
    2001-2006 (25.1%)
    2007-2011 (26.3%)
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