The divorce rate in Japan is estimated to be 27% of the 128 million population. Out of every 3 marriages, one end up in divorce. In a post in 2011, I quoted from a excerpt and stated that:
“In 2008, a record number of 251,000 divorces took place. In Japan, the breadwinner of the household was historically the male. Men used to enjoy the benefits of job security for a lifetime, but this is no longer the case in this climate of economic uncertainty. Today women are more educated, and as a result, they enjoy more financial independence. Some argue that this is a contributing factor in the increased number of divorces in Japan.”
However, a recent online survey of 721 Japanese women also showed that playing video games was the fourth most cited reason for splitting up with a spouse. Furthermore, women aged between teens to 60 plus said that adultery, alcoholism and overspending were greater grounds for divorcing their husbands. There were also less offensive options like sleeping in until noon on the weekends and differing “approaches to cleanliness” that contributed to divorce. Some women claim that their husbands, in their devotion to their companies, came home late and hardly had any time for their families even after being married for 20 years. And the list could go on.
The Love Chapter.
Western Style wedding ceremonies are very common in Japan, which is a typical Protestant ceremony style. Apparently, Japanese do this to make a fashion statement. Besides that weddings are a $20 billion industry in Japan. But the point of marriage is not how great the ceremony is, but how long people stay married. Typically part of 1 Corinthians 13 is read from the Bible. After the reading, there is a prayer and a short message, explaining the sanctity of the wedding vows (seiyaku). Some argue that the divorce rate may have slowed done partly because fewer couples are getting married, while some prefer to remain single. Then there’s also a very low birth rate, and 300,000 abortions take place annually. On the top of that Japan is aging faster than any country in history so we need to see an increase in the birth rate.
The Traditional and The Modern.
Traditionally, it is said that men don’t enter the kitchen partly because this was reserved for the women. Nonetheless, that has shifted to a great extent in modern day, and today more women are found in the workplace. Sono-san, a female novelist, wrote in an article that “women should leave their company when they have babies and kosodate suru (子育てする, raise their children) for some years. This will work if society makes it possible for them to saishūshoku suru (再就職する, get a job again) after their children get older.” Surely, even Shinzo Abe had proposed a ikukyū sannen (育休3年, three-year child-care leave) for women in the workplace to alleviate their dilemma.
Though many, including women, support Abe’s proposal Sono-san also believes that this can meiwaku senban (迷 惑千万, causes a lot of trouble) for companies because they cannot easily hire a new person for a position that will be vacated by someone who will later come back from maternity leave, since people in the same department have to cover for the person taking leave. According to her onna no teki wa onna 女の敵は女 (meaning- women’s enemies are women). And the majority of both men and women still support the idea that a mother’s place is in the home. What are we missing then?