1 minute read

Japan

Masculinity And Men's Suicide

Data from the daily time budget survey (1990) suggest that men perform very limited housekeeping work and women spend seven times as much as men spend on housekeeping on weekdays. The data show that men work seven-and-a-half hours per day outside the home, although actual working hours may be longer than nine hours and commuting time one to two hours. Wives do almost 90 percent of chores such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, and laundry. Young men seem willing to take part in domestic tasks, yet the data reveal that they do so for only thirty minutes or less per day.

Because of the economic stagnation that has began in 1995, Japanese employment customs such as lifelong employment and seniority have been abolished. More middle-aged men are unemployed in a society that is highly geared towards information technology. The suicide rate among these men is increasing. There is a deep preconception that men should be strong, reliable breadwinners for family. If they cannot take this role and responsibility, men think they are less than men and lose the traditional identity of fathers. This loss is large enough to cause some men to commit suicide. If the man has insurance, family members can receive a settlement after his death, depending on the case. Recent scholarship has focused on children who have lost fathers by suicide, as the number is increasing.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsJapan - Mating And Marriage, Gender Roles, Masculinity And Men's Suicide, Decreasing Number Of Children - Leave for Working Parents, Conclusion