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Lifestyle pattern of Japanese

About Japanese family

The average life spans of Japanese people is about 82 years (Man:79 years / Woman:86 years) and is the longest in the world.
And this is increasing gradually every year.

By contraries, a woman have only about 1.3 children in a lifetime on an average now.

So Japan has a rapidly aging population, and the population of Japan has already begun to decrease.
It is about 127 million now, but the predicted population in 2050 is about 100 million.

Works are concentrated in cities, so it results in a population flow from agricultural areas to cities.
Especially young people migrate in city area away from their parents.

Most families in city area live with young parents and a few their children.
The children can meet their grandparents when their parents go back hometown only a few times in a year.
So the children have only a little chances that they know the traditional information, wisdom and the pasttime of the family.

Probably many local traditional cultures are losing bit by bit.

About living

In Japan, there are three big city areas. They are Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas.
The population of Tokyo area is 34 million, Osaka area is 18 million, and Nagoya area is 11 million. These total of population is about half of Japan.

Because such many people is concentrated, we must solve a difficult problem if we hope to get a new house in the areas.
If we hope to live near central part of city, we need the huge amounts of money to buy.
If we hope to buy a reasonable house, the target is far from the city.

Of course, the common solution is the latter.
So the commuting time for workers is very long.
In Tokyo area if it takes about one hour, you are happy. It's no wonder that it takes two hours.

Additionally the living space in Japan is narrow. Once Westerner said "It's like rabbit hutches", and I think it's right in a sense.

In city area, we can get easily a "Mansion" as living space.
Mansion in Japanese don't mean luxurious house but condominium.
Generally it has 2 or 3 rooms and dining room with kitchen, and if it has 4 rooms, it is in large class.

In the country, almost houses are single family homes.
However the number of rooms in a house is not large.
The house in the country have a garden, but we can't find it at many single family homes in the city.

Anyway, Japan is a narrow land.

About working

It's said that Japanese people is diligent.
There is no wonder that they work overtime and on holiday, but they don't (can't) take fully their paid holidays in a year.

Japanese people have been thinking that working hard is virtue and training in life.
That may come from teachings of Buddhism.
After the World War II, all Japanese worked very diligently and achieved rapid growth in the 1960s.
As a result, the quality of life has rose and Japanese almost have considered themselves middle-class.

However after bubble economy burst in the 1990s, many Japanese companies moved into pay-per-performance system to reduce costs. They have given up their lifetime employment systems.
This may need the companies to survival, but people have felt less loyal to company.

Obviously the mind of Japanese to work is changing.

About eating

Because working is most important for Japanese people, it spends a good many hours of the day.
Generally Japanese have 3 meals a day, but the time for each meal is short.

In the morning, most people spend only a quarter at most for breakfast, because they must go out to work.
Commonly lunch break starts at 12 and is within an hour. We have lunch and take a break for this short time.
The dinner in the evening also rdinarily finishes within an hour.

Most Japanese are accostomed to speedy eating.
Japanese people use chopsticks for eating.
Generally we use them with our right hand, and we may hold a bowl of rice and soup with the other hand.
So we eat the food from the bowl brought close to our mouth. (If you are left-handed, transpose "right" to "left".)
I think that the pose makes the speedy eating.

Many workers work overtime, and the office is far from home.
So unfortunately most of family can't meet all members for dinner on weekday.

About leisure

For Japanese there are 3 chances of vacation in a year.
The first is the year-end and New Year holidays.
The second is "Golden week holidays" from the end of April to the begin of May. This period have some national holidays.
The third is the summer vacation. Generally it is in mid-August, but some companies make the workers to determine the period.
The length of the vacations is from a few days to about ten days.

During these vacations many Japanese go back to their hometown or go on a trip.
So expressways and trains are extremely crowded.
And other many Japanese travel overseas in these periods, so all international airports also are crowded.

In Japan, many companies have implemented the five-day work week since the 1980s, so people go out at ordinary weekend.



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