Why Japanese Men Do Not Do Housework

Why Japanese Men Do Not Do Housework Japan

The news that “Japanese men do the least housework in the world” has become a trending topic. However, 30 years ago, the idea was that “housework should be done by women” in other countries as well.

So why does Japan’s share of housework so low?

Here are some facts about Japan.

Japanese men work long hours.

Long working hours are one of the most common reasons why Japanese men do not do housework.

Japanese men work for about 47 hours per week, which is almost double the 20 hours for women.

This has led to a disproportionate burden of housework on women, who have fewer hours. In order to increase the share of housework among Japanese men, the issue of the working environment will be unavoidable.

Japanese men are less likely to take childcare leave.

Even in countries with high rates of housework sharing, such as France and Sweden, there are not so many dual-earner households in which men do housework from the beginning. In many cases, men began to focus on housework as soon as they had children and became aware of their responsibilities as fathers. That is the only time when men need to take childcare leave.

In Japan, childcare leave for men exists, but only 3% of men take it. However, a survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government found that 68% of men want to take childcare leave. We see a situation where nearly 60% of men want to take childcare leave but are holding back. We can assert that issues in the working environment are also affecting the rate of housework sharing.

Values for housework are the exact opposite of those overseas.

Overseas, housework is perceived as something that should be “easy”.

In Japan, on the other hand, there is a tendency to think that housework should be done carefully and neatly. In other countries, it can be simply said, “If you are busy, it can’t be manageable. Women also seem to have a strong intention that housework must be done properly. Even if the husband cleans the house on his day off, the housewife may think, “I have to do this every day! I have to do this every day!
If there is even a little bit of dirt left, the woman may have to redo the job and it is not counted as housework. One of the reasons for the low rate of housework sharing may be that the hurdles for housework are significantly higher than in other countries, and that there is a gap between men and women in the frequency of housework involvement.

Social status for stay-at-home housewives

One of the reasons for the demand for perfection in housework is related to the social status of full-time housewives in Japan. Even today, when there are calls for women to advance in society, there are still a certain number of women who want to become full-time housewives. It is evident that Japanese people value housework, saying that “full-time housewives should also be paid a salary.

In other countries, the value system is that “working is the only way to contribute to society, and being a full-time housewife is the same as being unemployed. The Japanese value of a full-time housewife as a professional housekeeper would be difficult to understand in other countries.

As a result, it is difficult to get over the perception that “housework is something women do every day. If housework were to become more like a hobby that couples do together on their day offs, the burden of housework might be reduced a little more and the ratio of housework sharing might increase.