Our writer, Kathy, shares her thoughts on the thriving phenomenon in Japan
What is a “typical” household? For Japan in the 1970s, it was a nuclear family comprising of a working father, a stay-at-home mother, and their two children. Almost half a century later, the single-person household is the norm, and is projected to make up 39.3% of household types by 2040.
However single-person households, or any household types that deviate from the nuclear family structure, face prejudice from institutions and society. Younger unmarried people have fewer public housing subsidies. A child of a single-parent is more likely to be the subject of bullying and harassment in school. As the old Japanese saying goes, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” The reality is that there is still a lot of stigma attached to being an “atypical” family in Japan.