Japanese Family

The family system means the order or system the nation and social community prescribe about the structure or function of family. In other words, it is the overall of law, custom, morals, and so on, which regulate the family life. The meaning of family is an universal social group for human beings, so the system of family has passed over diverse historical courses, have bee developed socially, economically and politically. Therefore, the Japanese family system has also followed the process. And, “ie” is the most useful to make sure the Japanese family system. ie” means a group, and it aims the transmission, also includes the dead men notionally. The member of ‘ie’ is normally parents and children, sibling, and husband and wife, but, in the past, it included the other people ‘ie’ has formed the society whilst having ?? (Kamei), the honor or fame of a family, leading family occupation, maintaining the relationship between subordinates and superiors with other ‘ie’. ‘ie’ has pursued the transmission, so it has excluded discouragement against the transmission.

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The members of ‘ie’ should not impair the honor of ‘ie’ , inflict a loss to their own family, and squander their family fortune, but the members should try to prevent the situation. That makes the members of ‘ie’ are protected and covered with them to honor by ‘ie’ and a head of ‘ie’ is called a breadwinner, and the breadwinner leads ‘ie’ and has responsibility to protect and look after his family members. The Japanese family has been strongly influenced by ‘ie’. Even though Japanese people deny ‘ie’ as saying “ie is too old concept, so we should throw it away. , in effect, in accordance with ‘ie’, Japanese people respect their family. Especially, through ‘ie’, they make a decision when they reach a crossroad such as a marriage, the construction of house, a funeral, a date, and so on. A spouse has been chosen by the standard of ‘ie’, and then when a married couple settle on last name, mostly, a wife follows a husband’s last name as entering the husband’s ‘ie’. On the contrary to this, if a wife has a son-in-law live with her family, the husband changes his last name because, in the case, the man gets into the woman’s family.

The house is not only a tool of life, but also shows off ie’s dignity, power, and development. If ‘ie’ leaves perpetuated land, which has been from generation to generation, it symbolizes the decay and ruin of ‘ie’, except one case, ‘ie’ reaches the high development condition. In a funeral, a dead man is holding a funeral by ‘ie’, after then the dead man is buried in a grave and worshiped with ancestors. The beginning of the Japanese family system appeared as focusing the ruling class in Heian age. In the age, the most capable descendent succeeded to the rights and duties of his family.

In Kamakura age, was governed by warrior class, in most of warrior families, the best children succeeded all things of their family, and the right of women for inheritance was acknowledged. In Edo shogunate, a strict class and patriarchal family system were imposed. After the Meiji restoration, in the year 1987, the Meiji government enforced modern family register system, so all Japanese people were belonging to ‘ie’. The government was able to establish the modern nation system by the Meiji restoration, after then, it abolished the class system, and then introduced the ‘ie’ system, which reinforces the right of breadwinner.

After the 1945 defeat on the Second World War, Japan instituted new constitutional law which is democratic, egalitarian sovereignty rests with the people while they did away with the Meiji constitution, which concentrates on sovereign power of the Japanese emperor. At 3rd March 1947, when the new constitutional law was enforced, other positive laws against the new law were amended or abolished. Thus, the civil law, legislated under the Meiji constitution system, was changed as suitable for the new law.

Especially, Domestic Relations Law and the law of succession were revised completely, so the Japanese family system has been started as based on fresh ideology. The main point of revised civil law was to abolish the ie(? ) system, led by a head of family and to accomplish gender equality in a family with adopting the modern marriage system of importance of couple relationship. In the past, through marriage, a wife entered a husband’s ‘ie’ and was listed on his family register, but, after the revised civil law, a married couple can make a new family register.

That means the fundamental notion of family moved from perpendicular lineal family members of center of a father-son relationship to the modern nuclear family of center of couple. The family standard and form, suggested by new constitution and civil law, is Western modern nuclear family, so the Japanese family system, before and after the War, has suffered crucial change. In other words, the system has been changed from the ‘ie’, put a family members above individual and maintained by authoritative order to the modern family, regarding the individual dignity of members and affection and cooperation with each other as important.

The abolition of ‘ie’ system is cognized as the starting point of modernization and democratization. The point of change of the Japanese family system is the number of nuclear family, usually organized a husband, a wife, and children, has been increasing. However, the Japanese nuclear family is not same as the complete form of Europe and America’s nuclear family, but it has also essentially characteristic of traditional Japanese family. For instance, the nucleus of Japanese family is children rather than a couple. Appellation between a husband and wife is made as center of children.

Furthermore, including education for children, they accounts for a great part of a family. So far, the traditional sex-typing, men should work outside, women should do housework, predominates. As a result, there is a tendency which women have responsibilities for housework and infant care, and in that respect, the Japanese family system is different from Europe and America’s. The reasons are why the Japanese family system has been changed around the nuclear family, and the family system, is getting smaller, comes across as the modernization of family, described below.

Firstly, the range of family which has its own business, and is suitable in the ‘ie’ system has been reduced because of the industrialization. In other words, urban working class and new middle class’s family do not own family fortune, and all family members in the class do not need to be workforce by themselves. For such the families are appropriate for the nuclear family which needs emotional fusion through affection of the members. Secondly, while processing the modernization, the national consciousness for the democratization has been stronger, so the patriarchal system has not been accepted any longer.

The ‘ie’ system restricts young married couples’ freedom. Therefore, young married couples long to be new independent generation as breaking away from a breadwinner’s power. Thirdly, the modernization has leaded the liberation of women. While the right to speak of young women has been stronger, some systems like the ‘ie’ system, in which daughters-in-law are subordinated to parents-in-law, are not accepted in the society. Especially, most of young married couples believe that, in one family, household should be managed by one housewife, because of that is more reasonable, and the couples want to be an independent generation.

The nuclear family, hence, is the most suitable functionally for their requirement. Fourthly, the ‘ie’ system is not to focus on individual, but to aim for organization. Under the ‘ie’, personal demand requirement should be scarified for the existence of ‘ie’. Even breadwinners thought that family fortune was for its decedents, not for them. Like these, because all members in the ‘ie’ system, should serve the ‘ie’ for its existence and development, the requirement of liberation against the ‘ie’ has leaded to the nuclear family.

Fifthly, that is the function of modern industrialization which a worker should move his place of work frequently. It means that the function has caused increasing the negative environment for parents and their children to live together, and then it leads to growing the number of nuclear families. Therefore, if, in a family, a woman does not consider of employment, the nuclear family is the most perfect family form which basically has a husband who only one workforce, except the woman, is to take care of the family. Lastly, the urbanization is one of sources of increasing the number of nuclear families.

Because of the rapid economic growth across the board from the last 1950s to 1960s, many jobs were created in cities, and then younger generation moved their registrations from rural areas to cities for seeking a job. The most of them married and had a family in cities. Until 1960s, the youth generation had many brothers, one of them, at least, took care of their parents, so many youth left them, and came to cities. From the last 20th century, in Japan, there has been appeared diverse family unit, such as DINKs, a single parent family, unmarried person family, and so on.

Firstly, that is increasing the number of DINKs. DINKs give a greater specific weight to each hobby activity or happiness and satisfaction in the relationship between a husband and wife. The reason why the number has increased is that they avoid bearing a heavy burden such as the child rearing expenses and excessive education fees, and the lack of childcare facilities could be the one of reasons. In addition, some of them do not consider the nurture as important, or others become DINKs to prepare plan for their later years. Secondly, it is the single parent family.

The causes which increasing the number of family are a loss their spouse, a divorce rate growth, and so on. Generally, which problems the single parent families are confronted with are relatively anxious role of parents more than a family has both parents, the social prejudices and stereotypes, and psychological negative effects to the single parent’s children. Moreover, in the case of mother and children, they have economic burden, and the father and children family have experienced of the burden of housekeeping. Thirdly, stepfamily has been appeared.

This kind of family comes up from increasing remarriage rate with increasing divorce rate. In the case of Japan, women’s remarriage rate has mounted up appreciably. Moreover, the reasons of increasing divorce rate are individualism influence and the social change of awareness about remarriage. Last one is increasing the number of unmarried person family which is comprised of a bachelor or spinster. Japanese age at marriage has rise rapidly and the number of unmarried people has grown up at the same time. The people attach importance to their own business and life than a marriage.

They also think that a marriage is only a choice, not obligation. They only consider of social prejudice, which is unfavorable people’s eyes to unmarried people After the high economic growth in Japan, the Japanese family system has constantly become the talk of the society. Distorted family relationship, severance and isolation with family members, increasing divorce rate, domestic violence, separation, and so on, such these things underpin the discussion about collapse and dissolution of family, and pull down the expectation about the family. The rapid change in the family system could not been accompanied by the social development.

Even though the modernization leaded to increasing women’s rights, it seems that the Japanese social awareness could not follow the progress so far. So, Japan should establish some countermeasures to arrange with such the problems, and they should give careful consideration to the balance between ‘ie’ and the present society in Japan Reference sources Ronald R. & Alexy, A. , “Home and Family in Japan: Continuity and transformation. ”, * Bruce white. Reassembling familial intimacy: civil, fringe, and popular youth visions of the Japanese home and family. * Charles Weathers. The rising voice of Japan’s Community Unions. Anemone Platz. Living apart together: anticipated home, family and social networks in old age, Reassembling familial intimacy: civil, fringe, and popular youth visions of the Japanese home and family. * Yosuke Hirayama. Home ownership, family change and generational differences. Kim Jung Un. , “The Japanese Enthusiasm. ” Woonjin Inc. , 2007. Park Yong Gu at al. , “The Japanese Society and Culture. ”, The Japanese research institute of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies,2006: 167 – 183 RimRod. , “The impact of the Japanese Family Structure(ie) on Japanese Society. ” March. 2001. 15 Jul. 2010 http://everything2. om/title/The+Impact+of+the+Japanese+Family+Structure+%2528ie%2529+on+Japanese+Society Chikashi Nobata, Satoshi Sekine, and Roman Yangarber. , “Japanese IE System and Customization Tool. ” http://acl. ldc. upenn. edu/X/X98/X98-1015. pdf Imamura, Anne E. , “For Video Letter from Japan ll: A Young Family. ” The Japanese Family. , Asia Society. 1990: 7-17 http://www. exeas. org/resources/pdf/japanese-family-imamura. pdf Takashi Naito and Gielen, Uwe P. , “The Changing Japanese Family: A Psychological Portrait. ” http://uwegielen. com/The%20Changing%20Japanese%20Family%20A%20Psychological%20Portrait. pdf

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