Nippon Assist - Move to Japan

In the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, household habits have undergone a significant transformation since 1990, with a particular focus on energy costs and evolving gender roles in housework. The Tokyo Gas Urban Life Research Institute, through its surveys conducted every three years, provides valuable insights into the shifting dynamics of lifestyles, thinking, and behaviors among the residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The 2023 report highlights a notable increase in the attention given to energy costs among Tokyo residents. A substantial 64.5% of respondents claimed to be mindful of monthly gas and electricity expenses, reflecting a 6.4 percentage point rise from the 2020 survey. This growing awareness is more than double the figures recorded in 1990, indicating a significant shift towards a more cost-conscious approach to energy consumption.

The survey delves into the ways people manage their energy consumption, questioning whether respondents actively consider gas and electricity costs. This change in mindset can be attributed to a variety of factors, including environmental concerns, economic considerations, and a desire for sustainable living.

Another intriguing aspect revealed by the survey is the changing landscape of household chores and the increased involvement of husbands in traditionally female-dominated tasks. The data indicates a remarkable shift in the responsibility for various housework activities, with a substantial increase in husbands taking on tasks such as cleaning the bathroom, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry.

In 2023, 30.0% of husbands claimed “cleaning the bathroom” as their main responsibility, a significant leap from the 8.0% reported in 1990. Similarly, the percentage of husbands responsible for “cooking” rose from 1.4% to 17.4%, “cleaning” from 3.2% to 18.2%, and “doing laundry” from 1.8% to 18.4%. While these figures represent significant progress, they are still below the 20% mark, suggesting that there is room for further advancement in achieving a fair distribution of household responsibilities.

The survey also shed light on the changing dynamics of children’s involvement in household activities. In 1990, 48.3% of children took on the main responsibility or assisted in “daily shopping for groceries.” However, by 2023, this figure had more than halved to 23.3%. The decline raises questions about whether the trend is influenced by the shrinking size of families or a shift in priorities, as parents may be more focused on encouraging their children to excel in academics.

The Tokyo Gas Urban Life Research Institute’s ongoing surveys provide a valuable snapshot of the evolving habits and dynamics within Tokyo households. The increased awareness of energy costs and the changing gender roles in housework reflect a broader societal shift towards sustainability and gender equality. As Tokyoites continue to adapt to these changes, the surveys will undoubtedly capture further nuances in the ever-evolving landscape of Japanese household habits.