Survey shows how Japanese couples feel about spending so much time together sheltering in place


As Japan’s voluntary policy of jishuku, or self-restraint, continues, more and more people are working from home, and families are spending more time together than ever before. Since many people often had to work long hours and weren’t able to leave the office until late at night before the outbreak, this new arrangement could be either completely wonderful or surprisingly unpleasant for them and their families.

CyberOwl, owned by financial information site MoneyKai, wanted to know how families’ lives were being affected by the stay-at-home recommendations, so they asked 525 married women from across the nation in an online survey in April.


Fortunately, the majority of the respondents were glad to have their husbands home. Of the 346 women who said that they were able to spend more time with their husbands, 67 percent said that they’re happy about it. When asked the reason why, the most common response was that it was because they have more free time together (38 percent), while 31 percent were happy to have extra help around the house and with the children. Those two answers made up almost 70 percent of the responses.

▼ 19 percent answered that they’re happy because they can eat meals together, while 10 percent said that it’s because they became closer. Two percent marked “Other”.


However, 33 percent of women did say that they were unhappy spending so much time with their husbands. The majority of those said that it was because they felt stressed because they weren’t getting enough time to themselves or to relax (58 percent). 23 percent were unhappy because they felt their work load increased, or they weren’t getting help around the house. 12 percent were worried about money and the future.


Seven percent of the unhappy women selected “Other”. One of those responses was, “I have to face parts of his personality that I used to ignore.” Perhaps couples who hadn’t been able to spend as much time together before are learning who their spouses are for the first time, and that can take some adjustment.

Next, the 346 women who said they’re spending more time with their husbands were asked if how much their husbands are helping around the house has changed since quarantining at home. An impressive 81 percent of women said their husbands are helping out at home. Of those, 233 women said their husbands have always helped out at home, and about half of that number said that their husbands are helping more now than before. 48 women said that their husbands didn’t used to share the household responsibilities, but do now.

In contrast, about 20 percent of the respondents said their husbands have never helped around the house and still don’t, despite spending more time at home. Among those numbers, about half of those women were in their forties or older, which indicates that older men are less inclined to help with housework than younger men.

But the good news is that many respondents feel like they’ve gotten closer to their husbands since they’ve been staying home. Though about 61 percent of said their relationships with their husbands haven’t changed, about 30 percent said they have gotten closer or much closer with their husbands. Sadly, 29 respondents did say that their relationships got worse, and one said it’s gotten a lot worse; perhaps that’s because they didn’t have time to get to know each other before and are having a hard time getting along now. Hopefully these women are not in violent situations and the differences can be safely reconciled.

▼ From top to bottom: much closer, closer, no change, worse, and much worse


Finally, the women were asked how their financial situation has changed as a result of the stay-at-home recommendations. About 46 percent of the respondents said their household income has decreased. The majority of respondents said that their monthly income decreased by between 1 and 100,000 yen (about US$929). Some respondents’ incomes lowered by as much as 510,000 yen or more, so the pandemic appears to have had a serious affect on many families’ financial situations.

Participants were then asked if their family’s monthly expenditures have changed, and more than half of the respondents said yes. The majority said they’re spending more on food. That’s because of rising food costs and the fact that they’re cooking at home more as opposed to eating out as a family or individually, with lunch at the school cafeteria or restaurants near the office no longer an option. Another source of increased supermarket spending was husbands’ drinking at home instead of in bars with coworkers, and some also said their families are ordering more food for delivery.

▼ Many also said that the rising cost of their utilities was a major factor in increasing their expenses (from top to bottom: cost of food, utilities, entertainment, clothing, daily items, cellphone bills, insurance, and other).


However, in some cases their expenses have decreased. For example, they no longer have to pay for their kids’ after-school activities and don’t need to spend as much on clothes and beauty items. Plus, they are saving money overall by not going drinking parties, which are common for many Japanese companies and generally cost more than drinking at home.

Still, the added costs of living are rising, and with their household salaries taking a hit, many women are worried about their finances. Out of the 525 respondents. 87.1 percent that they are concerned about their families’ financial future. Though the government has disbursed some aid to families, if this situation goes on much longer, many could be facing dire economic circumstances.

So though the coronavirus has had a positive impact on some families because they get to spend more time together, many are worried about the future and whether they’ll be able to survive once the pandemic is over. Hopefully we can find a way to end the disease, or open up safely, so that people can begin to work again, while at the same time allowing workers the ability to continue spending time with their families.

Source: @Press

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese husbands in survey say they do half the housework and childcare, wives say “Nope!”

-- Over 50 percent of single Japanese women in their 20s struggle to make ends meet, survey says

-- Survey reveals that Japanese women’s ideal husband is surprisingly ordinary

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It is good to see most couple are happy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Unhappily married Japanese couples, this is hardly news.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

When you are in lockdown mode with your significant other ~ you begin to notice things about them you never knew before. When life is busy, we tend to over-look those peccadilloes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Man I wish we had two full bathrooms in my apartment!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Surely, it shouldn’t be difficult to live with your partner for a long time during lockdowns! If you can’t than that person isn’t the right better half for you! I don’t know why people still put up with unhappiness and stressful lifestyle when there is always a choice of finding happiness!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Surely, it shouldn’t be difficult to live with your partner for a long time during lockdowns! If you can’t than that person isn’t the right better half for you!

Why not? If two people have been together for years in normal life, and it worked well because they each had their own things to do, and enjoyed the time together, but are now having difficulties being together more than they ever normally would, or probably will again, how does that invalidate their relationship?

Maybe they're perfect together, when they're able to live their normal life together.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Jim, the reason unhappily married persons stay together is either kids or one of them is an economic parasite and cannot survive alone. Japanese family law from the 1800's will give the mother full custody and every single Japanese father and gaijin dad knows this and thus has to suck it up. The happiness part hopefully comes later.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I was hospitalized for four days following a knee operation when my kids were young, and when my wife came to fetch me, she exclaimed, "I never realized how much you do around the house!"

8 ( +8 / -0 )


Great post.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When U have real love nothing changes. REmember that vow, one made at the day of marriage ???. Till death do us part. Everyone used Corona as an excuse ???.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Where are the men’s responses? Oh, they only asked the women - typical assumption that the head of household is a woman and the man is only there to provide financial support.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My wife and I have spend at least 90% of our days together over the past three decades. A few weeks away when she visited her Tokyo family. Even when I was in hospital in February she slept on a cot in my room. We don't have a problem with it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Over half of the ones were unhappy resented the loss of time on their own when their husband was at home due to Covid-19. So they view the family home as a place where they can be on their own. Is time on his own a luxury the husband ever gets?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We're spending less on food and drink now that we don't eat our or stop at bars.

Eating and drinking outside are more expensive than buying groceries and fluids for use at home, unless the business expenses everything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the 2 really love each other then they can truly strengthen their bond.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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