Japan Data

Japanese Household Habits: Focus on Energy Costs and Husbands Doing Housework

Lifestyle Economy Society

Ongoing surveys of Tokyo households since 1990 show increased attention to keeping down energy costs and more housework taken on by husbands.

Since 1990, Tokyo Gas Urban Life Research Institute has been conducting surveys every three years with the aim of understanding the current lifestyles, thinking, and behavior of people living in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It has received 2,300 to 4,300 valid responses each time.

According to the 2023 report, 64.5% of people said they either “very much” or “to some extent” kept in mind the monthly costs when using gas and electricity. This was 6.4 percentage points more than the 58.1% who responded similarly in the 2020 survey, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is also more than double the 28.1% of responses in 1990, when the survey began, indicating an increase in the habit of being cost-conscious.

Do you keep gas and electricity costs in mind when using energy?

The report also looked at married couples and the husband’s involvement in housework, including the relatively high participation rate for husbands “cleaning the bathroom.” It revealed that in 2023 this chore was the “main responsibility” for 30.0% of husbands, a significant increase, having almost quadrupled compared to 8.0% in 1990.

Other dramatic rises included “cooking,” which went from 1.4% to 17.4% over the same period, while “cleaning” shifted from 3.2% to 18.2%, and “doing laundry” from 1.8% to 18.4%. Despite the significant rises, with these totals at less than 20%, there is still plenty of room for progress in the fair sharing of responsibilities.

How often does your husband clean the bathroom?

Japanese Husbands’ Main Housework Responsibilities 1990 and 2023 (%)

Meanwhile the 1990 survey found that 48.3% of children either took the main responsibility or sometimes helped with “daily shopping for groceries.” By 2023 though, this had more than halved to 23.3%.

In an age of fewer children, is the reason that parents are hesitant to make their children help out or are they pushing them to study instead?

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

energy family gas housework