A Spirit of Adventure in Retirement: Japanese Baby Boomers and the Ethos of Interdependence

Katrina Louise Moore

Abstract


Self-reliance has arisen as a key ethic in relation to older persons in Japan. One part of a larger social trend affecting mature societies around the world is the rising emphasis on elders overcoming dependence in favor of a new ethic of independence. This analysis of older persons in Japan opens a window into the gender dynamics of older-person households, and into the discourses about the lack of an independent autonomous identity in old age aside from that in the workplace. Drawing on fieldwork with retirees, I illuminate retired couples’ experiences of and attitudes about retirement, considering the interpersonal dimensions of interdependence and the ways the ethos of self-reliance influences retirees’ lives. In particular, I analyse how the men seek to embody interdependence in relationships with their wives. How do they adjust in relation to their wives’ expectations, and how do they—and their identities—change after they leave the workforce? Central to this process is an expansion in men’s acts of thoughtfulness in relation to their wives.  


Keywords


Japan, retirement, self-reliance, autonomy, interdependence, responsibility, gender, culture

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alexy, A. (2007). Deferred Benefits, Romance, and the Specter of Later-Life Divorce. In Peter Backhaus, ed. Deutsche Institute ed. Japanstudien. Munich: Verlag.

Allison, A. (1994). Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Amano, M., ed. (1998). Otoko no Jiritsu to sono Jōken o Meguru Kenkyū: Dankai Sedai o Chūshin ni [Research on Men’s Self-Reliance and Conditions Associated with Self-Reliance: Focus on Baby Boomers]. Tokyo: Tokyo Josei Zaidan.

Amano, M. (2014). Oigai no Jidai: Nihon eiga kara mita Kôreisha [An Era Worth Ageing in: Elders Portrayed in Japanese Film.] Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.

Boermel, Anna. (2010). “No Wasting” and “Empty Nesters”: “Old Age” in Beijing. Oxford Development Studies. 34:4, 401-418.

Bungei Shunju. (2006). “10-nengo no Dankai: Nihon no Ronten Henshûbu”. [Baby Boomers: Ten Years On, From the Editors of ‘Debates Defining Japan’.] Tokyo: Bungei Shunju.

Campbell, R., and Kurokawa, Y. (2016). Ichiban Mirai no Idea Book: Futsu no Koreisha no Minasan ga Kangaemashita [The Idea Book for the Best Future: Ideas Conceptualized by Ordinary Seniors]. Tokyo: Dai Nihon Insatsu Gaisha.

Cook, E. (2016). Reconstructing Adult Masculinities: Part-time Work in Contemporary Japan. Abingdon: Routledge.

Danely, J., and Lynch, C. (2013). Transitions and Transformations: Paradigms, Perspectives, and Possibilities. In Caitlin Lynch and Jason Danely, eds., Transitions and Transformations: Cultural Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (pp.3-20) New York: Berghan.

Daniels, I. (2015). Feeling at Home in Contemporary Japan: Space, Atmosphere, and Intimacy. Emotion, Space, and Society, 15: 47-55.

Dillard, A. (2013). The Writing Life. New York: Harper Perennial.

Dumit, J. (2012). Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Gluck, C. (2009). Sekinin/Responsibility in Modern Japan. In Anna Tsing and Carol Gluck, eds. Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Goldstein-Gidoni, O. (2012). Housewives of Japan: An Ethnography of Real Lives and Consumerized Domesticity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gradman, T. J. (1994). Masculine Identity from Work to Retirement. In E. Thompson, ed, Older Men’s Lives, 104-121. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hashimoto, A. (1996.) The Gift of Generations: Japanese and American Perspectives on Aging and the Social Contract. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hughes, M. and Heycox, K. (2010). Older People, Ageing, and Social Work: Knowledge and Practice. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

International Longevity Center. (2011). Productive Aging 2011. Tokyo: International Longevity Center Japan.

Lamb, S. (2013). “Personhood, Appropriate Dependence, and the Rise of Eldercare Institutions in India.” In Caitlin Lynch and Jason Danely, eds., Transitions and Transformations: Cultural Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (pp.171-187) New York: Berghan.

Mathews, Gordon. 2003. “Can a Real Man Live for His Family?” In James Roberson and Nobuko Suzuki, eds. Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Japan. London: Routledge.

Nakamura, T., and Inokuma, H. (2005). ‘Teinengo no Fuan: 520-Nin Chôsa’ [Anxiety after Retirement: Survey of 520 Respondents]. Shûkan Asahi 110(8), 22-27.

Nakano, L. (2009). Community Volunteers in Japan: Everyday Stories of Social Change. London: Routledge.

Noguchi, H. (2005, August 25). ‘Dankai no Sedai Wa Nani Iro Desuka’. NHK Radio Dai-ichi Hôsô: Iki iki Hottorain.

Nouwen, H. (1994). The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society. New York: Random House.

Oda, A. (2009). Autonomy, Reciprocity, and Communication in Older Spouse Relationships. In Maren Godzik, ed., Altern in Japan: Japanstudien 21: 25-53. Munich: Verlag.

OECD. (2016). Health Statistics. Geneva: OECD. www.stats.oecd.org accessed February 1, 2017.

Plath, D. (1980). Long Engagements: Maturity in Modern Japan. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Robertson, J. (2014). “Human Rights vs Robot Rights: Forecast from Japan.” Critical Asian Studies. 46(4):571-598.

Scheid, B. (1992). The Old Tree in Bloom. In Susanne Formanek and Sepp Linhart (eds.), Japanese Biographies: Life Histories, Life Cycles, LifeStages. Vienna: Verlag.

Seike, A. (2015). Japan’s Demographic Collapse and the Vanishing Provinces. In Yoichi Funabashi and Barak Kushner, eds, Examining Japan's Lost Decades. London: Routledge.

Stickland, L. (2014). Accommodating Japan’s Ageing Sexual Minorities: ‘The Family of Friends’ Concept in LGBQTI Seniors’ Residential Care. In Tomoko Aoyama, Laura Dales, and Romit Dasgupta, eds., Configurations of Family in Contemporary Japan. London: Routledge.

Taga, F. (2006). ‘Otokorashisa no shakaigaku: yuragu otoko no raifu kōsu’[Sociology of Masculinity: Changing Men’s Lifecourse]. Tokyo: Sekai Shisōsha.

Tanaka, T. (2009). Danseigaku no Shintenkai [A New Turn in Masculinity Studies]. Tokyo: Seikyûsha.

Traphagan, J. (2006). Being a Good Rojin: Senility, Power, and Self-Actualization in Japan. In Annette Leibing and Lawrence Cohen, eds., Thinking About Dementia: Culture, Loss, and the Anthropology of Senility. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

World Economic Forum. (2016). Human Capital Report 2016. http://reports.weforum.org/human-capital-report-2016/economies/#economy=JPN Accessed March 8, 2016.

Yamato, R. (1996). ‘Chukônen Dansei ni Okeru Sapôto Nettowâku to ‘Musubitsuki Shikô’ Yakuwari to no Kankei’ [The Relationship between Support Networks and ‘Connectedness-Oriented’ Roles in Late Middle-Aged Japanese Men: From the Viewpoint of Gender Roles]. Shakaigaku Hyôron, 47(3), 350-365.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/aa.2017.159

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Katrina Louise Moore

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

SaveSaveSaveSave