Cultural traditions and social structures have influenced the characteristics and behaviors found among many Japanese women. Common traits include a reserved demeanor, a robust work ethic and strong family values.Continue Reading
There is no “typical” Japanese woman, but there are common social and cultural influences on women's behavior. Hard work is highly prized in Japan. Japanese women often sacrifice much time and effort to perform well at work, school and in the home. Japanese culture also values traditional gender roles. Thus, women are highly regarded for their feminine beauty. Japanese women often take care to appear polished and demure.
Confucianism, which retains a strong legacy in Japan, emphasizes honoring hierarchical relationships. Accordingly, Japanese women may be more polite, reserved and deferential. The value placed upon virginity in traditionally patriarchal Japanese society also endures, so women tend to be guarded about sex.
While Japanese women today are well-educated and likely to enter the workforce, they face a gender pay gap and rarely ascend to management positions. Many eventually bow to the pressure to raise a family full-time. The Center for Talent Innovation found that Japanese women leave their jobs voluntarily at much higher rates than American women. Japanese culture respects motherhood, so women often prioritize family. However, educational and career ambitions cause many to delay marriage; according to the Japanese government, the average age of first marriage for women is 29.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions