Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Japan's National Chauvinistic Husbands Association

Yes, the National Chauvinistic Husbands Association really exists in Japan. Apparently a new divorce law, effective since April, gives women the right to half of their husband's pension fund when they divorce. That means a lot of unhappily-married women will suddenly be able to survive a divorce, and so the husbands have had to start learning how to keep their wives happy.

When I lived in Japan, I learnt two things from the stories of my students: divorce was uncommon in Japan, but marriages were often unhappy. Or perhaps that's the wrong way to express it. I'd say the expectations that women had of a marriage were not high. I had students who'd saved money leftover from the household budget alloted by their husbands and secretly bought English lessons. They even have a word for this secretly-saved money. Something's wrong there.

A great article in the Washington Post called Learn to Be Nice to Your Wife, or Pay the Price has some fascinating examples of Japanese men who are now learning to be better husbands. One sent his wife flowers on her birthday after 38 years of never buying her a gift. Another man has progressed to being able to say "I love you" if he's drunk.

To finish: one tip from the Chauvinistic Husbands Association that is hilarious (and would make the world a lot easier for women) is this:
A sound strategy for arguing with one's wife: "I can't win. I won't win. I don't want to win."


  1. Sorry for the off topic, just accidentally read you comment on "Ukrainian tractors" by Lewycka.

    Seems like you did the same mistake as the author, who visited Ukraine one year after she had written the book.

    Hope, that next time, as a writer, you will spend more time learning history and also the people before writing the comment asserting something like the one on "Ukrainian tractors".

  2. mag, thanks for the feedback, but I'm curious to know what the mistakes are.

    I'm guessing you mean this article at Suite101 http://ukraine-travel.suite101.com/article.cfm/read_about_ukrainian_tractors
    (it's a review of Marina Lewycka's A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian).

    Anyways ... I'm willing and ready to learn more about Ukrainian people and culture, so please go ahead!

  3. My comment was not about teaching you something (think a person could cope with this problem herself, right? :-), but rather pointing out that if one posed some general statements like the one about "family values of Ukrainians" it would be useful to base one's words not only on a single book, but rather on personal experience too.

    Best regards and professional achievements,

  4. Hmmm. Well, I'll be on topic and comment on the post above, which I loved. I particularly liked the last two lines. :-)

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  5. Thanks Allison, yes I'm pretty sure my husband hasn't read that manual - then again we both like to win!

  6. I have read that article.

    Yes, most Japs are exactly like that.... "heartless, inconsiderate, insensitive, unemotional, selfish". They live in their own planet called "I-me-myself" and as a matter of fact, they have a permanent home address there, far far far away from the real world.

    I dont understand why did they ever get married if they dont even know the emotion that is called "love". Or if they know, they pretend it never exists. Life sucks marrying one of them.

    I know. Because unfortunately, Im still married to one. So there.

    Confused gaijin.

  7. confused gaijin14 June 2012 at 13:01

    I can relate. I know, because unfortunately Im still married to one :((


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