© 2015

Family Issues on Marriage, Divorce, and Older Adults in Japan

With Special Attention to Regional Variations


About this book


This book provides insightful sociological analyses of Japanese demography and families, paying attention not only to national average data, but also to regional variations and community level analyses. In analyzing Japanese family issues such as demographic changes, courtship and marriage, international marriage, divorce, late-life divorce, and the elderly living alone, this book emphasizes the significance of two theoretical frameworks: the dual structure and regional variations of the community network in Japan.

By emphasizing the extensive cultural diversity from one region to another, this book represents a paradigm shift from former studies of Japanese families, which relied mostly on national average data. The method of analysis adopted in the study is qualitative, with a historical perspective.  The book is thus an invitation to more in-depth, qualitative dialogue in the field of family sociology in Japan.

This book will be of great interest not only to Asian scholars, but also to other specialists in comparative family studies around the world.


Characteristics of Divorce in Japan Demographic Changes in Japan Demographics of the Japanese Elderly Divorce in Japan Dual Structural Model of the Japanese Family Factors accounting for divorce in Japan Family Issues in Japan Globalization of Japanese Families History of courtship and dating in Japan International marriage in Japan Japanese Elders Living Apart Japanese Families Japanese Household Structure Late-life divorce in Japan Living Alone Households in Japan Living Arrangements of the Elderly in Japan Marriage in Japan Older Adults in Japan Regional variations in Japanese families

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Kyorin UniversityTokyoJapan

About the authors

Fumie Kumagai is a Japanese sociologist holding an American doctorate, with extensive experience in the West as a student, college professor and researcher. Her overseas experience affords her a unique cross-cultural perspective in the field of families and demography, social issues, and intercultural communication. In discussing Japanese society, culture, and families, she pays close attention to regional variations rather than taking Japan as a whole. Since her return to Japan, Professor Kumagai has been Professor of Sociology with the Graduate School of International Cooperation and the Department of Foreign Studies at Kyorin University in Tokyo, and is currently Professor Emeritus of Kyorin University. Although she no longer carries out regular teaching duties, she continues to conduct research and writings. She feels that a part of the invisibility of Japan comes from its inability to express itself clearly in the international community. In order to address the situation, Professor Kumagai is eager to exchange dialogue with the ever progressing global society about the true nature of Japan.

Bibliographic information