From time to time I come across stories in the media or hear Japanese talk about purchases they have been hiding from their family. Personally I perceive this as a very interesting behavior, because I have never done it myself nor can I understand the need for it. I am responsible to bring in enough income so that I can cover my expenses now and in the future, while my hubby has to deal with the same responsibility. I can only assume it has to do with the Japanese approach of keeping the family finances usually controlled by the wife (husband turns over his salary to the wife to take care of the family finance). At our home we have no gender based financial responsiblity and we both have to live up to the same standard.
Coming back to the secret purchases: In a recent Nikkei Shimbun article they had questioned 618 Japanese (half female, half male) about the amount of the priciest purchase kept secret from their family.
Have never kept my purchases as a secret to my family: 23%
Priciest purchase kept secret (less than JPY 10,000): 19%
Priciest purchase kept secret (JPY 10,001 – 50,000): 25%
Priciest purchase kept secret (JPY 50,001 – 100,000): 13%
Priciest purchase kept secret (JPY 100,001 – 300,000): 10%
Priciest purchase kept secret (more than JPY 300,001): 10%
I am happy to see that about one quarter has a similar approach to financial honesty at home, but at the same time shocked that even 10% are able to keep a purchase amount hidden in the value of more than JPY 300,001. I guess it must be some antiques or jewelry or what else can you imagine to keep hidden or undervalued in the face of your family? I am curious to hear your assumption.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)