Japanese Women On Husbands; Three Things

Jun 24, 2020

Japanese Women On Husbands; Three Things

Having a mother who is a psychologist, I am always interested exploring human relationships.

Over the decades of living here, I have found several opportunities to discuss husband and wife dynamics with Japanese women.

We all know the stereotype of the typical salary man heading off on the very early train, only to come back home late in the night, a little inebriated after drinking sessions with his bosses, subordinates, colleagues, or clients.

Traditionally, the Japanese women were happy to be stay-at-home mothers, running the house, taking their children to their extracurricular activities, and visiting with their friends.

In Japan there is something know as “tanshin funin”, which roughly translates to “business bachelor”.

These salary-men are dispatched to different places through out Japan and to other countries through the globe.

I knew one excellent engineer who spent 15 years away from his home which was in the centre of Tokyo. He had been dispatched to various places around the world such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Mie prefecture, Ibaraki prefecture.

As his wife said, to him, “how are we going to properly educate our only daughter if we move around all the time?”

This is the dedication demanded by their companies and the built-in loyalty to these company which has these men living apart from their families months, and some time years at a time. 

Alas for our excellent engineer, he missed out seeing his only beloved daughter growing up.

Husbands from the western world rarely work for long stretches away from their families, so I was very surprised to hear about his life as a “business bachelor”. 

When I ask these housewives about how they feel about their husband they often say to me; “There are three things we Japanese women say about our husbands.” 

1:Sodai Gomi: A large piece of garbage that’s hard to move. 

Indicating when the husbands are at home, they tend to get in the way, and aren’t much use at household chores.


Sodai Gomi: A large piece of garbage that’s hard to move.

2:Nure Ochiba: A sticky leaf that cannot be swept away 

The husband, after retirement, has no particular hobbies, so when his wife tries to go out, he always says, “I guess I will just tag along with you.”

Nure Ochiba

Nure Ochiba: A sticky leaf that cannot be swept away

3: Teshu Genki De Rusu Ga Ii:A good husband is health and absent

This is a buzzword that became popular on a television commercial with several “obatarian” singing it loud and strong. One can not forget this jingle once heard. It is an accurate expression of the true feelings of Japanese housewives: make easy it easy to get money and make it easy for the husband to be absent.

Teshu Genki De Rusu Ga Ii

Teshu Genki De Rusu Ga Ii:A good husband is health and absent

In earlier times, Japanese women depended on their husbands and respected them as the owners of their important household and the family breadwinners. However, recently there are many women who have claimed their own independence, and now these housewives are often in a good strong position.

If you have Japanese female friends, ask them what they think of their husbands. It’s interesting to know which of these three types best applies. Moreover, you can have an interesting conversation about the differences between the Western and Japanese marital relationships.