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This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.

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2017-11-08 21:05   The Minister of Finance in the family

Y (Kuma's owner)

There is plenty of information about Japan on the internet, books and TV. I look at it from a Japanese point of view and some of them are incorrect. Today, I'm going to introduce about common Japanese family's customs that most foreigners don't know. It's the Finance Minister at home.

Sometimes, foreigners say that Japanese women are in a weak position. Maybe it can be said depending on a situation but when they say about money, the circumstances are different.

In Japan, the wife is in charge of the family budget. It might be changing with the times but still lots of wives have the right to make decisions about using money. Long ago, at the time when people got their salary by cash, the employer put cash into an envelope and gave it to his employees. The envelope was of course sealed. So, people said that a husband who brought an envelope that was sealed was a paragon of a husband. That meant a husband who did not sneak money from the envelope was a nice husband. I think you already can guess who has the right to open the envelope, it's the wife.

Maybe you are wondering how husbands get their pocket money. Usually, the wife decides how much money her husband can use. It's the same as children. The Japanese husband gets pocket money from his wife. Therefore, people ironically call wives the Minister of Finance. When I was a kid, every family had a Minister of Finance. The numbers of households in which both partners work have been increasing lately, so the circumstances might be changed to some extent but I think this custom still remains strong.

I remember my childhood when my family went out and had a meal at the restaurant, my mother paid for the meal every time. I thought it was a natural thing to do. However, one day when I was watching an American movie on TV, I saw a man pay money and I felt a bit strange.

I know now most (or all countries except Japan?) countries have the opposite custom of Japanese. If you are not Japanese, maybe you are surprised reading my blog. On the internet, I found an article that male foreigners who live in Japan and know about Japanese customs well say Japanese women are nice but they believe that they can control the money, so it's not a good idea to get married with them. Foreigners seem that they don't want to receive pocket money from their wives. If you are considering marrying a Japanese woman, don't change your mind by reading my blog.

Me? Of course, I'm the Minister of Finance.

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