Family. Everyone has one. Some people start a family of their own. A typical family usually includes 2 partners, their children, and their parents. In Japan, nuclear families remain the most common family type.
Typically, a heterosexual men and women will marry in their late 20s or early 30s. They may start living together before marriage or after marriage, and living in one of their parents’ homes until they have substantial finances to purchase their own home is not uncommon. Children are usually expected, with most families rearing 1 or 2 children each. Historically, a couple would have 3 or more children, but with today’s economy, most families can only financially afford to raise a few children.
The husband usually works at a company, and the wife usually works at home to raise the children and maintain the household. Retired grandparents will often help in the child raising, usually the parents on the woman’s side.
Single parent families are still very rare in Japan and highly stigmatized against. Having a child out of wedlock is extremely taboo, and couples will marry if the woman unintentionally falls pregnant to avoid the shame and scrutiny from their family and people around them. Divorce is becoming increasingly common as well, as women grow more financially independent and the strains of a tough economy build up.
Mothers will usually attentively raise their children when they are young, and pressure them to be educated properly. Parents love their children, but are not affectionate with them the way Europeans or Americans are affectionate with their children. Hugging and kissing is not a thing here between family members, and open displays of affection, whether erotic or platonic, are not seen. Sometimes couples will even sleep in different beds in different rooms.
Not all marriages are done out of romantic feelings. Some are arranged or done out of convenience, although this trend is slowly in decline. Family is mainly a way to maintain order and ensure a family line is passed down to the next generation. But on the outside, a good family in Japan seems no different from any other family elsewhere around the world.