1 Section for Asian Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 School of Culture and Society - Japan Studies, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University3 School of Culture and Society - Japan Studies, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
The social and economic changes Japan has gone through since the bubble burst in the beginning of the 1990s have left traces in the lives and living styles of people and have affected thoughts concerning housing and home as well as familial involvement. The starting point for this paper is the recent developments of the phenomenon of sugomori kazoku (homing family) that at first sight seems to be a direct consequence of the economic recession, obligating many people to spend more time at home than in times of economic stability in order to avoid unnecessary expenses. However, a second look shows that the way couples with children reconsider their home and family life has roots in an ongoing debate about the importance of familial contact and communication in the interest of the proper socialization of the children. In this context the recession is merely an enhancing factor. Quantitative and qualitative data illustrate how these trends have influenced families with young children in their understanding of and concern for their homes, new ways of home space organization, and have led to a growing interest in questions of interior design and domesticity.