Demographic Change and the Family in Japan's Aging Society

Edited by John W. Traphagan & John Knight

Subjects: Sociology
Series: SUNY series in Japan in Transition, SUNY series in Aging and Culture
Paperback : 9780791456507, 256 pages, January 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456491, 256 pages, January 2003

Table of contents



1. The Study of the Family in Japan: Integrating Anthropological and Demographic Approaches
John Knight and John W. Traphagan

Family and Living Arrangements

2. Changes in the Living Arrangements of Japanese Elderly: The Role of Demographic Factors
James M. Raymo and Toshiko Kaneda

3. Under One Roof: The Evolving Story of Three Generation Housing in Japan
Naomi Brown

Coping with Demographic Change

4. Generational Reengagements: Changing Demographic Patterns and the Revival of Intergenerational Contact in Japan
Leng Leng Thang

5. Depopulation in Rural Japan: “"Population Politics" in Towa-cho
Christopher S. Thompson

6. Repopulating the Village?
John Knight

7. Finding Common Ground: Family, Gender, and Burial in Contemporary Japan
Satsuki Kawano

Demographic Change and Aging

8. Trends in the Quantity and Quality of Life at Older Ages in Japan
Toshiko Kaneda and James M. Raymo

9. Parent Care and Shifting Family Obligations in Urban Japan
Brenda Robb Jenike

10. Contesting Coresidence: Women, In-laws, and Health Care in Rural Japan
John W. Traphagan


11. Demographic and Family Change: Problems and Solutions
Susan O. Long and C. Scott Littleton


Name Index

Subject Index

A demographic and ethnographic exploration of how the aging Japanese society is affecting the family.


Incorporating qualitative and quantitative data and research methods from both demography and social anthropology, this book explores demographic trends in contemporary Japan's rapidly aging society. The contributors describe and analyze trends by addressing the ways in which demographic change is experienced in the context of family. The book considers the social effects, welfare issues, and private and public responses to demographic change and how this change has influenced the experiences of family caregivers and the elderly themselves. It offers both a specific regional contribution to the emerging field of demographic anthropology and an anthropological contribution to cross-disciplinary research on aging.

John W. Traphagan is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Taming Oblivion: Aging Bodies and the Fear of Senility in Japan, published by SUNY Press, and the coeditor (with Kiyotaka Aoyagi and Peter J. M. Nas) of Toward Sustainable Cities: Readings in the Anthropology of Urban Environments. John Knight is Lecturer at the School of Anthropological Studies at Queen's University Belfast. He is the editor of Natural Enemies: People-Wildlife Conflicts in Anthropological Perspective.