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Japanese Wives: “No More Than $10 A Day” For Husband


Japanese women were asked how much of their husband’s money he should be allowed as “pocket money” for covering expenses such as food, entertainment, hobbies and similar, and nearly half felt he should only be allowed a mere ¥1,000 a day.

Japanese wives have traditionally controlled the finances of the household, and it seems even in the era of “gender equality” the expectation is that this arrangement continues. Household expenses and saving (relatively high in Japan) are in these cases determined by the wife, with husbands relegated to the status of yoked oxen.

The survey covered 2,000 Japanese women under 30 (it seems both married and unmarried women were in the sample). For reference, the average salary in Japan is about ¥450,000 a month.

It posed the question:

“After marriage, how much pocket money will you give your husband?”


Wives have this to say about the most popular allowance (42%), ¥1,000 a day:

I hear this figure a lot. We can also consider his income.

I’m not sure, but about this much?

It depends on his income, but even so.

¥30,000 is enough.

No more than 10% of his salary!

Something like this? But if his salary is no good he can’t even have $100 a month.

That’s about right.

This is not too much, not too little, a good compromise.

If it’s just his food and entertainment expenses then this is about right.

Including his petrol costs, it might be a little low.

If his salary is low then ¥10,000 is too much.

$10 a day.

I thought this much, but it seems a bit pitiful.

I’m actually using more, but…

For a meagre ¥20,000 a month, they (16%) have this to say:

He can live on this.

It’s enough for him to enjoy himself.

It depends on his wages, he’ll get a commission on them.

We don’t want him wasting money going out.

Maybe I’ll top him up, but I’d like him to get by on this.

This is economising, you know?

Those few wives (15%) who felt generous enough to let him have ¥50,000 of his salary said this:

He works really hard so I’d like him to have as much as he needs. I want to save, but he can have 50,000.

This is the ideal figure.

I want us both to be spending the same.

I make him a bento everyday too!

I get by on this much myself.

He goes out a lot.

If I were getting it, I’d want this much.

It’s his money too, I suppose.

7% of wives went for ¥40,000:

It varies with his salary.

It’s a bit sad really.

¥10,000 a month is fine.

And a further 7% gave their husbands no pocket money at all, though it seems this is more of a “give when needed” system:

It’s best to give it to him when he needs it.

Once I have a certain amount, I let him take care of the rest.

When he wants something it’s best he ask me, and I him.

Lastly, 5% let him have ¥50-100,000:

He’s stylish.

I don’t know, but this is how much I use.

If he was rich I’d want him to have nice clothes and visit the salon, and take care of going out or having hobbies.

And 2% over ¥100,000:

I want a husband who earns this much.

Not sure, but if both worked this would work.

There is of course no talk of an allowance being necessary for the wife.

Hearing all this, the collapse in Japanese marriages and birth-rate swims sharply into focus once more; it seems no wonder many Japanese women loathe men with expensive otaku habits

What man in his right mind would marry a woman, support her as a housewife, only to have his income completely commandeered and be subsequently treated like a child?

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