Japan Data Archive

About Japan > Society > 

How has the family changed over the years?

Because of the influence of feudal patriarchalism, civil law in the Meiji period determined that the eldest son would inherit the fortune and the patriarchal rights of the family.
However, the system was abolished after World War II.
As the society and industry changed, almost all but the oldest children left the rural areas where the old system still remained and went to less conservative urban areas.
Due to the less restrictive atmosphere of cities, arranged marriages declined and the husband and wife have gradually become the center of the household.