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Old 2013-09-17, 17:08   Link #1
Master of Coin
Join Date: Mar 2008
Housing in Japan vs anime/manga

I am just curious, does a lot of Japanese actually live in houses like

I.E two story home surrounded by a small grassy yard. (with some magical girl/cat living in the MC male's closet)

It has been the same theme since Doramon in the 80s...yes, there are manga take place in dorms/apartments, but I notice this "two story home" is quite an recurring theme.

Does that actually resemble modern day Japan? Just what % of the population live in Urban area has this kind of home?

Last edited by Daniel E.; 2013-09-17 at 21:48. Reason: Don't hotlink and don't link to those sites here either.
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Old 2013-09-17, 19:47   Link #2
Join Date: Sep 2010
I believe there are decent amount of Japanese people that lives in an urban area or close to it live in a house like that. It does resemble the modern Japanese home, but I'm not so sure on the percent of Japanese that live in these types of houses.
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Old 2013-09-17, 20:00   Link #3
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Under a Starry Sky
Age: 68
I went to look for official statistics on housing from the Japanese Census, but this page at Wikipedia presents a good summary:

Most of the estimates cited suggest about three out of five homes in Japan are single-family residences. Data from 1998 put the proportion of two-story single-family homes at 62%.

Data from the 2012 Housing and Land Survey shows an average home had 4.77 rooms covering a total floor area of 94.85 square meters (28.69 tsubo; 1,021.0 sq ft). This residence housed an average of 2.67 people. Comparative data shows that Japanese homes are about identical in size to Spanish houses, and a bit smaller than ones in France. Of course, nothing comes close to American and Australian houses which average 2,200-2,300 sq ft.

Anime characters do seem to live in rather large houses by Japanese standards. The most glaring example is the substantial house occupied by the two Tsukamoto sisters in School Rumble, without any parents around I might add. Their house has many lovely rooms including a nice communal bath and must be maintained by a bunch of fairy maids who come in while the girls are at school. Other than the occasional preparation of meals, we never see the girls do much in the way of cleaning or household maintenance. (Well, maybe Yakumo just does everything off-screen.)

Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2013-09-17 at 20:14.
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Old 2013-09-17, 20:53   Link #4
Master of Coin
Join Date: Mar 2008
Oh I see. I was just wondering since Doramon is from 1970-1980ish setting. In Tokyo, no less.

Going forward to 2013, I imagine such houses would all been sold/demolished for large scale condos do the increased urbanization.
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Old 2013-09-17, 22:20   Link #5
Lumine Passio
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Age: 11
Typical 2 or 3-generations families tend to live in these house. Youth from the rural stay at cheap rent house on the edge of the city. Bussinessman...Normally, they could have a large villa on the outer part. Apartment Building for young people with at least a decent enployment.

Housing in agriculture or tourist area haven't change much.
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Old 2013-09-18, 15:00   Link #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Stockport UK
According to my Japanese pen-pal in Kanagawa she & her sister had to share a room in their apartment, & their parents slept on the lounge floor on futons.

She considered her family to be well-off, but housing in Japan is expensive even to rent, anywhere near a city.

At one time her family did own a house, but had to downsize, possibly in the 1980s-90s housing boom.
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Old 2013-09-18, 19:14   Link #7
( ಠ_ಠ)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Somewhere, between the sacred silence and sleep
Well her family wasn't as "well-off" as she thought then.

I lived in Osaka, third largest city in Japan, and we owned a condo with many bedrooms, enough to house our 4 family members + a baby comfortably.
And we were only slightly-above-average income household.

..When they moved to US, they were able to build a 2500sq ft house from the ground with the money they sold the condo in Japan for.
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Old 2013-09-18, 20:05   Link #8
Guardian Enzo
Seishu's Ace
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kagurazaka, Tokyo
The phenomenon that's commonly happened is that what were formerly large houses that housed multi-generational families have been converted into apartments. The well-publicized decline in birth rate and the "lost decades" of deflation and depreciation in housing values have caused this; as a result, you see most apartment buildings (like the one I live in) bearing the family name of the now-elderly owners, who converted them over after all the children left and they could no longer afford to keep the property as a house.

Of course, what you see in anime is no different than what you see in American sitcoms and movies - people live in much larger and nicer homes than the average person does in real life.
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Old 2013-09-19, 14:00   Link #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Stockport UK
TV Tropes has the term "Friends Rent Control" for when people have a better standard of living than their job would allow them to.

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei had one joke about having a TV screen with almost as much area as the owner's s lounge floor.

The same series showed most, if not all the characters had their own bedrooms, one set of end titles even showed them all winding down for the night.
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