Graves and the Family in Japan

Kimiko Tanaka, Michigan State University

In this study, first historical trends of graves in Japan was analyzed– how the idea of a traditional family grave was socially constructed and was transformed reflecting changes in demography, society, culture, and families. Then considering modernization theories and their constructive criticisms, hypotheses were framed to test how three salient factors, generation, gender, and the place of residence, have affected people’s expectations about burial partners in contemporary Japan. The analysis of JGSS-2001 data supported these hypotheses. Although the majority of people chose graves with succession across generations, younger generations were more likely to support diversified graves than are older generations. This difference was greater for women than for men, and those who live in urban areas than rural areas.

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Presented in Session 105: Ideational Factors in Family Behavior and Change