Thursday, November 22, 2012


Now I'm getting better. It's difficult for me to adjust to the change of temperature in this season. Yesterday I got a shot to stop my dizziness, According to my medical record, it's a "usual" thing. I get a shot at least twice a year, in spring and fall.

The other day I talked about 1030000 yen barrier with mothers. It was difficult to put together my mind even in Japanese, but anyway I'll talk again about it in English.
Do you know what 1030000yen barrier means? People who earn under 1030000yen per year become dependents and get tax deduction. So if house makers want to keep being dependents while they work part time job, they control their work. If they earn more than 1030000yen, they have to pay tax, and if they earn more than 1300000yen, they have to pay insurance fee. If they earn less than about 2000000 yen,  a strange thing occurs. The money people get is the same with the person who earns 1030000yen and the person who earns 2000000yen, because 2000000 yen earning person has to pay tax and insurance fee from her earnings.

So some people say 103000 yen barrier makes people stop to work more though they want to work more.
In Japan working harder (or earning harder) is considered as a virtue, so people who have time, except doing house chores and taking care of kids, tend to be considered as being lazy.

I think 1030000yen barrier protects house makers. Of course earning money harder is not bad. Actually I often think if I earned more. But if you are able to live as being a dependent (though the life may not be rich), thanks to the barrier you can do other things. Or I dare to say you should something to the society such as to help poor people, to enjoy kids, to be tender to senior people. I won't think that money talks everything.
Of course volunteering is one way. Actually I do some volunteer work at nursery schools. But what is volunteer? I often think about it. In my case I buy English books by myself, I pay for gas by my self, sometimes I buy costumes by myself. It's fun for me, but I won't recommend this way to others. I'll say again "I don't think money talks everything", but --- it's difficult.

Yes, it's difficult to put together my mind. Anyway I'll post my mumble.


Anonymous said...

Mieko, having learned a second language I know how difficult it is to present a intangible concept in another language so you did a good job! We have something similar here in the US for senior citizens who are receiving Social Security payments, which is based on money earned in earlier years, but who still want to work. Here, they only pay taxes on the amount of money earned OVER the limit. Generally housewives do not receive money just to stay home (which is what I think you are saying, but they may receive financial aide if they are poor or disabiled. Unfortunately, many abuse the system and that is one cause of our current economic crisis and must be corrected if we are to survive. Jan

Mieko said...

Jan, I have a question. Thouth even in Japan we also have a bad economic crisis, around me there are many housewives. (Some don't work, some work part time job). In my image, in the USA most of couple work full time job. When you came to Japan, you met lots of housewives. On the other hand when I went to Ohaio, I didn't meet "young" housewives. Is there any difference between American housewives, and Japanese housewives? In Japan some women are proud of being a housewife.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, you worked until you had your two children and that is what many choose to do here, as well. I think in many cases it depends upon the type of education and career the women have. For many, their life dream is to be a wife and mother and the couple choose that path. There is also a small percentage who do this for religious reasons and home school their children. In some ways it puts more financial burden on the husband to provide all the income but I suspect there are tremendous savings with the wife staying home with children, too (clothing, child care, lunches and dinners out,transportation costs, etc). The main advantage of a wife working might be in retirement income in the future, but that is one of the uncertain issues for the US right now. Jan

Mieko said...

Thanks for your comments Jan. I was laughing loudely, because you wrote "tremendous savings". And you mentioned about pensions, yes you are right.The longer we work, the more we get employee pension.(Though if we work more than 30 years, it doesn't change.)

Anonymous said...

Well, think about how much it costs for a woman to work outside the home (using the US as my example): a "professional" wardrobe and the expense of dry cleaning, etc; child care is quite expensive here in the US and multiply it by more than one child; usually buying lunches out every day, gas or public transportation costs to and from work; most women who work do not cook at home as often so now you have restaurant/take out evening meals...even though they may be fast foods,in the US a professional woman would probably have to be more concerned about regular hair care and manicures, depending upon the type of work; and here many would hire someone to clean their home. In some cases, there may be traveling involved which means extra expenses in child care, etc. And, if you are self-imployed that's another entire addition of expenses (think of a real estate lady).
Now,of course, there are many jobs for women where some of this expense is not a factor...a nurse who wears a uniform and doesn't have to "sell" herself (image) to the public, or a cook or someone who works in a lab. They may not make as much money as a lawyer, for example, but do not have the same work-related expenses. Jan

Mieko said...

Jan, you seem to mention about " a perfect carrer woman". When I was in a laboratory, I didn't make up, didn't wear suits, didn't put manicures ---. And sometimes I cooked for dinner in the laboratory. It is a non-story.