Don't want to commit to your life, but don't want to die alone? Let's see how the wave of singles living with their best friends is rising in Japan!

When you think of a share house, do you think of a group of young people frolicking in the house?

In the context of Japan, you may see a different kind of scenery - a group of single women taking care of each other.

The question mark they put on the rental market is, who says renting has to be made up of a group of men and women based on love?

But what are the considerations behind this wave of older single women renting together in Japan, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels 

The proportion of single people living alone in Japan is nearly 60%.

In Japan, the proportion of the single population is increasing. According to the government's forecast, the number of single households or living alone will reach 19.96 million by 2025, accounting for 16% of the total population, an increase of 8.4% from 2015.

It can be expected that the numbers will continue to rise with the increase in divorce rates and the trend towards late or non-marriage. It is clear that the arrival of the solitary generation will no longer be a problem for many people.

Perhaps living alone is not too much of a problem, but its impact has to be taken seriously.

First of all, the cost of living will rise after living alone, especially for single women. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's 2013 Living Conditions Survey, the relative poverty rate of single women is as high as 44.6% in terms of the relative poverty rate of different sexes. The reasons may be related to factors such as the short number of years of participation in public pensions and low income.

In addition, after living alone, there is a lack of opportunities to connect with society, and in old age, problems such as loneliness and illness may occur, and even events that are discovered to die after a period of time due to little interaction with the outside world and family members, that is, the social common song of lonely death.

(Guess what you want: before renting, search for "safe guidelines for girls living alone": what makes women worry?

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels 

In Japan, there is a growing trend of single people sharing houses

To avoid the potential risk of living alone, shared apartments are emerging among a group of women over 40 who do not plan to get married.

The Japanese writer Chiaki Fujitani, who published "Tokyo Otaku Lives Together", is an example.

Because he didn't want to commit his life to anyone, but he was afraid of being lonely, Chiaki Fujitani invited three other single friends to rent a house together, and published a new prose book on this topic, sharing the daily life of four older women who did not have much savings and hated to die alone in a shared apartment.

From a practical point of view, sharing a flat can indeed save utility bills, rent, reduce the cost of living, and take care of each other even in the event of illness or injury. However, although roommates can take care of each other, unlike nursing homes, staff are not always present in rented houses, so as a condition for moving into shared housing, it is often necessary to be able to take care of one's own living.

In addition, everyone moving into the house with the thoughts and habits of the past for a long time also needs a painful period of adjusting to different living habits, during which you may find it difficult to live with others, resulting in a shared apartment life that is not always good.

(The same scene plus screening: [Women's Family Guide] The confidence of single women is the ability to give themselves a home)

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels 

Addressing the Source: How the Japanese Government Reformed

In order to fundamentally solve the problem of dying alone in a society without a chance, and in response to the predictable trend of single elderly people living alone, it is not very beneficial to start with a single woman's shared house, so the Japanese government has also reformed the system.

First, since 2008, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has promoted the prevention of isolated deaths in various regions in an effort to control the spread of lonely deaths. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has also revised the provincial ordinance on the "Lifetime Building Rental Industry" to increase the supply of rental housing for the elderly, relax the floor area and accessibility standards.

From the phenomenon of single people sharing a house, or even the phenomenon of friendship marriage that has risen in Japan, we can find that the definition of happiness in contemporary society is no longer limited to the traditional thinking of children and grandchildren, and if you can find a partner who understands your interests to live together, while avoiding the risk of living in isolation, it is also a way to happiness.

To paraphrase Chiaki Fujitani's book: "After a woman passes the age of 40, she probably will not have the "accident" of suddenly getting married and having children, and living alone with her, perhaps finding a group of good sisters to live with, is the most correct choice."