Opportunities for working life
Having talked rather generally about a variety of inﬂuences on Japanese life, we come in this chapter (and to some extent in the next) to consider speciﬁc possibilities for the mundane business of making a living. In previous chapters the scene has been set with discussions of hierarchy and the inﬂuence of education, the importance of securing a good job on graduation from school or university and the reluctance of an increasing number of young people to settle to a long-term career. In the last chapter it was mentioned that marriage is another crucial time for making a deﬁnite commitment to a future occupation, and for women, it is a time for important decisions about whether to combine a career with marriage, or to make marriage itself a career. Again, we saw the age of marriage being postponed and an increasing number of people refusing marriage and childrearing altogether, but we also saw that the possibilities for returning to education have increased.