The idea of living alone in Japan is a relatively new one. In the past, as with many countries, people tended to live with their families–either their parents or their children and spouses–for almost their entire lives. Obviously, the college years were a time for people to get out of the house, as it were, but even then, many students opted to live at home and commute to school. After all, it’s pretty hard to say “no” to a home-cooked meal, little or no rent and clean laundry.
But that trend has been steadily reversing itself as Japan becomes more and more a society of single-person households. (Can we blame them?) In fact, it is estimated that by 2035, two thirds of people over the age of 50 will be living alone.