Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2023 3:45 PM - Tuesday, March 07, 2023 5:20 PM


  • Mary Brinton (Harvard University)
  • David H. Slater (Sophia University)


Please joins us for a discussion with Mary Brinton (Harvard University) to speak about her new book,縛られる日本人-人口減少をもたらす「規範」を打ち破れるか(中公新書2715) (Japan Tied Up in Knots: Can the Norms Leading to Population Decline Be Broken)? We will discuss the population crisis, the topic of her new book, from both an economic and social perspective. The publication of this new book, targeted for a popular Japanese audience, will also allow us to talk about the role of the scholar in society today.

Japan's population is declining. Why are birth rates and happiness levels so low? By interviewing and analyzing data from the child-rearing generation in Japan, the U.S., and Sweden, we can uncover a picture of young Japanese men and women bound by "norms". The research also reveals the extent to which Japanese people value family, why most Japanese men do not take childcare leave, problems inherent in the Japanese workplace, and what we can learn from Sweden and the U.S. This is an urgent new book written by a leading U.S. expert on Japan.

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Date & Time:

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 15:45 - 17:20 Tokyo

This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Mary Brinton

Harvard University
Mary Brinton

Professor Mary Brinton is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. She joined the Harvard faculty in 2003, having previously taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years and at Cornell University for 4 years. Brinton’s research and teaching focus on gender inequality, labor markets and employment, social demography, and contemporary Japanese society. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets. Brinton generally engages in primary data collection for her research projects, and has designed social surveys, interviews, and observational studies in Japan and Korea. Brinton studied sociolinguistics as an undergraduate at Stanford University, and earned an MA in Japanese Studies and an MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Washington. Brinton served as Chair of the Harvard Department of Sociology from 2010 to 2016.

David H. Slater

Professor of Cultural Anthropology Sophia University

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