Time for Some Culture Shock!
If you’re anything but Japanese and living traditionally, I have an all new way of living to propose!
That is, if you’ve already proposed.
Today I’d like to tell you the meaning of the word “okozukai”,—roughly translated, it means pocket money. Pocket money paid to a husband by his wife out of his own paycheck. That’s right folks, money for him to buy himself something pretty that he, in turn, supplied in the first place.
Basically, in Japan women are the ones who control all household expenditure including bills and personal expenses. The husband traditionally goes out to work and then hands over his paycheck, even if the wife works as well. Although it’s down to only half of the population’s marriages that are still doing this (down to—ha!) many Japanese swear by the practice as it has been proven to save a household (on average) an equivalent of $200,000. In fact, so prevalent is the practice that a common topic of conversation amongst married men is how much their respective okozukai is.
What do husbands spend this money on? Well, anything they may need. From haircuts to new clothing to cigarettes, the okozukai is meant to handle any and all expense the husband may incur. Women in the household (the wives) are also entitled to their own form of okozukai although it is typically much less than the husband’s. And even lower still are both allowances if the couple should have children, as many expenses are taken from the family allowance to make sure all kids are provided for.
I don’t know about you, but I think I have something to talk to my husband about tonight.