Today we briefly introduce a resource for those interested in gender studies in modern Japan: the Gender Statistics Database. This source is almost entirely presented in a bilingual format. As stated on the site:
The Gender Statistics Database by National Women’s Education Center of Japan (NWEC) provides 551 statistical tables to show the situation of Japanese women and men in their daily living. It lays emphasis on showing the differences and similarities between women and men.
The tables in the database are divided into 11 categories and most of them are originally from statistical data by government ministries and agencies. All the tables are provided in excel format.
These categories include: population, household and family, labor, time use and unpaid work, household budget and property, learning and education, security and welfare, health, security and crime, decision-making, and consciousness surveys.
Users can click on each of these categories to access a variety of statistics collections, which appear to be listed in no particular order. The lists do, however, provide (in both English and Japanese) the source survey title, the ministry or agency that tendered the survey, the titles of the surveys, and the ability to download each survey in an Excel file format for personal use. Although the Excel files themselves occasionally have formatting issues, the data is also typically provided in a bilingual format, and is easy to utilize for your own research or interests.
It is also possible to search not by category of survey subject, but specifically by which ministry or agency conducted the survey, in case you have a specific interest in seeing what types of surveys these organizations focus on.
Furthermore, those without a specific category or ministry in mind can also perform a free keyword search, and those with Japanese skills may find their link for a thesaurus for women-related report terms useful, since this can at times be highly specialized vocabulary.
The site also includes a helpful guide in English and Japanese about how to enter search terms most effectively for the results you want and also includes links to other related websites in Japanese. These statistics will definitely be useful for researchers and those with a casual interest in modern Japan from a number of gender-related perspectives. The major drawback one will find, though, is a limited application of the term “gender” here, including information on only men and women in the biological sense.