In a special press event, a Tokyo professor puts a price to the blood, sweat, and tears of Japanese wives and mothers.

Face it: no one likes to do chores. I make enough of a mess to need cleaning up just by myself, so the idea of cleaning up the various messes of my children (and partner and partners’ parents and family pets) makes my blood run cold.

My nightmare scenario is a daily reality for many of the hard-working housewives of Japan, and those problems form the basis of the latest installment in director Yoji Yamada’s What a Wonderful Family! film franchise.  What a Wonderful Life! 3: My Wife, My Life puts the main character from the previous two films, retired gentleman Shuzo Hirata, on hold to highlight the strife in his children’s marriage.

On May 1st, the film’s PR crew held an actresses-only only talk event in Tokyo so they could discuss the film, but also let the audience air their household grievances.

And boy, did they ever have grievances! Complaints from the audience towards unhelpful family members included:

“Help with the meals at least, won’t you?”
“They don’t listen to a word I say.”
“Don’t load all the chores onto me!”
“I’m not a housekeeper!”
“Must be nice to have freedom sometimes.”

Then a particularly surprising comment came from someone in the audience: Tokyo University professor Noriyuki Yanagawa.

If you were to compensate every day household chores with an annual salary, it would be something like 7,200,000 yen (USD$56,665) based on current housekeeping service rates.”

The team of actresses gave a thunderous roar of “WHAT?” in response.

▼ Any family can be this serene with an extra 7, 200, 000 yen.

Yanagawa continued to expand on his theory:

“Housewife duties often include late-night overtime, so it wouldn’t be unusual for them to receive upwards of 600,000 yen (USD$5,473) a month.”

“It’s common for a housewife to work herself extremely hard without any monetary compensation, especially if there’s a strong bond of love between her and her husband. Often these women aren’t asking for money; rather, they want their husbands to recognize their hard work and respect their effort.”

“It shouldn’t just be taken for granted that she does all the housework, and just like with any hard labor you should manage your time well and make sure to get enough holidays.”

▼ “Yeah, you just cleaned the apartment, but when’s dinner? Hope it’s not steak again.”

Actresses Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yuu Aoi, and Yui Natsukawa, who all appear in Yamada’s new film, added their opinions to the discussion. “Housewives are really something incredible, aren’t they?” asked Yoshiyuki. “They have a rough time.” Aoi agreed, but also expressed sympathy for women working outside the home. “They work so hard without sleeping or resting!” And Natsukawa’s take? “Regardless of who does the work, I think we should treat each other with compassion and respect.”

The female guests at the event seemed to appreciate this sentiment, as there was a lot of nodding and positive murmuring. Even in these modern times, it’s true that housewives don’t get a lot of the respect they deserve, so it was nice to see this highlighted in a popular event.

Of course, the Internet had a wholly different take.

“I do the chores in my house, where’s my 7200K?”
“If the housewives want a salary like that, maybe they should go work for one of those housekeeping services.”
“Did he forget to include the rate for ‘night-time activities’ too? That’s like 20K yen a pop, right?
“More like 5K if you get it off the street.”
“Who the hell even uses a housekeeping service that expensive?!”

We at SoraNews24 hope you take a little extra time today to thank the person in your house who does all the chores – whether that’s your spouse or parents. If you’re the lucky person doing all the cleaning, well… Just remember, your work is worth millions of yen!

Source: Otakomu, Yahoo! News Japan/, Twitter/@kazoku_tsuraiyo
Top Image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)