Surprisingly “dealing with in-laws” isn’t the number one reason.

Obon in Japan is when people return to their hometown to visit family and pay respects to the dead. It lasts over a period of three days, and married couples often reunite with their parents and catch up with relatives.

Important as it may be, not everyone is excited about this annual family gathering tradition. With this year’s Obon already out of the way, mobile phone company Docomo took the opportunity to ask 6,766 people (both men and women) about why they loathe returning to the wife’s home. The way the question was framed might seem strange, but the reasons likely also apply to the husband’s hometown.

▼ We’ve reproduced the graph here.

According to the survey, the number one reason for both men and women was that they didn’t feel comfortable during family gatherings. And that’s understandable, given that such occasions often result in limited communication between relatives they hardly know, not to mention having to deal with awkward conversation topics from Uncle Jiro (no offense to the Jiros out there).

Coming in second place was “others.” Due to the simplistic nature of the survey, however, we’re clueless as to what those reasons might have been.

17 percent of respondents were on good terms with their extended family, as they didn’t have any problems visiting their wife’s hometown. Family gatherings can be an awkward affair, but throw in a healthy dose of compassion and forgiveness, and they can be a blast.

▼ A bigger family means bigger parties, right?

Next are the in-laws, and treating them like real parents can be arduous for anyone, regardless of country. Breaking it down into results from both sides, what’s intriguing is that men and women are apparently not great at getting along with their father-in-laws and mother-in-laws respectively.

▼ Cleanliness, hometown ruralness and incompatible
food affect a minority of respondents.

It’s interesting how Docomo’s survey sheds light on Japanese people’s perception of family gatherings, showing that such events can be stifling for some people. Given some of the unusual household rules some families have, it can be hard to get everyone on the same wavelength.

Source: Minna no Koe
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: ©SoraNews24, Pakutaso (1, 2)

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