The inner change that Japan needs after the so-called "lost decade" might depend on a "forgotten asset" - its women. Based on survey data and two stints of field research conducted in different years, this paper aims to highlight the changes in the lifestyle of mainly urban women. By analysing the consumption patterns of these women and how they manage the household economy, the expectations behind their allocation of resources, as well as their enjoyment of daily life, we can see why they are becoming the focus of attention for marketing research companies who consider them as market trendsetters. Three typologies of women will be discussed in this paper to illustrate these aspects of women in Japan.
Ana María Goy Yamamoto (PhD in Business Administration) is Associate Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) lecturing on Japanese business and economy. She is also a senior researcher at the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAO) of the same university. Her current research interest focuses on youth consumer behaviour in Japan.