Addressing Japan's Population Crisis

Mary Brinton (Harvard University) in discussion with

David H. Slater, (Sophia University)

March 7, 2023 | 3:45 - 5:20PM (JST)


Members and friends of the Harvard Club of Japan are kindly invited to this discussion event at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan.



Mary Brinton, Harvard University

David H. Slater, Sophia University



Please joins us for a discussion with Mary Brinton (Harvard University) to speak about her new book, 縛られる日本人-人口減少をもたらす「規範」を打ち破れるか(中公新書2715) (Japan Tied Up in Knots: Can the Norms Leading to Population Decline Be Broken)? We will discuss the population crisis, the topic of her new book, from both an economic and social perspective. The publication of this new book, targeted for a popular Japanese audience, will also allow us to talk about the role of the scholar in society today.


Japan's population is declining. Why are birth rates and happiness levels so low? By interviewing and analyzing data from the child-rearing generation in Japan, the U.S., and Sweden, we can uncover a picture of young Japanese men and women bound by "norms". The research also reveals the extent to which Japanese people value family, why most Japanese men do not take childcare leave, problems inherent in the Japanese workplace, and what we can learn from Sweden and the U.S. This is an urgent new book written by a leading U.S. expert on Japan.



Professor Mary Brinton is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. She joined the Harvard faculty in 2003, having previously taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years and at Cornell University for 4 years. Brinton’s research and teaching focus on gender inequality, labor markets and employment, social demography, and contemporary Japanese society. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets. Brinton generally engages in primary data collection for her research projects, and has designed social surveys, interviews, and observational studies in Japan and Korea. Brinton studied sociolinguistics as an undergraduate at Stanford University, and earned an MA in Japanese Studies and an MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Washington. Brinton served as Chair of the Harvard Department of Sociology from 2010 to 2016.


 • In Discussion with David Slater, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sophia University


Professor Brinton's latest work  縛られる日本人 was reviewed in the Nikkei last fall.   It is available at Amazon and bookstores across Japan.



Webinar Access

March 7, 2023 | 3:45 - 5:20 PM Tokyo


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Hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS)

Temple University, Japan Campus

Information: Kyle Cleveland, ICAS Co-Director (


Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies

Temple University, Japan Campus


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the views of Temple University or the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies