More than 25% of the Japanese population is over the age of 65. With a low birthrate and increasing life expectancy, that figure is only set to increase. Japan is renowned for its respectful and traditionally regimented attitudes towards seniors, but what does it really mean to be ageing now, in the world’s oldest population?
While the immediate future is unlikely to yield AI pseudo-human carers, the notion of robots aiding the elderly is closer than ever. All over the world – especially in Japan, where more than a quarter of the population is over 65 – technology and healthcare are starting to overlap.
What does it feel like to grow old? Professor Philip Tew and Nick Hubble asked over 300 seniors to document their experiences. The findings shed new light on this untapped, misunderstood demographic, overturning assumptions about who seniors really are.
The average cost of a funeral in Japan is ¥4 million (around $40,000), the most expensive in the world. Attention to detail is vital. But why are Shukatsu Tours – where people have their own funeral portraits taken and simulate scattering ashes – becoming popular?
In Japan, kireru rōjin means “old people who are easily angered”. This group is growing rapidly, as the current social climate combined with the differences between older and younger generations generates hostile feelings amongst Japan’s rapidly ageing population.