n Japan, it has long been said that a man’s 41st year is an unlucky one, full of hardship and difficulty. I myself am 41 years old this year. I’m right in the middle of it, and I have one question. Are the 41-yr-old men in this world really unhappy?
There is some interesting data. The data compares the happiness of men by age. When asked “Are you unhappy?” 21% of men in their twenties responded “yes,” 19% of those in their thirties responded “yes,” and the number of affirmative responses for those in their 40s jumped to 24%. However, the trend reversed for those in their 50s, with only 19% responding “yes,” and the number shrinks to 9% for those in their 60s (however, the number of respondents who claimed to be happy was only 66%). Looking at this data, it could be said that the 40s represent the unhappiest period in the human lifecycle.
What’s more, in looking into the hearts of 41-yr-old men a distinctive trend can be seen. In addition to personal concerns such as “daily expenses” and “saving for the future” people in this age group seem to be more concerned than other age groups with societal issues like domestic politics,
economics, and discrimination, such that the age of 41 could be described as one in which one’s head is full of concerns. This seems to indicate that the “unlucky” year is statistical and not just a superstition, and we should acknowledge it as a fact.
Being an age in which one experiences uncertainty and stress, importance must be placed on enjoying one’s free time. Isn’t it true that one can learn life lessons and be inspired while reading books, watching movies, or attending sporting events in one’s free time? If we look at the responses from 41-yr-old men to the question, “Who is your hero?” we can see an interesting trend.
When ranked overall, the responses (in order) included the traditional heroes like “Ultraman” “Kamen Rider” “Son Goku” and “Ichiro.” From about the 20th position onward we can witness a distinctive trend in the answers of those in their 40s.
*22nd: Sazou Idemitsu (749th overall)
*24th: Shinji Murakami (776th overall)
*25th: Rino Sashihara (1080th overall)
The keyword that ties these three together is “unprecedented.” Through their unconventional words and deeds they created completely new positions.
41 is an age with many constraints and ties, and this ranking seems to indicate a longing for a lifestyle that is outside of that framework.
I’ve written timidly about “41-yr-olds” but it’s important to remember that these difficulties are just a transition period, and because humans can learn new things happiness increases later in life, so as I write this column I sincerely hope that we are all able to enjoy ourselves as we overcome it.
(Article by: Yasuhiro Takeda)
The Fields Research Institute (FRI) has conducted a survey which presented 300 questions to over 10,000 people, the “Fields Yoka Survey 2017”, regarding topics such as the value to be found in leisure time activities and their actual implications.
These are some of the conclusions from an analysis of the survey.
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.