Haha.... in reality, the financial independence of stay-at-home women is the major cause of happiness.(All housewives have control of her husband's bank account in Japan; Japanese banks transactions are done using ATM, or the account holder's registered stamp, not his signature) On the other hand.... there is a MIL problem of a different kind : JAPANESE FAMILIES: MARRIED LIFE, WIFE-MOTHER-IN-LAW RELATIONS AND REVERSED GENDER ROLES | Facts and Details Wife and Mother-in-Law Relationship in Japan Traditionally, when a man moved into his parent's house with his wife, his wife was expected to be a kind or servant to her mother-in-law and in some cases couldn't even leave the house without her mother-in-law's permission. This naturally created a lot of friction and wives have traditionally not liked their mother-laws. These days many women refuse to live with their mother-in-laws. Explaining why she moved her family out of her in-laws house one woman told the New York Times, "It wasn't anything in particular just an accumulation of things that suddenly exploded. I just thought it was my own life and I have to live it before it's crushed." Some wives escape the mother-in-law trap by convincing their husbands to move in with her family and even taking her family's name and accepting the responsibility of caring for her parents in old age. Many elderly people like the system because they can live with a daughter they know rather than a potentially hostile daughter-in-law. Husbands who live in these household are called "apple-polishers," which means they are expected to respect their in-laws needs because if they don't they risk getting thrown out of the house.