パラサイト シングル
(Japanese, from English root words "parasite" and "singles")

Japanese phrase, coined by sociologist Yamada Masahiro of the Tokyo Gakugei University Faculty of Education in an article in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, February 8, 1997, evening edition. The term is meant to describe a new sociological phenomenon in Japan, "unmarried people who, even after leaving school, continue to live with their parents and depend on them for food, clothing, and shelter".

The phrase caught on, purveying an image of the younger generation of Japanese as spoiled and parasitic, outstaying their welcome at home and sponging off their parents - while at the same time enjoying the benefits of a large disposable income, since they did not have to spend their salary on housing and food.

Associated terms abound, such as furitaa (フリター, from English "free" and German Arbeiter - q.v. arubaito) to describe a person who never marries and never settles into a steady or permanent job - the Japanese equivalent of a slacker.

However, the concept of a parasitic younger generation may be unfair - Genda Yuuji has pointed out in several articles that the situation may be the result not of intentional abuse of the older generation's goodwill, but of economic factors related to a system geared toward maintaining the jobs and wages of older employees, to the detriment of their juniors.

The instability caused by this situation has also had an effect on the confidence of the younger generation in their prospects for the future. In a 2001 survey, only about one-third of Japanese teenagers polled expressed positive expectations for their future.

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