Using data from the 1988 Mainichi Newspapers/Nihon University National Family Survey, we analyzed the living arrangements and attitudes toward inheritance of Japanese aged 60 and over. Logit analysis indicates that living arrangements are influenced by gender, age, marital status, education, urban residence, and number of living children. Log-linear modeling of inheritance attitudes shows that living with married children, lower educational attainment, and living in a traditionally agricultural area are associated with favoring bequests to eldest sons, as opposed to bequests to all children equally or to whoever takes care of the elderly person. The results are consistent with modernization theory of gerontology and convergence theory of family sociology in that elderly persons with more 'modern' characteristics are more likely to depart from prewar ideals of living with married children and preferring bequests to eldest sons only.
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