The macho ideal of a strong, cool male fits the Japanese ideal very closely.
At home, some Japanese men tend to order their wives about.
They have a tendency to speak gruffly, and use the wife's first name. " or "Mayuko, please get me more coffee." Wives, meanwhile, are generally expected to refer to their husbands with the polite form of "you," or "anata," and they are expected to use more polite phrases and to obey their husbands.
He feels he must shoulder the entire burden of financially supporting the household, and for this, he needs to sacrifice himself to his job.
However, women have not been invisible, especially in Japan's early years.
Some of Japan's greatest literary figures were women, such as the novelist Lady Murasaki, who lived about a thousand years ago. However, when Japan became war-oriented and feudal, women quickly became second-class citizens.
Recently, too, there is growing controversy over gender roles in Japan.
An American friend recently complained bitterly over the pervasiveness of sadistic, (heterosexual) male-oriented Japanese pornography in Japan.