Japanese teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

Each April, as the new academic year starts, it’s customary for schools in Japan to hold an entrance ceremony for incoming students. The new pupils assemble in the auditorium, sit quietly while the principal and teachers make speeches, and often sing the alma mater.

For the students, listening to a bunch of grown-ups drone on about the value of education isn’t exactly riveting, and it’s debatable if the words of wisdom that are imparted really make any difference at all in their academic careers. For parents, though, this is a special day. They can appreciate the ceremony as the rite of passage it is, and it gives them an excuse to snap a picture with their child wearing their brand new uniform, which will quickly become too small for them as they grow up all too soon.

It’s a sentiment any parent can feel, even – or perhaps especially – parents who are educators themselves. However, one high school teacher in Japan is being publicly criticized for skipping her school’s entrance ceremony to attend her son’s, instead.

Read More

The greatest wish of underprivileged “pig-shed” sibilings is to have a bright lamp

It was Children’s Day in Taiwan on April 4th, and while many children probably wished for new toys and games or a day of fun and play, a pair of underprivileged siblings living in Nantou County of Taiwan wished for nothing more than a really bright light so that they could study, and for it to rain less so that they could sleep on dry beddings.

Read More

The honesty of children: 3-year-old’s greeting tells father how little time he spends at home

As we’ve talked about before, overtime is pretty common in Japan. At a startling number of companies, it is not considered in the least bit unusual to find staff, who are contracted and only being paid to be there between 8:30 am and 6 pm, still at their desks until 9, 10, or 11 at night. Others may leave the office a little earlier, but are often wrangled into drinking with the boss or entertaining clients until all hours. Others still even work on weekends and, returning home late at night, only see their family while they’re sleeping.

Dutiful partners may grin and bear it when their husband or wife is absent from home for such enormous stretches of time, but kids only speak the truth. Like this little one who, on her father returning home seemingly for the first time in a long time, greeted him like you might a guest or customer to a restaurant…

Read More

Photo collection shows Chinese families with everything they own

If you’ve ever travelled light for an extended amount of time, you’ve probably been surprised at just how little we really need to get by. While it’s easy to get carried away on the waves of consumerism and caught up in the throes of the technological age, it’s just clothes, some food and a roof over our head that’s really on our list of basic needs for survival.

One photographer in China has been challenging people to consider their own lifestyles and necessities with a thought-provoking series of photos of Chinese households. By photographing people surrounded by their belongings, these pictures seem to ask the question, “What do you need to survive?” and “What makes for a happier household: some company and the basic essentials or a modern lifestyle full of slick and shiny extras?”

Read More

Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Many city dwellers, including myself, complain and curse whenever the bus or train is late or breaks down mid-commute, causing us to be late for school or work. We often forget that we are in fact very lucky to be able to commute on public transport. Some children living in the suburbs or countryside spend hours on foot, some even have to cross mountains or rivers just to get to school.

Somewhere in Yibin City of Szechuan Province, China, a 66-year-old granny covers four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to send her handicapped granddaughter to school. That in itself is already an amazing feat, but the incredible thing is, they have never been late for school!

Read More

Mom and daughter’s awesome poses make yoga seem really fun and cute【Photos】

In the past, the image of yoga seemed to revolve around bendy indian gurus who were so close to enlightenment you wouldn’t be surprised if they started floating in the air. However, over the past decade or two, yoga began to gain widespread popularity around the world as a form of exercise that promotes both health and mental wellness.

While some ladies prefer to stay in shape with more intensive cardio workouts at the gym, this mother of two keeps her body lean and mean by practicing yoga. Her daily practices have influenced her daughter’s interest in yoga, and their adorable and inspiring photos have garnered a huge following of over 780,000 users on Instagram!

Read More

Made in China with love: Dad crafts an Iron Man-inspired suit for his little boy

What’s the coolest gift you’ve ever received from your dad? A game console? A puppy? Or perhaps a car? How would you like an Iron Man suit?

A loving father in Zhejiang Province, China, spent a month to hand-make an Iron Man suit for his superhero-loving son. And the cost of making it was merely 300 Chinese yuan (US$49)!

Read More

Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

When we were kids, we were often told to “listen to your mother” or “do as dad says”, and many of us probably went through a time when we secretly swore that we’d never listen to our parents again once we grew up. But as age catches up, some of us begin to realize that our moms and dads do make more sense than we do sometimes.

A Chinese couple recently ignored their parents’ objections to their union and secretly tied the knot, only to later discover that they were actually cousins!

Read More

Picture perfect siblings of 18 years apart melt the hearts of Chinese netizens【Photos】

There are many types of siblings; the over-achieving one who never fails to make you feel like a loser, the bully who makes you do their share of the chores, the doted one who always gets the biggest slice of cake, the spendthrift one who keeps borrowing money from you… we could go on for ages.

Having siblings can be a pain or a blessing, and in the case of this little girl, it’s a huge blessing as she’s lucky enough to have a brother who is 18 years older than her and is nothing short of her Prince Charming!

Read More

57-year-old man acquires diver’s license to search for wife lost in tsunami

A grisly truth is coming to light as Japan’s Tohoku region recovers from the massive earthquake and tsunami that occurred in 2011. When the water receded from damaged areas, it took much of what had been struck, including the bodies of victims.

Nearly three years have passed since the disaster, but there are still residents of the afflicted area classified as missing. As the country moves on and begins to turn its focus to more pressing matters, one 57-year-old man seeking closure has decided to venture into the sea that claimed his wife to personally search for her remains.

Read More

Japanese experts and expats react to parenting norms from around the world

I was on the subway one morning during one of my very first trips to Tokyo when I spotted two unaccompanied elementary school-age girls riding through downtown together. How could two kids who weren’t old enough to drink even a sip of coffee without freaking out be traversing the country’s densest urban center all by themselves?

In Japan, though, very young kids commuting to school without any kind of adult supervision isn’t anything unusual, and as such no one paid the two unaccompanied tykes any mind.

Likewise, sometimes things that seem like the most natural way of raising kids to parents overseas might seem totally bizarre to Japanese adults, as this collection of reactions to parenting around the world by Japanese experts and expats shows.

Read More

Japan gives the world a lesson in showing family devotion

If there’s one thing that Japan does right, aside from taxis, trains and their abundance of vending machines, it’s their focus on the family unit. Familial piety is an important aspect of the Japanese mentality and ensures the well-being of the country’s aging population. But family devotion isn’t just about offering physical or monetary support; it’s about attitudes. And Japan is paramount when it comes to expressing humility and gratitude. Here’s a wonderful collection quotes from Japanese netizens explaining what it is to express familial piety.

Read More

Tekken’s latest flipbook animation will leave you crying tears of gratitude 【Video】

Remember Tekken, the balding comedian with makeup reminiscent of KISS and a talent for turning out some truly tear-wrenching flipbook animations? Well, he’s done it again, with a ten-minute piece titled A Story about Family.

As with Tekken’s previous works, the story uses absolutely no dialog, but still manages to convey a message of familial piety which transcends cultural borders and is almost certain to evoke some tears. It’ll have you scrambling for the phone to call home and show thanks to those who have supported you throughout the years.

Read More

Counselor Has Harsh Words for Parents of Hikikomori: Over 30 Year-Olds Are Screwed, Over 40 Are Hopeless

As the social phenomenon which goes by the Japanese name of “hikikomori” continues to grow in Japan and other parts of the world, with the first generation is now well into middle age.  Hikikomori refers to people who engage in social isolation by remaining in their homes for extremely long periods of time.

Carpe Fidem is a website which offers support to families with members who have become hikikomori. However, a column they published recently describing questions which come up during consultations with parents of hikikomori children has been stirring up controversy. In it, the counselor recommends some “tough love” style approaches and may have offended some with their level of frankness.
Read More

New Must-Have Baby Item: Diaper Sushi

It’s so hard to know what kind of gift to bring for a baby shower. You have to know what the expectant parents need, the sex of the baby, the colors they like, what other people are bringing… It can take a lot of thought. Or you can just bring them something guaranteed to be original, useful and cute: Diaper Sushi! Read More

Japan’s Latest Twitter Sensation: Shit My Mom Says

In a woman’s life, she has perhaps no greater teacher than her mother. As she encounters and overcomes life’s various twists and turns, a woman may begin to realize her mother told her things that are important and sometimes even a little profound.

And now everyone can share in this maternal wisdom (if you speak Japanese) thanks to a new Twitter account called Shit My Mom Says. Read More

“Son, Please Be More Careful With Your Condoms! Love, Mom x”

We’re sure we all have things that we’d rather our parents didn’t see. That folder within a folder within a folder on the computer titled “schoolwork” that isn’t really anything of the sort; that moustache waxing kit at the back of the drawer; the small collection of letters penned by an old love…

But a parents discovering – and then returning – a condom is perhaps one of the worst experiences a young man or women living at home can have.

Spare a thought, then, for the poor chap who discovered this misplaced condom along with a note from his mother waiting for him when he returned home one evening.

Read More

Chinese man sold his own child away to bring up someone else’s child

We’ve all heard the stories of Chinese parents selling away their babies. Some do so because the government allows only one child per family, and they would rather have a son than a daughter. Some do so because they are too poor to support a child. Some do so in order to fund their online gaming habits.

But this 72-year-old Chinese man from Chongqing, he sold away his daughter in order to bring up someone else’s daughter.

Read More

Twitter User Offers Theory on Ghibli Characters’ Past, Japanese Internet Goes Mental

Those of you fortunate enough to have been introduced to Studio Ghibli’s animated feature films will know that they’re of the highest quality and easily rival Disney’s own productions.

Back in my native UK, comparatively few people have met with Ghibli’s heart-warming animated creations, with some people, in fact, falling into the trap of thinking that anything foreign and “a bit manga” is probably not for them. Thanks to the UK’s relative reluctance to embrace the movies, it was not until I was 15 years old when, one rainy Sunday afternoon, My Neighbor Totoro was shown on cable TV that I first became aware of Hayao Miyazaki’s work. At the time, I had no idea what I was watching, but have been a huge fan ever since.

Over in the studio’s native Japan, however, Studio Ghibli has become something of a national treasure since its establishment in 1985, with the studio’s near-annual releases always eagerly awaited, and usually met with both an abundance of praise and mounds of cash.

For most Japanese, Ghibli characters like My Neighbor Totoro’s Satsuki and Mei, Spirited Away’s Chihiro, or broomstick-riding Kiki from the movie of the same name, form a part of their childhood or are attached to fond memories, perhaps even more-so than Mickey, Donald and pals are toWesterners.

So when one hawk-eyed Twitter user suggested that perhaps certain Ghibli characters have cropped up in more than movie without us realising it, internet users understandably paid attention…

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6