Author Archives: MThomas

About MThomas

I've been teaching English as a foreign language in Japan for 16 years. A few years ago, I became the first male faculty member in a Japanese technical college to take child care leave. My first blog on Wordpress detailed that experience. My second blog is about my fiction and non-fiction writing, both published and works in progress.

How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Dying?


Last weekend we all had a great time. Swimming and piano lessons Saturday afternoon followed by dinner out, then all day Sunday at an amusement park/facility with another family, ending with an early supper and kids’ TV show before bed. … Continue reading

Posted in coming of age, death, depression, family outings, Japan, Japanese society, parenting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Farewell, Nursery. Hello, Kindergarten


After turning five in January, our youngest daughter finally made to the end of nursery school (“nen-cho,” 年長). Or so we thought. We had heard rumors in previous years that the system might change. It turns out that in this … Continue reading

Posted in day care, education, Japan, Japanese, Japanese culture, Japanese society, nursery school, school | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who was that Masked Flu Avenger?


Looking back now, I can laugh. The first week of February was rough. My wife had to work both weekend days, at the end of an already exhausting end-of-semester work week. I had also had little sleep. The previous month, my … Continue reading

Posted in festivals, health care, Japan, Japanese, Japanese culture, Japanese society, parenting, school, sickness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kaiten Zushi Magic


Last week, my youngest daughter turned 5. Because three of us (both daughters and myself) were recovering from the mumps, we cancelled her birthday party and rescheduled it for the 14th. As a reward to both girls for their hard … Continue reading

Posted in eating, family outings, food, Japan, Japanese, Japanese culture, parenting, party | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daddy-daughter vacation (kind of)


Friday, my two daughters (aged 7 and 4) and I set off on a four-hour bullet train (Shinkansen) ride without my wife. She did see us off at the Shin-Osaka bullet train station, but since she had a week-long business … Continue reading

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Self-reliance starts young


Two weeks ago, my daughter graduated nursery school. Last week, my grandmother passed away (my daughter’s great-grandmother). Today, my daughter walked to elementary school for the first time. And the cycle continues… This is cherry blossom (sakura) season in Japan, … Continue reading

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The end is the beginning


Our daughter is now leaving nursery school. From her birth to my wife’s maternity leave to my paternity leave, from building a new house to finishing a doctorate to switching jobs, from one daughter to another (who’s a completely different … Continue reading

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