Category Archives: Japanese culture

First Year Wall (Part 2) – The (not-so voluntary) parent-teacher conference


In mid-April, I went to a parent-teacher conference. Actually, it was more like an enforced PTA committee, which one parent per kid had to attend. As a group. We sat at our kids’ desks (tiny!) and introduced ourselves. This was … Continue reading

Posted in education, Japan, Japanese, Japanese culture, Japanese law, Japanese society, parenting, school | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death of a Cherry Tree


This past Monday, city workers came to cut down a cherry tree near our house. It had been there for years. We found out later that a neighbor had complained that leaves falling in her backyard were a nuisance to … Continue reading

Posted in death, Japan, Japanese culture, nature, spring | 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

Posted in family outings, holidays, Japan, Japanese, Japanese culture, parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in child safety, education, Japan, Japanese culture, parenting, school | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment