Category Archives: parenting

“Japan should rethink gender roles”? Yeah, no kidding


On December 5th, I gave an invited lecture-slash-workshop at a university in Gifu, where conservative values reign and men and women think they can run the families like it’s 1899. The very same I made the trek up there, an … Continue reading

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Ten Years of Taking Leave


Looking back, it’s amazing to me now that I dared to even apply for a year of paternity leave while living in a foreign country. But I’ve never regretted the decision. As I told an audience of university students and … Continue reading

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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

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The First Year Wall (Part 1) – Gakudo and the Kid


Three weeks ago, our youngest daughter went to nursery school for the last time. The following Monday, she started gakudo (学童, short for 学童教育 gakudokyouiku, which is usually translated as “after school program”). Since both my wife and I work … Continue reading

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End of an Era: Goodbye, Nursery School


And so it begins. The end of the start of the rest of my children’s childhood. By which I mean our youngest daughter graduated from nursery school / kindergarten. Thinking back, we’ve been coming to our local nursery school every … Continue reading

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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

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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

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