• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

I, Iku-man

July 7th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized

From Matt G. comes a link to good news for fathers in Japan.

First, the problem, as reported by Monocle:

Japan, birthplace of the workaholic salaryman, has long held the dubious distinction of being one of the most overworked nations in the developed world. And nowhere is this better reflected than in the context of Japanese fathers. Fewer than 1 per cent of new dads take the full leave to which they are legally entitled – often because it is professionally frowned upon, adds pressure on their colleagues and lowers chances of promotion.

So it should come as little surprise that further studies show Japanese fathers spend the least time on childcare and housework compared with their counterparts in other industrialised nations.

The solution: a switch to the same model I saw used in Germany, where the overall allowed parental leave time increases if both spouses use some of it each. Also, new Japanese dads can take some time of even if their wives aren’t working. That’s a big switch, because it signals that paternal leave is not just a functional necessity (a solution to the nuts-and-bolts problem of who will stay with baby), but also an emotional and developmental necessity (baby needs to get to know its father). Like many trends in Japan, it has inspired a hybrid nickname: iku-men, from the word iku-ji (childrearing).

It seems like such a simple thing, doesn’t it? Japan has been worried about its low birth rate for such a long time, but hasn’t even taken these modest steps before now. Same here in the States–there is so much hand-wringing and blather about the future of our children, the state of the family. But little action to actually make it, you know, easier to parent well. Affordable child care, universal pre-k, health insurance for all (with the attendant good access to prenatal and postnatal care).

It’s always enjoyable to poke fun at the batshit workaholic Japanese, but there are some near-impossible things about trying to have and raise a child in this country. Always good to look in the mirror as well.


Leave a Response

tips/suggestions/grievances

Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!

DadWagon

Do you show this to your kids?

AP Images

An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Turkish police shot and killed the gunman, Turkish station NTV reported. Russia's ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in Ankara, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. #APPhoto by Burhan Ozbilici

Story developing: http://apne.ws/2hRY0rH

Dec 19th, 2016 7:32pm • No Comments

"They watch their mothers and fathers overdose and die on the bathroom floor. They live without electricity, food or heat when their parents can’t pay the bills. They stop going to school, and learn to steal and forage to meet their basic needs."

The Children of the Opioid Crisis

wsj.com

Left behind by addict parents, tens of thousands of youngsters flood the nation’s foster-care system; grandparents become moms and dads again

Dec 16th, 2016 2:11pm • No Comments

Don't forget the gift receipt(s)!

A Gift for Every Type of Dad (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

nymag.com

Including cricket-flour protein bars, ice-cold beer chillers, and an air fryer that uses hardly any oil.

Dec 9th, 2016 3:27pm • No Comments

As Ryu Spaeth pointed out, the only thing worse than "Papa" is the pronunciation "paPA." PERISH THE THOUGHT.

DadWagon

“I just think ‘dad’ and ‘mom’ are very Saved by the Bell-ish,” said Will Grose, 36, a Brooklyn father of three boys under the age of 5.

Nov 30th, 2016 5:20pm • 1 Comment