Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Family- Quotes about Japanese children and parents

 “Americans make efforts to reduce the dependency of a child, and it is not uncommon to hear the mother of a two-year old say ‘You’re a big boy; you can do it yourself.’ This is to shame him into independent behaviour. A Japanese mother would not want that for a young child; she would want more dependence rather than less…” The Japanese Educational Challenge Merry White

“…researchers have shown that American mothers spend less time just being with the child in the same room. Also American mothers talk with their infants more than do Japanese mothers, who spend most of their time in close proximity to the child but say less and vocalize only when trying to lull the child to sleep. They also do not as often try to elicit a spoken response from the child.” The Japanese Educational Challenge (1987) by Merry White, pg. 37

“American mothers will busily go in and out of a baby’s room, neatening up, doing things perhaps unrelated to the specific care of the child. A Japanese mother will sit quietly by the side of the baby, or even lie down beside a napping infant. The American mother might rub the baby’s back until he falls asleep, or sing to him, but will stop when he falls asleep. A Japanese mother will continue to pat the baby, rock him, or carry him long after he has drifted off. One could say that the American sees her role as a set of tasks, such as ‘getting the baby to sleep’, and the Japanese sees herself as ‘being with the baby’- even ‘merging with the baby’. Sitting by the futon as he sleeps is thus not time wasted but part of her commitment to the relationship” Merry White

“An American mother sees her newborn as a dependant being who must be trained to become independent. A Japanese mother sees her baby as a being who, having separated from her and become independent, needs to learn how to become dependant on her once again.” Merry White

“Besides the welfare of the child, the American mother must also constantly protect her own independence, her own freedom to choose, and thus she builds independence in her child to protest herself as well. The Japanese mother needs the bonds and thus, to protect her own identity, works to reinforce a dependent relationship with her child.” Merry White

“Children do not have a set schedule tied to principles of Western child-rearing (such as meal hours set especially for children or fixed bedtimes), but fit into the adult schedule. Usually Masa does not take leave of adults at the end of the day until he is about to fall asleep.” The Japanese Educational Challenge pg. 54

“Masa’s mother ode have her own strategies for coping without overt power. She has learned how to manipulate both her husband and her children to be her allies, although his power to help her is limited by the inappropriateness of his public intercession on her behalf, and her children can only give her affection and ‘indulge’ her by making demands of her, to show that they need her.” The Japanese Educational Challenge pg. 55. Sounds almost Victorian!

Children- Quotes about Japanese children and child raising

“Why is he so good?” An 8 year old American child wondering why a Japanese kid in his school is so well behaved.

“I have seen a 12-year-old boy come into a room where his grandmother was watching… her favourite soap opera, and switch to the teenage gangster serial… without a word of either apology or explanation. Grandmother accepted the change with all the resignation that 65-years’ experience of Japanese men had put at her command” Ronald P Dore


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