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Japanese short stay students

We have a student visiting us from Japan right now. We’ve had several in the past. This one is the same age as my middle daughter.

Cultural differences between our society and Japans are very real. In some ways, the Japanese way of raising kids makes hosting them easy for us. None of our students have been very used to making their own choices. We’ve been coached in not asking “Do you want…?” We simply tell the students, “Let’s go.” or “Have this.” Still, I hope our food has not caused nausea, etc.

Our children are not so good at not offering choices, so every time the girl students (every student who has visited us has been a girl because of our three girls) get some practice at making choices with things like what to eat.

Japanese students of the age we are getting have often not had much experience with helping around the house. This really depends on the student (parent) aspirations and the school they are attending. Imagine going to school in the morning, coming home for two hours for eating and studying, then going back to school in the evening to prepare for tests that will determine your status/income for the rest of your life. When you are no older than 14? Of course there is no time for home chores.

These students are over all very responsible with a strong work ethic, but they don’t know how to live real life. At least not in the US. I wonder when they do get the chance to make their own choice? What is puberty like in Japan when any self expression is under tight control that the child has known all their life? Easier or harder to deal with for the parents?

It is hard to determine how much culture shock the students who visit us experience. I also worry that my messiness is just a really bad thing for these kids. Oh, of course the house is a clean as I can keep it. I’m spending more time doing housework.

I am managing this task while also outputing 2-3 pages a day too!  

What are slacker japanese moms like? Do any of the mothers rebel against this society? Are those the ones that leave? At what point is decision making introduced to the kids, or do they suddenly become adults (coming of age is 21) and experience a sort of shocking transition? My daughter is fascenated with Japanese culture. What does it look like being Japanese and having a kid fascenated with American culture?

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One comment

  1. Vicky who writes at Hyotenka is an Englishwoman married to a Japanese man. She often has interesting insights into the Japanese culture. I bet if your daughter wanted to ask her some questions she would love to answer.


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