family

Pirates, poems, and cows all appear on Japanese parents’ top 10 manga picks for kids

Pirates, poems, and cows all appear on Japanese parents’ top 10 manga picks for kids

The common logic is that children shouldn’t waste their time reading comic books, but it’s a little hard for parents to lay down that blanket rule when mom and dad used to be, or maybe still are, avid manga comic fans themselves. After all, how can you tell your kids they can’t read Bleach when you’ve got a trip to the bookstore penciled in on your schedule whenever a new volume of Attack on Titan gets released?

As more and more adults hang on to their love of comics, the question seems to have shifted from “Is it OK for your kids to read manga?” to “Which manga do you want your kids to read?” with a recent poll providing some interesting and informative answers.

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Gadgets before flowers – Japanese moms reveal what they really want for Mother’s Day

Gadgets before flowers – Japanese moms reveal what they really want for Mother’s Day

Although the association of carnations with Mother’s Day began in the United States and stretches back over 100 years, I grew up never really being conscious of it (likely due to some combination of being a terrible son and having little interest in historical events that didn’t involve swords).

In Japan, though, most people are aware that carnations are a symbol for Mother’s Day, and a bouquet of the flowers is by far the most common gift given on the holiday. But while mothers across the country appreciate the gesture, one survey says there’s something they want even more: electronics.

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Touching commercial pulls off a hat-trick to hit us right in the feels once again

Touching commercial pulls off a hat-trick to hit us right in the feels once again

We should probably start a new series here at RocketNews24 featuring “commercials that are bound to make you dissolve in a puddle of tears unless you’re actually an android in disguise.” In addition to Intel Japan and a Thai insurance company’s advertisements earlier this year, these tear-jerking commercials have made us break down sobbing for a third time with a new entry by music company Tosando about a father’s very special message to his daughter on her wedding day. Whether you’re a classical music buff or not, be ready with a box of tissues nearby before watching it – you’re guaranteed to let out a few sniffles at the very least.

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Japanese teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

Japanese teacher criticized for attending son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own school’s

Each April, as the new academic year starts, it’s customary for schools in Japan to hold an entrance ceremony for incoming students. The new pupils assemble in the auditorium, sit quietly while the principal and teachers make speeches, and often sing the alma mater.

For the students, listening to a bunch of grown-ups drone on about the value of education isn’t exactly riveting, and it’s debatable if the words of wisdom that are imparted really make any difference at all in their academic careers. For parents, though, this is a special day. They can appreciate the ceremony as the rite of passage it is, and it gives them an excuse to snap a picture with their child wearing their brand new uniform, which will quickly become too small for them as they grow up all too soon.

It’s a sentiment any parent can feel, even – or perhaps especially – parents who are educators themselves. However, one high school teacher in Japan is being publicly criticized for skipping her school’s entrance ceremony to attend her son’s, instead.

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The greatest wish of underprivileged “pig-shed” sibilings is to have a bright lamp

The greatest wish of underprivileged “pig-shed” sibilings is to have a bright lamp

It was Children’s Day in Taiwan on April 4th, and while many children probably wished for new toys and games or a day of fun and play, a pair of underprivileged siblings living in Nantou County of Taiwan wished for nothing more than a really bright light so that they could study, and for it to rain less so that they could sleep on dry beddings.

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The honesty of children: 3-year-old’s greeting tells father how little time he spends at home

The honesty of children: 3-year-old’s greeting tells father how little time he spends at home

As we’ve talked about before, overtime is pretty common in Japan. At a startling number of companies, it is not considered in the least bit unusual to find staff, who are contracted and only being paid to be there between 8:30 am and 6 pm, still at their desks until 9, 10, or 11 at night. Others may leave the office a little earlier, but are often wrangled into drinking with the boss or entertaining clients until all hours. Others still even work on weekends and, returning home late at night, only see their family while they’re sleeping.

Dutiful partners may grin and bear it when their husband or wife is absent from home for such enormous stretches of time, but kids only speak the truth. Like this little one who, on her father returning home seemingly for the first time in a long time, greeted him like you might a guest or customer to a restaurant…

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Photo collection shows Chinese families with everything they own

Photo collection shows Chinese families with everything they own

If you’ve ever travelled light for an extended amount of time, you’ve probably been surprised at just how little we really need to get by. While it’s easy to get carried away on the waves of consumerism and caught up in the throes of the technological age, it’s just clothes, some food and a roof over our head that’s really on our list of basic needs for survival.

One photographer in China has been challenging people to consider their own lifestyles and necessities with a thought-provoking series of photos of Chinese households. By photographing people surrounded by their belongings, these pictures seem to ask the question, “What do you need to survive?” and “What makes for a happier household: some company and the basic essentials or a modern lifestyle full of slick and shiny extras?”

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Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Many city dwellers, including myself, complain and curse whenever the bus or train is late or breaks down mid-commute, causing us to be late for school or work. We often forget that we are in fact very lucky to be able to commute on public transport. Some children living in the suburbs or countryside spend hours on foot, some even have to cross mountains or rivers just to get to school.

Somewhere in Yibin City of Szechuan Province, China, a 66-year-old granny covers four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to send her handicapped granddaughter to school. That in itself is already an amazing feat, but the incredible thing is, they have never been late for school!

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Mom and daughter’s awesome poses make yoga seem really fun and cute【Photos】

Mom and daughter’s awesome poses make yoga seem really fun and cute【Photos】

In the past, the image of yoga seemed to revolve around bendy indian gurus who were so close to enlightenment you wouldn’t be surprised if they started floating in the air. However, over the past decade or two, yoga began to gain widespread popularity around the world as a form of exercise that promotes both health and mental wellness.

While some ladies prefer to stay in shape with more intensive cardio workouts at the gym, this mother of two keeps her body lean and mean by practicing yoga. Her daily practices have influenced her daughter’s interest in yoga, and their adorable and inspiring photos have garnered a huge following of over 780,000 users on Instagram!

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Made in China with love: Dad crafts an Iron Man-inspired suit for his little boy

Made in China with love: Dad crafts an Iron Man-inspired suit for his little boy

What’s the coolest gift you’ve ever received from your dad? A game console? A puppy? Or perhaps a car? How would you like an Iron Man suit?

A loving father in Zhejiang Province, China, spent a month to hand-make an Iron Man suit for his superhero-loving son. And the cost of making it was merely 300 Chinese yuan (US$49)!

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Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

When we were kids, we were often told to “listen to your mother” or “do as dad says”, and many of us probably went through a time when we secretly swore that we’d never listen to our parents again once we grew up. But as age catches up, some of us begin to realize that our moms and dads do make more sense than we do sometimes.

A Chinese couple recently ignored their parents’ objections to their union and secretly tied the knot, only to later discover that they were actually cousins!

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Picture perfect siblings of 18 years apart melt the hearts of Chinese netizens【Photos】

Picture perfect siblings of 18 years apart melt the hearts of Chinese netizens【Photos】

There are many types of siblings; the over-achieving one who never fails to make you feel like a loser, the bully who makes you do their share of the chores, the doted one who always gets the biggest slice of cake, the spendthrift one who keeps borrowing money from you… we could go on for ages.

Having siblings can be a pain or a blessing, and in the case of this little girl, it’s a huge blessing as she’s lucky enough to have a brother who is 18 years older than her and is nothing short of her Prince Charming!

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57-year-old man acquires diver’s license to search for wife lost in tsunami

57-year-old man acquires diver’s license to search for wife lost in tsunami

A grisly truth is coming to light as Japan’s Tohoku region recovers from the massive earthquake and tsunami that occurred in 2011. When the water receded from damaged areas, it took much of what had been struck, including the bodies of victims.

Nearly three years have passed since the disaster, but there are still residents of the afflicted area classified as missing. As the country moves on and begins to turn its focus to more pressing matters, one 57-year-old man seeking closure has decided to venture into the sea that claimed his wife to personally search for her remains.

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Japanese experts and expats react to parenting norms from around the world

Japanese experts and expats react to parenting norms from around the world

I was on the subway one morning during one of my very first trips to Tokyo when I spotted two unaccompanied elementary school-age girls riding through downtown together. How could two kids who weren’t old enough to drink even a sip of coffee without freaking out be traversing the country’s densest urban center all by themselves?

In Japan, though, very young kids commuting to school without any kind of adult supervision isn’t anything unusual, and as such no one paid the two unaccompanied tykes any mind.

Likewise, sometimes things that seem like the most natural way of raising kids to parents overseas might seem totally bizarre to Japanese adults, as this collection of reactions to parenting around the world by Japanese experts and expats shows.

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Japan gives the world a lesson in showing family devotion

Japan gives the world a lesson in showing family devotion

If there’s one thing that Japan does right, aside from taxis, trains and their abundance of vending machines, it’s their focus on the family unit. Familial piety is an important aspect of the Japanese mentality and ensures the well-being of the country’s aging population. But family devotion isn’t just about offering physical or monetary support; it’s about attitudes. And Japan is paramount when it comes to expressing humility and gratitude. Here’s a wonderful collection quotes from Japanese netizens explaining what it is to express familial piety.

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Tekken’s latest flipbook animation will leave you crying tears of gratitude 【Video】

Tekken’s latest flipbook animation will leave you crying tears of gratitude 【Video】

Remember Tekken, the balding comedian with makeup reminiscent of KISS and a talent for turning out some truly tear-wrenching flipbook animations? Well, he’s done it again, with a ten-minute piece titled A Story about Family.

As with Tekken’s previous works, the story uses absolutely no dialog, but still manages to convey a message of familial piety which transcends cultural borders and is almost certain to evoke some tears. It’ll have you scrambling for the phone to call home and show thanks to those who have supported you throughout the years.

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Counselor Has Harsh Words for Parents of Hikikomori: Over 30 Year-Olds Are Screwed, Over 40 Are Hopeless

Counselor Has Harsh Words for Parents of Hikikomori: Over 30 Year-Olds Are Screwed, Over 40 Are Hopeless

As the social phenomenon which goes by the Japanese name of “hikikomori” continues to grow in Japan and other parts of the world, with the first generation is now well into middle age.  Hikikomori refers to people who engage in social isolation by remaining in their homes for extremely long periods of time.

Carpe Fidem is a website which offers support to families with members who have become hikikomori. However, a column they published recently describing questions which come up during consultations with parents of hikikomori children has been stirring up controversy. In it, the counselor recommends some “tough love” style approaches and may have offended some with their level of frankness.
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New Must-Have Baby Item: Diaper Sushi

New Must-Have Baby Item: Diaper Sushi

It’s so hard to know what kind of gift to bring for a baby shower. You have to know what the expectant parents need, the sex of the baby, the colors they like, what other people are bringing… It can take a lot of thought. Or you can just bring them something guaranteed to be original, useful and cute: Diaper Sushi! Read More

Japan’s Latest Twitter Sensation: Shit My Mom Says

Japan’s Latest Twitter Sensation: Shit My Mom Says

In a woman’s life, she has perhaps no greater teacher than her mother. As she encounters and overcomes life’s various twists and turns, a woman may begin to realize her mother told her things that are important and sometimes even a little profound.

And now everyone can share in this maternal wisdom (if you speak Japanese) thanks to a new Twitter account called Shit My Mom Says. Read More

“Son, Please Be More Careful With Your Condoms! Love, Mom x”

“Son, Please Be More Careful With Your Condoms! Love, Mom x”

We’re sure we all have things that we’d rather our parents didn’t see. That folder within a folder within a folder on the computer titled “schoolwork” that isn’t really anything of the sort; that moustache waxing kit at the back of the drawer; the small collection of letters penned by an old love…

But a parents discovering – and then returning – a condom is perhaps one of the worst experiences a young man or women living at home can have.

Spare a thought, then, for the poor chap who discovered this misplaced condom along with a note from his mother waiting for him when he returned home one evening.

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