Dienstag, März 31, 2015

Japan: Väter besonders stark ausgegrenzt

Aside from ikumen (イクメン, men who play a role in raising their children), Nihon no otōsan (日本のお父さん, Japanese fathers) are a pretty sad lot. The vast majority of them have been and continue to be kaya no soto (蚊帳の外, literally "outside the mosquito net," meaning "left out") inside their own homes — they often have no idea what their own families are up to.

Among the alarming increase in cases of shōnen hanzai (少年犯罪, juvenile crime), one fact stands out as emblematic of the state of the Nihon no katei (日本の家庭, Japanese home): The father is often nowhere to be seen. There’s even a phrase for this — chichioya fuzai (父親不在, roughly meaning that the father is missing in action).

(...) Japanese dads are expected to bleed themselves out onto the floors of the kaisha (会社, company), thereby ensuring that their okusan (奥さん, wife) is comfortable and shiawase (幸せ, happy).

And what constitutes happiness for the wives of Japanese fathers? Last time I checked, it amounts to kōgai no ikkenya (郊外の一軒家, a house in the suburbs), kodomo no shiritsu gakkō kyōiku (子供の私立学校教育, private schooling for the children) and tsukiichi ranchi (月イチランチ, a monthly lunch party) with her female friends. All this is preceded by a swanky kekkonshiki (結婚式, wedding) and kaigai shinkonryokō (海外新婚旅行, overseas honeymoon) that provides endless selfie and tsūshotto (ツーショット, couples’ photo) opportunities. No wonder we’re living in the era of the bankon (晩婚, late marriage) — what young person in this teitai keizai (停滞経済, stagnant economy) can finance the trappings of holy matrimony?

As my young cousin Kazuya remarked the other day, “Otoko wa kekkonshitara okane wo suitorarete isshō fukō ni narudake” (「男は結婚したらお金を吸い取られて一生不幸になるだけ」, "A man who gets married will have all his money sucked out of him and be unhappy for the rest of his life").

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