Week 1 Family/Gender Issues September 7-13

Conference Call: The time for the call will be arranged so that the participants will all be able to get acquainted.

  • Ann Crescini’s TED Talk in Japanese, “Understanding Worldview Changes Us
    Reading: 1. The Japanese Mind: Family/Gender Issues

    • Ch. 22, Pg 179-186 “Good Wives and Wise Mother: The Social Expectations of Women in Japan,” Ryosaikenbo 良妻賢母
    • Ch. 7, Pg 61-70 “Male and Female Relationships in Japan,” Danjyo Kankei 男女関係
    • Ch. 16, Pg 135-142 “Childrearing Practices in Japan,” Ikuji 育児
    • Ch. 14, Pg 119-126 The Japanese Ie 家 System

    https://ameblo.jp/annechan521/entry-12351704814.html

    Writing: Weekly Paper: “Impressions and Points from Your Reading”

    • 1. Interact with the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
    • 2. Discuss how these cultural characteristics might affect your ministry with Japanese people.
    • There is no minimum or maximum amount for this assignment. Use this as an opportunity to reflect and apply what you have read. This is to be written in your comment section of Japan 102.
    • Read as many of the other students’ writings and comment on at least two of them.

    Pray:

    • Pray daily for Japan and Japanese, using Operation Japan. Make a note in your blog concerning the information and/or your prayer.

    Extra Suggestions:

Questions

  • 1

    Weekly Writings

    Alissa Bauer

    Hi there! Where do we post our weekly papers?

    • Riz Crescini

      Hi Alissa,
      “Weekly paper” might throw you off as it makes one think of a Word file or PDF to upload. But all you’re being asked to do is to post your comments on here, in the same manner that you asked the question. Hope that helps.

      -Riz

  • 0

    Brandalyn Week 1 thoughts on Ch 22

    Brandalyn

    I really appreciated the first TED talk video. I think she’s right on with the need to go deep and learn the heart and world view of people to connect.

    First thoughts on Ch 22:
    -I’m interested to see what I think of the rest of the book, but I felt like this chapter had a bit of a negative bend towards the role of women. It didn’t sound particularly objective, but more like there was a bit of an axe to grind. I’m trying to look past that, but I feel the need to stay right off that I don’t think there is anything wrong with teaching girls to sew and knit or having small size mops, kitchen sets and baby dolls for little girls. Forcing girls to ONLY play with those things, or only learn those skills and blocking them from others seems just as wrong as barring boys from playing house or learning to create with fabrics or yarns.

    But into the questions at the end of the chapter.
    1 – I think the roles should be whatever Japanese society thinks the roles should be. My opinions as an outsider looking in don’t carry much value! But from the women I have talked to, they would like more of a western marriage where there is more help at home from the men.
    2 – No, I know that not all aspire to those roles. Many do want to be housewives and mothers and that is more than OK. I think we all should have space and freedom to be who God created us to be with our different skills and desires and passions and areas of focus.
    3 – It depends on what their wive’s reality is – do they have children that they care for? Do they care for elderly parents? If the women are just home with free time to do with life as they wish, then the men have a valid point, but any dad who has stayed home to take care of the kids while mom is away or sick knows that parenting all day isn’t a holiday.
    4 – Yes, I’m already seeing it last year with some new changes in Japan to encourage women to have children (free day care etc)
    5 – I don’t know that I know enough to answer this. In my own culture in Canada some people think that there is blatant discrimination against women. My criteria for that is much higher/stronger – I disagree. I know that Japan has more rigid expectations for gender and family roles than Canada, but from what I have seen in my friends and their families it wouldn’t meet my criteria for “blatant discrimination against women” – I see that more in other countries where women are banned from school, can’t work, have no voice or say in their lives or society. But Japan does hold to some more traditional family and gender roles than we are accustomed to in the west. However, we are recognizing that our society is starting to fall apart a bit and the family is at the center of the breakdown. So do I think that we have the answer and ought to encourage other nations to follow us? BY NO MEANS!!!!
    6- This is huge. I think that women should have the opportunities to work and have careers if they so choose. But I also recognize the huge toll that it takes on families and children if BOTH parents are working full time outside the home and focused on careers. Personally, I’d choose investing in my kids and family over investing in my career and having others raise my kids. But this is hardly something that can be mandated, it has to be more of a heart issue that people choose because they believe that it is best. But I do believe that children and societies suffer when children aren’t raised at home with loving, invested parents.
    7 – I don’t know.
    8 – I don’t know about this or if it is still the case. That would be hard to take if I were growing up in Japan. It doesn’t seem very right or fair to me.
    9 – I’m not entirely sure that I know enough to give much of an answer on this one either.
    10 – I don’t know if hanayome-shugyo is still practiced. If it should be…. I’m not much for forcing, but I think it would be great to be offering and encouraging the learning of these skills to all young people and explaining WHY we think it is valuable to be encouraging and teaching it – how it could benefit them later in life.

    Exploring Cross-Cultural Issues
    1 – I can see this happening. I can’t speak to it as many of my friends who are women seem to have good, reasonable job in Japan. But the influx of western thinking and influence does impact the Japanese culture for sure.
    2 – From where we are at in north america, I think the Japanese still have something better. I would not wish them to follow us. As “unappealing” as a more traditional marriage and family and home life may be, I think it is better and healthier for us individually and also as a society.
    3 – many live in much more difficult circumstances than this with much more to cope with and balance and substantial discrimination and lack of freedom. There is wide variety in coping strategies – some abandon their home and family responsibilities, some accept their lot and dig in and make the best of it and focus on their families and don’t fight.
    4- I don’t know the details to discuss, but i do know that the maternity protocol for women in japan to spend more time in the hospital after childbirth and then take more time at home to rest is a good thing. I read an article by a north american lady who lived in Japan and had a baby and pushed back against the Japanese way of taking it easy and tried to be “western” and “productive” and back on her feet doing it all right away. She said she realized how silly it was and the next time rested in the wisdom of that Japanese way.
    It does seem like women might have to work harder and sacrifice more to get access to certain jobs in Japan than we need to in Canada or the USA
    5 – It’s really across the map – Japan seem to be in more of a central-western-progressive spot along that spectrum as opposed to an overly traditional or overly progressive/modern/liberal position. To what I think is an extreme, it has almost become offensive in the west to talk about a “good wife and wise mother” because that is somehow offensive and condescending and discriminatory – which from a Biblical foundation is pretty backwards when family and home is so important. We have lost sight in the west that the family and home is the foundation of our nation and future. I think most every country has its stereotypes and expectations of conforming. Some places like India and Pakistan etc. are much more intense where there aren’t options.

  • 0

    Brandalyn Week 1 thoughts on Ch 7

    Brandalyn

    1 – I don’t know
    2 – I also don’t know – my language skills aren’t good enough to say. But I suspect not.
    3 – I see it in the west too – they get tired of serving and decide they want freedom and want “out” – I suspect that much of the serving role has been done out of duty and obligation and not out of love and heart conviction.
    4 – I think that it is a good, healthy, wholesome concept. Kids need a full time parent at home to care for and raise them. I think the best motto would be “one parent works, one at home” – if the couple isn’t OK with mom staying home then dad should stay home to cover the important role of children and family. It’s critical.
    5 – The population is already decreasing, families are already known to be being raised “fatherless” with dads away working so much – it doesn’t bode well. I don’t think it is sustainable.
    6 – Cultural norms/expectations i guess
    7 – Every family will be different. I have seen more good, loving homes with connection and less. Japanese life seems to busy to ever allow parents to be relaxed at home and understand one another.
    8 – It seems that way – I think girls see the potential of what they could gain in a more “western relationship” and the guys don’t see the same potential benefits to them (to them it probably looks like more work and expectations)
    9 – It’s frowned upon in the west, but I can sure understand the need to have some idea from the perspective of the employer! It is kind of akin to wanting to know your 1 yr, 3 yr and 5 yr plans. It only makes sense as an employer to know if you’re investing in a short term or long term employee, as much as employees might not like to be asked it. If it was a more comfortable topic and generally accepted to discuss it openly between employees and employers it would probably be of great benefit to both to plan and work together on it.

    Exploring cross-cultural issues –
    1. Again – I think they’re at the middle-upper end of status and freedom when compared with all other nations.
    2. At least in Japan the men are expected to work. In so many countries the women have all the child rearing and domestic responsibilities as well as the requirement to work or farm and provide for the family while the men play cards or chew tobaccos etc. So is it ideal? Maybe not… but I don’t know that we see a lot of ideal. I see a lot of countries where it is certainly way worse.
    3 – I think so. There is even a bit of a growing movement I have found that is championing that. Some people are starting to see the value and importance.
    4 – I think there is an under-valuating of the family as a whole. If there was good valuing of family, culture would encourage dads to be home more and at the office and with co-workers less etc.
    5 – It depends greatly – my family (although living in canada) is very traditional and my dad doesn’t cook or clean or raise kids at all. He and my mom happily agreed on a men outside and women inside program for our family. Some families share it all more or less equally. Some of my friends are stay at home dads while mom’s are the professionals at work.
    6 – Yes – I have heard that a lot from my japanese female friends. – they see and want a different marriage reality. They want romance, to be loved, appreciated, supported and to have a husband who works alongside them with more aligned priorities.
    7 – Somewhat. But even many of us in the west have an unrealistic view that is driven by the movies!
    8 – I don’t think it is as common. But I don’t know much about that.

  • 1

    Hiroshima Prefecture

    Steven La Voie

    I prayed for Hiroshima and the memories of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the American government. Praying for God to heal those hurts and draw others closer to Himself. Also, praying for God to bring more Christians to witness and minister to the high Buddhist population.

    • Riz Crescini

      I echo your prayers, Steven!

      -Riz

  • 3

    Week 1

    Alissa Bauer

    Week 1 Family/Gender Issues September 7-13
    Alissa Bauer
    9/8/20

    I think that the roles/norms placed upon men and women are a result of Japan’s tradition and value’s as a whole. Though this may look like blatant discrimination against women, Japan seems to value unity and these specific gender roles are what resulted from it.

    I don’t believe that either system of working outside the home or staying at home, is better or worse. I think that both systems are very different and have come about because of differing values. I believe that either of the them could be done well if the effort is put in.

    These cultural characteristics might affect my ministry with Japanese people because I have struggled with body image issues, and from the reading and other research I’ve done, I see that many women here have similar struggles. I want to overcome these so that I can show these women how Christ meets me there.

    Because it takes Japanese people a long time to make a decision as they consider the feelings of others, I could see how it would be difficult for them to follow Christ as it would affect their families as well… Because Japanese mothers like to lead their children by example rather than explaining systematically, maybe it would be more convincing to a Japanese person to live out Christ among them rather than explaining the gospel systematically to them (though you must use words to share the gospel as well obviously!)

    • Brandalyn

      Your comment about body image and seeing that Japanese women have that too made me think of a cute story:
      I was visiting my friend Kanako and her family. We went to visit her parents and Kanako and i were staying up late one night talking about life and marriage. Her mom came in at one point and was so fascinated (and it seemed so encouraged) that we in the west also have the same challenges in life and marriage as they do. She said that she thought that we had perfect marriages without the issues that they face. It was a real encouraging, and connecting realization for her. Drawing connections and similarities always seems to be such a powerful thing!

    • Steven La Voie

      Alissa, you make a good point on the body issues that Japanese women face in their society. From the reading and media in general in Japan, women are faced with having to conform to a certain expectation of what they should look like. You can find this especially with the “male/female” foods that they are supposed to eat which leads to the body issues and eating disorders. We see this in America and in the West, so this a stronghold to pray against and overcome by Christ alone.
      Good point in identifying the pattern of raising children and how to share the Gospel. I think that leading by example in being-Christ like would be effective than just by explaining who Christ is and what He has done for us. You can also explain and live it out too by being an example too as you said. Why not a combination of both?

    • Riz Crescini

      Hi Alissa,
      Great reflection! You wrote:
      “I don’t believe that either system of working outside the home or staying at home, is better or worse. I think that both systems are very different and have come about because of differing values. I believe that either of the them could be done well if the effort is put in.”

      I agree with you here. One thing I’ve learned from living in the Philippines, the States and Japan, is that there aren’t any perfect traditions with perfect values. I have come to appreciate different ways of thinking. I am still critical of certain elements in the culture but I have learned to first try to see the good in customs different from mine or at least, to try and understand. We live in a broken world so cultures, Japan included, view roles/norms as in a mirror dimly. I’m reminded of Hebrews 8:5, “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.” So we look forward to that day when those in Christ will experience God’s heavenly family. Knowing this future reality helps me to deal with the imperfect family roles I experience here on earth.

  • 0

    Brandalyn Week 1 thoughts on Ch 16

    Brandalyn

    Q1 – I think likely the mother because she is home more and spends more time raising the children and setting the style or tone for child rearing, but, from my own experience of having a father who was away 1/2 of the time, I know that a father who is often absent doesn’t necessarily mean a father who is not loved, respected, honored and influential. So the individual relationship with the parent will dictate which is the dominant influence.
    Q1b- what forms does it take? Direct parenting and instruction of children and indirect expectations and relationship with the parents.

    Q2 – There are many good things about children caring for their parents. But it doesn’t always go as hoped. Ideally, I can see it being best when one of the children CHOOSES to care for the parents, rather than just being required to. But in a society where that expectation exists, it likely sets up more commitment to parents and caring for their well being than we have in the west (in general).

    Q3- I believe that child rearing does suffer as a result of the work-life culture and demands and fathers being away so much. The families that I know do suffer from fathers being away. Kids don’t have the time with dad, moms get worn out from single parenting, dads are tired and don’t have the time to give their best to their children when they are home. I think it would be healthier for families to have a better work-life balance.
    Q3b – I do think that fathers put company expectations first in what I have witnessed there. They feel a duty and obligation and it seems to be socially unacceptable to push back. But I do think that children and family suffer for it.

    Q4 – I feel like this question belonged in one of the previous chapters we read. I can’t speak to it directly, but yes, from the material it seems that there is a difference centered on gender role of women being mothers and men being professionals and bread winners.

    Q5 – Morals seem to be more commonly or communally held rather than individually. This practice seems to instill that knowledge that the group dictates “the way” and to look to the group for right and wrong (which could be a bit dangerous as a culture moves away into more liberal, questionable beliefs/behaviors).

    Q6 – We could say the same for probably all developed nations! I don’t know that I’ve seen a lot of this in Japan that causes me concern. What I HAVE noticed is the big change that happens to children once they go to school. They might seem a little wild and undisciplined at first, but once they start going to school the system seems to change them and teach them more obedience and discipline etc.

    Q7 – I don’t know that I know enough to answer this. So far with my friends, what I have seen hasn’t been all too different from the dynamics in Canada.

    Q8 – It seems that the wages are quite low in Japan. If wages were higher such that fathers made more, maybe families could be supported on a single income. That would be best. I suppose that the moves towards free child care are good so that mothers can work, but i don’t think that both parents away and working is the best scenario for healthy families and cultures.

    Cross Cultural Issues
    Q1 – It totally depends on your lens which is stricter! In general I would say Japan. Everything out Japan seems stricter than the west (generally for the better in my opinion). I agree with the book that western parents are maybe stricter about rule enforcement and Japanese appear softer on the hardline discipline. But on the whole, Japanese have a stronger societal code of conduct than the west for molding moral and social “character”

    Q2 – I think we have more in common than we differ on, but it does seem that Japan holds more of a traditional expectation of women to be home as mothers which likely makes the career options harder for mothers there. The Japanese work culture is so demanding that I think it is an amplified reality/choice to the parallel in the west – they will have that much less time at home, that much more work/life stress, that many more demands. I think that for both cultures it is a much bigger weight on women/mothers than on men. Although men staying home to parent seems to be much less common in Japan.

    Q3- Well, I don’t know enough on this to really comment. But I would wonder if these girls live at home or at the university? I wonder how many of western girls in university and living at home might also have curfews? But again, Japan does seem to be more traditional about this than the west. But it is nothing compared to how strict the rules are in other nations like India and the middle east! Many places adult or married women can’t go in public without the permission and escort of males in their family!

    Q4 -it is probably more common in our world than we expect from our perspective in the west. It certainly is true for my family! My dad wasn’t deeply involved in child rearing. Nor were my grandparents. It seems to be a “new thing” in the younger generations of my family. From my understanding, it is pretty common for women to carry the bulk of the child rearing responsibilities in most cultures (traditionally)

    Q5 – I’m not sure that I know enough about this to really answer it.

    Q6 – #1: OTHERS #2: dependability/follow-through/doing a good job. I’ve not encountered this anywhere else and I think it is what makes Japan so unique and special (and in my mind, WONDERFUL). I have never seen such instilling an intentional focus on others in any other culture.
    A lot of other cultures (including ourselves) seem to focus more on independence, problem solving/survival, intelligence/capabilities/skills.

    Q7 – I’m not really sure of the why. But I am curious. I have lived both and I really like that Japanese way. I think it is more natural and less stressful (on the whole) for everyone in the family – kids aren’t stressed about being separated, moms get more sleep not having to get up and go to the rooms of crying children, not as many bedrooms needed. I’m a big fan!

    Q8 – this is changing rapidly it seems with many more in the west living how it has been described in Japan – I think a big piece is the cost of living (for both countries). In many countries children are considered (or at least treated and carry the expectations of) adults at much younger ages – like 13! Even in the west the age has moved up, I think it used to be much closer to 14-16.

  • 0

    Brandalyn Week 1 thoughts on Ch 14

    Brandalyn

    Q1 – I don’t know enough to be able to say, but that would make perfect sense.

    Q2 – Men’s jobs are prioritized over the family. Men are more valued or get higher jobs in the work place (they are typically the family breadwinners). Women are expected to be wives and mothers. Men’s roles in parenting and family life can often be seen as “optional”

    Q3 – This isn’t very compatible with the Ie system. And it would cause tension/confusion with the children as there becomes a divided loyalty and not clear “family” with every successive marriage.

    Q4 – I think there is benefit to stronger family ties and relations as opposed to more isolation of the nuclear family. Isolation and loneliness are big issues and it doesn’t seem that we are meant to do life as independently as we try to do – I think we’re more communal beings. But there are drawbacks to excess control and less freedom for couples or families if someone further up the family carries such power over them.

    Q5 – I think it is all tied together. Maybe not directly just the weakening of the Ie system (if we had strong nuclear families where parents were home more and work stress wasn’t so great, it might not be a problem). But I think with the weakening of the Ie system would come lack of respect for fathers and elders and family, likely some rebellion against “the old system” (and remnants thereof) and more isolation on individuals and families which would all contribute.

    Q6 – Hard to answer without knowing the family dynamics! But if the issue of expectations can’t be settled to everyone’s satisfaction and peace, then they likely shouldn’t get married and have this be a constant issue in the family. I guess that discussion between themselves and the parents as to what is optional and what isn’t is required. Will there be a lifetime of resentment on one side or the other? How big a deal would it be to change plans and go this route?

    Cross Cultural Issues
    Q1- we may say that it is not, but I think it is. If there is any connection at all with the parents, it matters. Even in cultures where there is less choice and less marriages out of love, if the in-law is not liked by the family it generally results in ill-will, mis-treatment and bad news. Those who are wise in any culture, I believe, will seek the approval of parents/family. But how disliked in-laws are handled certainly varies in different cultures. In western cultures where parental approval is no more the expected norm, I think that more parents are prepared to do their part to keep peace with in-laws they don’t like. Some other cultures it seems to be less of a concern for the parents to do their part.

    Q2 – I think the responsibilities of care from the Eldest son are quite common in many cultures. It may not be as common anymore in the west, but on the flip side, there can be less responsibility felt by any of the children to care for parents – which is sad.

    Q3- I don’t know too much about this in other cultures, but it is still the “norm” as far as expectations for what I know of where that kind of name change is the tradition. But it is becoming less so in the west.

    Q4 – I would agree. I think it is related to patriarchal authority as well, in part. I think that ideally, as far as what God was trying to establish Biblically, he intended for father’s to be the loving, God-honoring ones who taught and held their families in right relationship with the Lord and his values/standards. I think you could end up with equally bad results from an over-authoritative patriarchal model. But it makes sense that as this IE system weakened and members of families started to drift and the structure wasn’t there anymore things would go awry. Like it or not, we as humans function well with rules and boundaries and left to our own devices in freedom, we don’t do so well. I think we see that as families break down and it shows up in society.

    5 – Again, I’m not sure that I am knowledgeable on this to say much. But from the little bit I know, in somewhat recent history most cultures seem to have had more of a single family authority, more of a big-family community and connection/cooperation that has been evolving to more isolated, nuclear families. I think that much of this has coincided with the ability of people to move and migrate away from homes and home villages and into cities and across countries and the globe. In nations where there is less means of travel and more of the people end up staying living and working locally, I think we see less of this evolution (rural Tibet/India, rural africa, rural).

  • 1

    Brandalyn Week Summary

    Brandalyn

    I think that all these insights into Japanese people, culture and thinking are important for effective ministry to Japanese people. Anne’s talk sums it up nicely. I don’t think that going deep to understand people is ever going to steer us wrong in ministry because it demonstrates care, concern and interest in people and their culture, which thereby builds respect and trust and can shine light to in-roads for the gospel. What are people’s cares/concerns? How might their culture and way of seeing the world prevent them from doing or thinking what you see as such a simple solution/decision? How might your approach be unpalatable to their way of thinking/seeing?

    My prayer – that the gospel would break through the cultural barriers in Japan of “don’t do what other people aren’t doing” – I think that many are resistant to the gospel because it is not a mainstream thing in society. Praying that the Lord would overcome that.

    • Riz Crescini

      Brandalyn,
      You wrote:
      “What are people’s cares/concerns? How might their culture and way of seeing the world prevent them from doing or thinking what you see as such a simple solution/decision? How might your approach be unpalatable to their way of thinking/seeing?”

      These are great questions, Brandalyn. And these are questions that we must ask ourselves time and time again in our ministry to the Japanese. By asking these questions, we show the virtue of humility and it presents opportunities for the Japanese to share their heart with us. Asking good questions like these is far better than giving abstract answers that no one listens to.

  • 3

    Child rearing

    Fred

    We are teaching a parenting class to Chinese, and the Japanese approach to shaming their children and appealing to their group consciousness was repugnant. So I contrasted typical American parenting. That is focusing on the rules. And the Japanese style is focusing on human relationships.
    First Jesus condemned the Pharisees who focused on rules and traditions in place of mercy and valuing people.
    But also the prophets condemn those who fear mean instead of fearing God. So both approaches seem to be in error. Perhaps we should focus more on God’s feelings and not hurting him. That sounds like loving God first. And also on loving others, not hurting them.

    Evangelisticly, instead of focusing (with unbelievers) on how we have broken God’s laws, perhaps we should focus on how we have broken his Heart, by ignoring him and hurting his children.

    • Steven La Voie

      Thanks for sharing Fred. It is interesting to hear how the Japanese tend to resort to shaming their children and comply with the group and the Western way is to obey the rules. You make a good point on how both of these approaches are not necessarily biblical. That is an interesting point on how we can show unbelievers on loving God and considering how He feels rather aiming towards people-pleasing or works-based efforts by following rules. In a Japanese context, this could actually work well considering Japanese culture appeals to pleasing others and why not make the opposite approach to considering God’s feelings.

    • Steven La Voie

      Thanks for sharing Fred. It is interesting to hear how the Japanese tend to resort to shaming their children and comply with the group and the Western way is to obey the rules. You make a good point on how both of these approaches are not necessarily biblical. That is an interesting point on how we can show unbelievers on loving God and considering how He feels rather aiming towards people-pleasing or works-based efforts by following rules.

    • Riz Crescini

      These are good insights, Fred. I would like to add an observation about Japan and shaming that is different from our idea of it in the West. Part of understanding shaming in Japan is in its role of developing an individual’s esteem. One’s esteem is derived or bestowed by the group. There is, of course, one’s own personal growth and discovery, but one’s identity is still heavily influenced by the group. Notice I didn’t write “self-esteem” because in an honor-shame culture like Japan, it is a bit of an oxymoron. In Japan’s cultural milieu, shaming or peer pressure isn’t necessarily negative or something to avoid. In many ways, it is seen as appropriate and even welcomed. There are some parallels here with ancient biblical thinking.

  • 0

    Male/Female Relationships and Dynamics in Society

    Steven La Voie

    良妻賢母

    Question 8: Reading this section has shown me that Japanese women are taught from an early age on what their roles as a female is in both family home structure (Ie) and how to behave in society. I see that little girls are taught that if they do not follow their roles given to them by society then they will not be accepted. Underneath all of the structure and social expectation is the idea of keeping harmony with everyone and conforming to both cultural and societal expectations. Japanese girls are raised essentially to be the “mothers” and “caretakers” of the home which includes taking care of children and cleaning the house and obey their husbands. As a result, their upbringing is more strict and different from that of young Japanese boys and their treatment is different too.

    I would say that this in not necessarily a bad thing but neither is it a good thing also. I see how Japanese women are being groomed to fit into the “motherly caretaker” role in society when they get married and there is seemingly no other way to do things differently. I think that this practice of treating and raising Japanese girls is rather unfair in that each of the sexes has a definite and unchangeable role to fulfill in society and in the home. It seems too a little too rigid to me and does not allow men the opportunity to help their wives out if they need it or women helping out the men too in some cases.

    I have interacted with many young Japanese families and have seen how fixed and rigid the home environment can be. I understand that Japanese values and way of doing things is based on an agrarian society and this would cause everyone to work together to live. When doing ministry with these families, I will be especially careful to observe what the roles the husband and wife have in the home and respect those boundaries. Since I am a male, it would be very inappropriate for me to interact with Japanese mothers directly but when I am with the family together, I will be careful to be aware of the roles that the wife is “bound” to as well as the husband. I will better understand what kinds of stresses and problems and likely to come up in their homes and be praying for them to work though this difficulty.