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Japanese Independent Children and Education

Posted on June 14 2021

One of the things many visitors to Japan find strange is seeing how independent kids are. It’s just a different style of parenting and teaching.

Aka-chan means baby. Aka is the colour red. Babies are born red. So it makes total sense for babies to be called Aka-chan. Since we don't have a tradition of babysitting, kids usually always stay with their mothers. Your family teaches you from a young age how to be respectful of the people around you. We live on a small island so it is important to be aware of everyone around us. To not bother anyone by being loud or rude. Many people are also amazed at how well mannered Japanese kids are from a young age. 

Here is a cute song about akachan. A mom meeting her baby. Not for everyone. But we think it’s cute.

In pre-school there is the cutest of cutest little wagons filled with kids. Their teachers push them around for their safety. They don’t scream or fight. Generally they just smile and wave at everyone, bringing happiness to our days. They are usually in matching outfits and just seeing these little human is adorable. 

From kindergarden we are expected to be independent and self-reliant enough to go to school unaccompanied, even if it means taking a city bus or train and traversing busy streets. Our country’s extremely low crime rate means it’s safe, and the general feeling among parents is that the community can be trusted to help look out for its own. We all feel a sense of responsibility for these cuties but they have a sense of pride about looking after themselves. They usually walk with a neighborhood friend, but at times on their own. They have their metro cards topped up. Know the train schedule. Get to school on time. Punctuality is key in Japan. They have their Randoseru backpack. Wonderful design but very heavy, packed with books and things.

Children are also expected to help clean the classroom, help serve school lunches to their peers, etc. For a short video: 

We also have a very cute show called “My First Errand” where very young children are given tasks to do. 

Blue Daruma are given to wish for doing well in school. The Daruma doll is a centuries-old Japanese traditional wishing doll that helps people to achieve their dreams and goals. Millions of people in Japan regard it as a talisman of good luck and perseverance, making it a popular gift of encouragement.

How to use: Make a wish or goal. With that in mind, draw an eye on the left eye and keep the doll. When your goal is achieved, draw the other eye.

Please click this link to visit us at Bows & Arrows or our online store to see all the other colours.