The Life Of Japan's Independent Kids

Submitted by: panth753 3 months ago in Lifestyle


By Western standards, Japanese culture emphasizes independence and self-reliance from an extraordinarily young age. 
There are 30 comments:
Male 460
From the very little I know of Japanese culture, this is just a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. What is described in the video is possible because of many other very special circumstances that happen at the same time. Say, great respect for their elders which makes kids to be taught from early age to obey their parents, and thus they won't  stray away from their route. Adults who are under a huge pressure to conform to the society or be ostracized, plus the view of children as precious (sadly, the latter cannot be said of our country), so parents have some level of assurance that the (amazingly reliable) train system, roads and people are for the most part safe, and thus can stay until the wee hours at work. And the kids drive to incorporate themselves into the same frenzy, or be left behind. From my own point of view, it is a very delicate balance. Not better, or worse. But inapplicable mostly anywhere else. 
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Male 477
bearbear01 After Germany lost the war, our grandparents hat to walk to school even in cold winters, sometimes several hours. Compared to our time, they had much more crime, many more traffic accidents etc.

And yet, people would care for each other, if there was a child with a sign "Hamburg, Somestreet 42" on a train in Munich, it would arrive unharmed. I believe if you tried, if you allowed your child to learn how to live, it would still work. And if it doesn't, it's because of us, not because of someone else.
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Male 276
You can only do this where there is a homogeneous  society and everyone is seen as part of the same whole. Thanks to identity politics and scapegoating white people for every sin ever conceived by the mind of man, now kids get raped and killed for sport. Thanks multiculturalism!
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Male 460
moldysod amazing. So many words, every single one stupid. 
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Male 477
moldysod Stop spreading your racist trash and start minding your Wounded Knee.
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Male 42,934
  A nice look at how different Japan is from 'western nations'. In this case for the best! But it isn't always that way of course.
  I walked to school on my own from Grade 1, the second week. I was 6. Of course it wasn't far, and I crossed 1 road with a crossing guard, but still.
  Now taking a train... and transferring!! That's entirely different!! But how do you know what your child is capable of if you shroud him/her in 'safety' and never let them spread their wings??
  That TV show looks awesome!! Small wonder it's popular, and of course would never ever happen in North America or Europe.

That girl from Australia, at age 10, cannot even turn lights off? Why is that I wonder... no wonder there's an entire generation of 'snowflakes' hitting University, and another on the way...
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Male 7,101
Enjoyed this. Thanks, Panth!
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Female 9,687
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Female 4,899
This seems horrifyingly irresponsible. After watching the video, seems like they do it for convenience for themselves, so they don't have to pick them up? thats what that said....so there are a whole bunch of little kids in Japan with no supervision at all for extended periods of time? Sounds like a pedo's paradise. In my country it is literally illegal for me to leave any child under 14 without adult supervision. I don't think they count walking to and from school, but I'd be very wary about doing that. Besides, my kids have to catch the school bus, there is no footpath to walk home on. Our schools have pretty strict pick up- drop off - bus kids and absent kids policies, we like to know where they are at all times.
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Male 20
emmettyville Extremely ethnocentric comment, no? Japan is not New Zealand. What works in Japan may not work in your country. It's part of their way, their culture. They are accustomed to it. I am not saying pedophilia isn't a problem in Japan (I wouldn't be surprised either way--I am not savvy to such statistics...) I'm sure there are relatively few instances of pedos taking advantage of their "pedo paradise" as a direct consequence of this particular country-wide practice. But I'm open on this issue if you can convince me otherwise ;) 
Happy new year!
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Female 4,899
keith17 I imagine there are about as many pedo's roaming the streets of Japan as there are in NZ, which would be hardly any....(but it certainly is a good advertisement for them to move there, all that child meat walking around unattended...) and yes, I get it's ethnocentric.
I get that a lot of countries have very lax rules and laws surrounding child supervision, but it still horrifies me.
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Male 1,602
 I get that a lot of countries have very lax rules and laws surrounding child supervision, but it still horrifies me. 
It only horrifies you cause you were brought up somewhere where lots of people make a big deal about it.  When a kid goes missing here, it's all over the news like it's the end of the world.  Then they ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of other people did the exact same things and did not have anything bad happen to them.  They don't point out that it's an extremely rare occurrence.  Yes, it's a risk, but you can't possibly plan for every single little thing.

I mean heck, wanna talk about a pedo paradise.  The Middle School near me let's out and it's about a 2 mile walk from my house.  Apparently, that is too close for bus service so every single day you see a few hundred kids walking up the main road that leads to my neighborhood and about 5 other neighborhoods.  That's only one direction from the school.  The other 3 directions you can head away from the school in are equally crowded with kids walking home from school.  It happens here too.  Yeah, they are not having to go ride a subway or anything, but I would think, due to there being people there working and a public place with more people there than on the street on my way home, it's actually probably safer.

The Elementary School near me actually has bus service even for the close kids because they would have to cross a major street.  My neighbors a few houses down have two kids that ride the bus home and then have to walk from the bus stop to their home, completely unsupervised and let themselves in.

At my sister-in-laws place, there the bus drops off the kids, they have to walk about a block to get home, with no supervision at all there either.  About a dozen or so elementary kids get off at his stop and then all walk off in different directions home.  It would be really really easy for a pedo to pick one of them up.

This happens all across America, everyday.  There are still tons of what we called in my time latchkey kids that either have to walk up to 2-3 miles home from school and let themselves in, and even more that ride buses that as soon as they get off that bus are unsupervised and have to walk home where they are still alone.

Are you more horrified yet or does that set your mind at ease that abductions are not really as prevalent as the media would have you beleive?
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Female 4,899
waldo863 if someones watching them, it's much harder for them to go missing or have unfortunate accidents.

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Male 1,602
emmettyville Yes, and in this case, almost everyone is watching them.  It's how their culture and society works.  Yeah, I am sure there are predators out there too, but the vast majority of people probably ARE watching out for these kids.  They are only in public places, riding public transportation with a bunch of adults who went through the same thing when they were kids watching them.

In the case of my neighborhood, here in the US, they are walking home and NO ONE is watching them.  They get off the bus or out of sight of the school and maybe there is occasional car driving by, but when I do there are no other cars on the road.  It would be VERY easy for me to have someone in my back seat, stop in the middle of the road, have second person jump out, throw a kid in the back and I drive off.  Kid is gone.

If that same scenario were to happen in Japan, where the population is much more dense, someone would see it and at the very least authorities would be called.
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Male 20
emmettyville Fair enough. But I'm still unsure about how much it matters. I think we're ignoring the positives here... These kids are learning how to be self-reliant, and how to protect themselves. 

Don't build your opinion on the assumption that all children are defenseless--I was a tough little bastard, and would never allow an adult to overtake me without creating a ruckus.... That being said, there are SO many people in major Japanese cities; I would imagine that these kids are relatively safe in such heavily-populated areas. The Japs trust their countrymen to look after their children, and the scum are discouraged because of the sheer populace and the overt surroundings. I sense these kids are safe--at least going to and from school. If i were to raise a family in japan, I would embrace this practice and have faith in both my children's resourcefulness and the folks around me. That's just me. I am not horrified, but intrigued. 

Also, I'm from New York City, and have been exploring independently since I'm about 10, so I have a biased opinion. I think big cities are safe if you're not an idiot--and kids aren't necessarily idiots. Don't sell them short. I think the end of this video attempts to make this point clear--kids want independence, and we should allow it to some degree. Japan is just extreme about throwing their kids to the wolves--I say good for them. 

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Female 4,899
keith17 after much-well- a little bit of thought, I think the main point that gets me is- if I did this in my country I would be prosecuted for child neglect. I literally am not allowed to do this. So that makes me think....how safe is it if a pretty sensible country has declared it so unsafe it's against the law?
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Male 20
emmettyville I feel ya. I get it. The US isn't much different. 

But Japan is sensible too, no? Just much different than us. Maybe they know what they're doing?
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Female 4,899
keith17 they eat raw fish and get hard ons for killing whales and dolphins. I don't trust em.
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Male 20
emmettyville haha I like raw fish, but fair enough on the whale/dolphin thing. That sucks. We agree there! 

Nice talking with ya. Long live the kiwi!
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Female 4,899
keith17 Japanese will be after them next.

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Male 1,602
My daughter does not walk herself to school.  We leave at the same time and it's on my way to work though, so it's not a big deal.  If the school would let her walk home, or we lived far enough for bus service, she absolutely would though.  They actually might now that she's in 2nd grade, I know for Kinder it was a no go obviously.

For everything else though, my daughter is VERY independent.  She will make her own meals.  She cleans her room herself, not just picking up toys, actually wiping everything off, with cleaning spray, and sweeping/mopping.  She vacuums the rugs in the hallway too.  We don't buy her stuff, we give her an allowance and she goes in to the store and buys her own stuff.  We are usually close by, because sending her in alone would probably make other customers or the employees call the cops or CPS or something, so we stay with her, but at 7 she manages her own money and has to decide things like if she is going to buy herself something or something for her cousins B-Day coming up.  She always chooses gifts and only gets for herself if a Birthday isn't coming up.  Once she forgot about a Birthday and literally asked us to borrow the money and she would pay us back out of her next allowances, and she held that up even though we forgot.  She literally saved her allowance for a few weeks and when she had all the money, paid us back.

I guess it's different in Japan because this is culturally accepted there and everyone does it, but there are people here who do it to.  I actually feel sorry for the kids whose parents don't do this, as they are gonna hit the real world and be in for a rude awakening while my daughter will be prepared.  If people lash out at her or get jealous of her for whatever reason, well, she's trained in Jiu-Jitsu and can handle herself, lol.
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Male 16,538
waldo863 watch out for certain Canadians
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Male 276
Draculya yes, *certain Canadians

*blacks and arabs
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Male 4,818
At one time it was a bit more like that in the US.
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Male 276
trimble Yeah when white people still laid down the law instead of letting everything return to the law of the jungle.
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Male 116
moldysod are you implying that white people don't commit crimes against children?
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