Posts Tagged ‘education’

Pulsations (07.13.12)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Here are the latest Pulsations, links to fresh stories and visuals about Japan, shout-outs to fellow bloggers, and highly clickable stuff that we think you might enjoy.

In no particular order, they are . . .

  • Paying for it  (from This Japanese Life): Part 3 of the series, “On Pretending to Know about Education in Japan,” this post outlines the costs of different forms of schooling and the burdens that education places on families living below the recently acknowledged poverty line. The author argues that the current Japanese system is outdated and causing societal stagnation. Along with parts 1 and 2, it’s an interesting read for anyone who’s curious about Japanese education.
  • Nakae Architects: Tracing True South (from Design Boom): We’ve all seen pictures and plans of fascinating eco-friendly buildings. In many cases, though, especially when they’re seen surrounded by conventional structures, the design sticks out like a green thumb. “Facing True South,” a project by Nakae Architects of Tokyo, addresses this issue. Located in Kamaishi, Iwate Pref., the house utilizes passive solar design while maintaining respect for the town’s traditional look.
  • Painting Fujiyama (from One Hundred Mountains ):  Did you know there was once a U.S. military proposal to desecrate Mount Fuji by having B-52 bombers cover it in gallons of red paint? Perhaps you’ve made the trek to the summit, but did you know there is a less-travelled Maruyama Trail, which dates back to the 16th century. Learn about these factoids and more in this writeup of Harry Byron Earhart’s book “Mount Fuji: Icon of Japan” … or just buy the book.

Visual pulse: Jed Henry’s recent playful reimagining of videogame characters as they might have been portrayed in the Edo Period is given another spin, this time by veteran woodblock printmaker David Bull, who is actually rendering Henry’s illustrations in ukiyo-e. In this video, Bull gives a detailed explanation of “proofing” — the test image done before an entire edition.

Ikumen: raising new father figures in Japan

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Ikumen Project, a government campaign launched last year to encourage Japanese men to take a more active role in parenting, is gathering momentum. Seminars aimed at men on how to develop parenting skills are now being held across the country and father figures who take time out of their work to spend time with their kids are currently being applauded in the media.

Though Japanese men traditionally take responsibility for providing financially for the family they bear little of the burden of childrearing, however with more women now in work, it makes sense to rethink these traditional gender roles. The iku in ikumen stands for ikuji, meaning “child rearing,”  so an ikumen is a guy who actively participates in the lives of his children.

Ikumen parenting events focus on encouraging men to take part in activities together with their children. Activities at a recent event in Mie Prefecture, for example, aimed at men in their 20s-40s, featured balloon and beanbag play, as well as a workshop on how to make airplanes with paper and bamboo.

The event in Mie was organized by local government, but there are other organizations supporting the ikumen campaign. NPO Ikumen Club, for instance, holds childcare seminars and dispenses advice on parenting through their website. Particularly focused on getting men to simply read a story to their children, the website features recommended books and tips on storytelling.

Ikumen are clearly good for a company’s image too. Papa Park!, run by entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo, sets a good example by promoting the ikumen credentials of stars in its stable.  Like comedian Ryo Tamura, for instance, who was recently interviewed in Sankei News about parenting his 7 and 3 year old sons.

One of the best advertisements for ikumen came with the recent release of the live-action adaptation of the manga classic “Bunny Drop.” The plot centers on Daikichi, a 30-year-old salaryman who suddenly finds himself responsible for the upbringing of six year old Rin, the illegitimate child of his grandfather. Not surprisingly, the movie is endorsed both by Ikumen Club, who clearly sees it as a vehicle to raise the profile of the campaign.

Japan by the numbers (09.02.10)

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Japan by the numbers (07.16.10)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Japan by the numbers (06.15.10)

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010


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