Aging Japan complains over the noise of children


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This is unreasonable, to say the least! especially when noise pollution plagues us daily - just your basic daily traffic is louder than kids, never mind deliberate bike mufflers and revving.

Loudspeaker trucks drive around all the bloody time - selling potatoes and heater oil,

warning local residents to lock their windows for the night,

promoting politicians and concerts and right-wing views,

offering to buy your old tat -

but people are more angered by the sound of children? Priorities really are messed up...

51 ( +59 / -9 )

I once worked for a pre-school which was banned from opening the windows for the same reason - the people in the next building complained about the noise of them singing and playing. I could somewhat understand, as the next building was an office block, however some of the cases stated above are ridiculous.

I hope the court finds in favor of the pre-school. People like that family make me so angry - generally nursery or kindy hours are, at most 7am - 730 pm, with the majority of kids turning up between 8-6. How the family can claim their "pain and suffering" is worth 172000 USD is beyond me.

Japan desperately needs more kids, and these grumpy old people desperately need people to pay their pensions. Kids need to play and make noise, take walks and go in the pool in summer. It is, as they say, Shoganai.

12 ( +16 / -5 )

WAAAAAAA!!!!!! WAAAAAA!!!! I can't stand little children playing! WAAAAA!!!!! Grow up people. You're not the future; they are. Plus, bet you would tons of more fun playing with them too rather than sitting and pouting.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Japan has known for a long time that it has a problem with a low birthrate and in 2005 the then government created a cabinet post to help tackle the problem.

December’s change of government brought the 15th occupant to the post.

Wow!! With this many people (men?) with experience in the problem of a low birthrate they should set up a panel of experts and study the issue. Then after a few years they will be able to issue a REPORT. Can't wait.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Funny how these same grumpy old farts don't think twice about causing a ruckus when they're playing outside with their own grandchildren.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If people mean shrieking children, I agree. Children can be taught to play without shrieking--which is quite different from ordinary childhood noise. Shrieking children are a complete pain in the ears. (Pun intended.)

However, in a society that cultivates din (constantly screaming irashaimase at people and blaring all sorts of music and announcements and having multiple media playing at once in their cars and shops) with cities that never stop roaring, how can they complain about the noise of children?

Good grief. Adapt. Take your hearing aids out, folks. Or put sleep plugs in for the duration.

The only other thing is to start re-branding the sound of children as something desirable.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I was just thinking about the noise this kids make when playing outdoors...the above complains may be a bit sad and extremes to hear. For one I will never make a decision to live near a school, etc. I adore kids, in fact I myself am a babysitter...but I too can't seem to tolerate the noise this kids make in my neighborhood. It could really be so irritating and annoying. Plus they start to play on irregular hours when people take their naps specially on Sundays like when my husband is at home trying to rest. I feel sorry for him at times...never mind the little noise they make, but it's not little, they scream, the basketball that bounces on the streets echoes back inside the house, the slide in the park wherein they throw sand and rocks and again an annoying noise that it creates. And it could go on till around 6:30 pm...then after they've all gone home there's a feeling of relief and peace. If only there could be some little care for the other people that the streets for one is not a playground. And to lessen the screaming as part of their game...I think this kids are so's like they own the streets and you can't tell them off either as they will just give you a stare and continue with their frolic!!!

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Children's voices do not bother me. What bothers me is adults, (women), trying to talk like babies, or something whispering instead of opening their mouths to talk normally. The children of my wife's friend are half Filipino and half Japanese and their voices are normal just like my kid's. But they explained that while they are at the Japanese school and talk with their Japanese classmates, they have to change their voices to the squeaky way most Japanese young women use. So stop babying kids and talk to them just as if you were talking to an adult.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Selfish old geezers. Wait, I'm an old geezer too! But, love to hear kids playing... Yep, the little rascals are OUR future! Japan - have them babies! More, more, we want more!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Lamenting the lack of children in Japan yet complaining about the noise that they naturally make.

What do you want?

6 ( +9 / -4 )

People forget they were also young at one time.

12 ( +14 / -3 )

If you're 65 years old and complaining about noisy 10 year olds, please remember that they'll be paying taxes and supporting your nenkin (pension) in another decade.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

The stupid chants they do are incredibly annoying though.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

And young kids complain about the speed of the aged in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My story! The woman in the apartment below us complained so much that finally she had us thrown out in the middle of the winter. She is old, she needs more rest, she kept saying, and complained to everyone, everywhere. We were super stressed about that, and often lashed at our daughter. I came to hate that woman so much that that I even prayed so that God would give her her much needed rest at last.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

More dogs than kids in this country, old folks voting for the party of the 1970s in droves (LDP), old folks sitting on vast sums of wealth yet sucking from government programs and now making kids stop playing? I have an idea old greedy complainers, it is pretty quite in the cemetery.

Fortunately where I live old folks help in morning with the kids crossing streets. They care about the future of Japan as opposed to those shallow folks mentioned above in the article. Where I live is probably unusual in that regard. Lots of kids and no complaints as for as I know. Of course we have the second-hand smoke problem here as selfish smokers insist of smoking around kids and putting them at risk for cancer but that is another issue.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I read this the other day and it made me angry. I'm sorry, but if these old people want to see who's really making noise they ought to look in the mirror. On the train just this morning I had to listen to seniors with a bunch of those Chinese bell straps on their bags or cell phones, then their cell phone ring tones (which make FAR more noise than young people's phones these days), and two elderly ladies talking, VERY loudly despite being side-by-side, about the delicious manju they ate outside of Kurama hot spring. And it's not even enkai season!

If you're dumb enough to live by a daycare center, you should not complain. When the sound of children's laughter and playing dies out in Japan, who's going to pay for you to live, elderly?

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Japanese Children are much noisier than overseas children. They just can't talk quietly and shout all the time. Even in supermarkets they run around wild and their mothers yell out at the top of their lungs as well.

When I was living in my home country, I used to live behind a public swimming pool. The sounds of the children playing was delightful. I think if it had been all Japanese kids I would have had to close the windows. In the apartment where I live at the moment, the Japanese boys throw their soccer and baseballs around in the foyer, damaging the letter boxes and throwing their rubbish on the ground and continually shouting.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Seems to me that the problems are centered around municipalities like Tokyo. I live close to a pre-school and the kids get noisy during the daytime but so what? They are having a good time, and no one in the neighborhood cares about it. It's not like it's the middle of the night, and the old folks like seeing and hearing the kids, makes them feel good too, they think the kids are cute.

Wagama old folks. They should chill out and be happy that they are alive and celebrate the fact that these kids are their future too!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Dear People of Japan.

Life is noisy. Yes, it is true despite how many of you believe that the world is silent and peaceful 24/7. The world is in fact noisy. Kids make noise, cars make noise, people make noise.

What I don't understand is why so many of you are freaked out by a little natural day to day life noise, but you do not seem to mind the blaring sounds of shop staff shouting at the tops of their lungs in high pitch voices, the endless announcement vehicles driving around the city, and endless noise from machines everywhere.

You need a more balanced view of sound. Accept normal sound. Reduce needless noise. Manage public noise, but accept that kids and families are not silent. And for the sake of everyone's sanity, talk and enjoy life even when on trains people. Enjoy being alive and stop stressing over nonsense expectations.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Who exactly is doing all this complaining? Never once does the article mention that old people are doing the complaining. It just says "aging Japan complains". Japan on the whole is aging, yes, everyone gets that, but who is doing the complaining, any stats, quotes?


In a nation where convenience stores blare electronic greetings and political candidates shout through high-volume megaphones at train stations,

yes, and they drive around your block as many times as they can in their stupid cars shouting bs through a megaphone in the most annoying voice possible. I often fantasized of having a rocket launcher at those times...

Not to mention the endless automated messages EVERYWHERE. " blah blah blah go-chui kudasai." Go-chui kudasai! Go-chui kudasai!

I used to live right across from an elementary school. Need I say more? Every day, and I mean EVERY single day except Sunday, even on holidays and during golden week, every day without fail at 5pm, over the school's loudspeaker would play a crappy synthetic version of 家路, 'The Road Home'. All the dogs in the apartment building would start howling. That was the only funny part. That, and my neighbor, who was from the UK, told me that when she heard that song, all she could think about was the old Hovis commercial. LOL

Also, everyday at about 10:45 and 1:30 a super annoying song would come on over the loudspeaker telling the children recess was over and they should clean up and line up. The baseball team also, without fail, would start practicing at 7am, and start shouting their militant chants as they ran and stretched or whatever. That was very loud and annoying, especially on the weekend when we were all trying to sleep. Event days were the worst. A woman shouting nonstop in the most high-pitched nasally child's voice she can muster through a megaphone, and the music... the music.

All that said, I can totally understand and sympathize with the complaints of people who live in close proximity of an elementary school! However, complaining about children who are playing in the yard, or on the street, or at a store making noise is just stupid.

The point is that people need to wake up and realize the myriad of other noise bombardments they've become numb to and change those.

day care centers are putting up sound barriers to muffle the din that toddlers make and sports clubs are restricting the times that youngsters can play outside to avoid upsetting the neighbors.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Let's face it. Old people like to complain. There's just more of them now. I can't remember how many times I've heard my father say "life was better in the 50's". I'd much rather hear a bunch a noisy kids than those friggin motorcycles!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Only the old folks sitting idle at home without any social interaction would become annoyed with the chants. To me, they are like birds chirping and even cuter.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It's a stinking world because there's no law and order anymore! It's a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old, like you done. Oh, it's no world for an old man any longer. What sort of a world is it at all? Men on the moon, and men spinning around the earth, and there's not no attention paid to earthly law and order no more.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I live in a danchi (condominum) house built almost 50 years ago. A little while ago, a family with two small children moved in to a room just above my room. Since the space between the floor of the above room and the ceiling of my room has less than 30 cm, noises of children running around affect me directly. I consulted with an officlal of the danchi and he told me an interesting thing. 40 or 50 years ago, people who lived here had many children and they did not complain about the noises children made. Now, the time has changed and many who live here are old folks of singles or old couples and they are very much sensitve to noises. He said they don't have a good solution for the problem. When I used to work for an American company, a space between the above room and below had almost one meter high and workers could go around to wire lines etc. In Jpaan, construction companies and real estate companies are doing sub-standard works to save construction costs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maeda said when she was involved in a project to build daycare centers in Yokohama, a sprawling city that melds into Tokyo, she faced a lot of opposition from those living nearby.

This is nothing new. There have always been those people (by no means restricted to the elderly) who prefer to live in as quiet an environment as possible. In addition, a daycare center in a previously relatively quiet residential area will almost certainly lower the value of nearby properties.

By the way, those who have insinuated that the people who are complaining are only "old people", "old folks" or "seniors" are well off the mark. In fact, if you have to generalize, the over -60s are probably much more capable of tolerating Japan's noise pollution than their children because they have already lived through an era when there were many more kids around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is definitely not a Japanese specificity. I used to live in Montreal and it was even worse!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but weren't old people kids once? Or were they just born like it, wrinkly and grumpy..?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If truth be told, it is not just old people not liking kids, secretly everyone hates everyone else and almost everything they do, especially if it seems like fun.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It's no wonder with many parents allow their children to do as whatever they please. Parents need to relearn to grow their children with discipline.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why is it that media, including Japan Today have to blow things out of proportion.

"Aging Japan" is NOT complaining about the noise of children.

ONE or TWO grumpy individuals who should be ignored are the ones who are making the NOISE.

Don't listen to them.

And don't given them a place in news media.

My wife and I both class as elderly and one of the things we love about Okinawa is seeing and hearing children playing in parks and in the streets.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I don't think it's always the elderly complaining. I think it's often the arafo, the (mainly) single women in their late thirties and early forties. The elderly don't have a rule of silence on the subways either, this is more a middle-aged thing, as is the "sleeping" all weekend. Japanese construction is often shoddy as we all know. They build houses and apartments out of old packing crates with sheets of vinyl wrapped around. They don't even use pair-glass as a rule. Only the best "mansions" are really sound-proofed. So you have a declining number of kids, and an increasingly-selfish middle-aged population looking for something to complain about. They are increasingly living in noisy apartments and houses near schools and day care centres, and the TV is so awful they have nothing to do other than get annoyed about noise from the local kids.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On the other hand what's much more annoying than any noisy child in Japan is Haihin Kaishuu! As I write this they are driving around the block for the fourth time today with their loudly, blaring, high-pitched announcement. Yet none of the aging people complain about that, instead stating that its convenient for them because they don't need to pick up the phone to call the service when needed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Something like this happened to me once. I teach a private class at a Jidoukan which is a place for children to go. Upstairs there are rooms that can be rented by anyone. We rent a room and teach 3 classes a day with up to 10 kids per class. We sing, we dance, we shout out English words because it is more fun that way because they are all aged between 3-7. One day a lady came to our room complaining of noise and that they were having a business meeting next to our class. I said "that's too bad you came to a Jidoukan for a business meeting" Whenever someone tries to complain to the head of the building about our noise he always says "they are kids and this class teaches here every week" If you don't like the natural noise of children then perhaps you should move somewhere with less children.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Maria and Kickboard,

Well said. Some people want their cake and be able to eat it too. Why don't some of these older people relocate to quieter areas then? Some may thumb me down, but I dislike grumpy, unappreciative people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


It totally depends upon where one lives in Japan. Even in the same city there are "quiet" places and I would say from my own experience overall it's BY FAR quieter here in Japan, than Beijing, New York, Chicago, London, or a number of other large metropolitan areas that I have either lived in or visited.

Noisy is different to each individual as well. Kids playing at school or having fun is not "noise" to me. Noise is election vans, noise is bosozoku, or the off key idiots that sing at a karaoke place near my house late at night with the door open. (Now if they were on key it might not be so bad......)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not sure if it is really the noise or the actual behaviour/manners of the kids.

They are different from where I come from and was young, got a kid( junior high) myself and often tell jim and his friends to turn it down. No reason to shout at each other while playing a PSP game when all the players sit at the same table.

Call me old( mid 40's and cranky) but I still got great and sensitive hearing for my age. Which weren't ruined by hard rock and heavy metal concerts in my youth and I was a rebel-rouser.

Time and place for everything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Think Japan is child-hostile? Try London!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with some posters who talk about the constant assault on the ears from trucks, bikes and where I live planes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

just use ear plugs and listen to Iron Maiden!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Can I complain about the complaining old people?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is all fake crisis if you asked me. I could be wrong, but I doubt there are really that many complaints about child noise. It is an excuse to run some media panic over the falling birthrate--a perennial favorite. Then, again, old Japanese people do like to complain about certain kinds of meiwaku (but not others, like the political loudspeaker vans etc). It is an urusai country, and yes, even the children seem to be more irritatingly urusai than those elsewhere. Maybe because there is no such thing as child-rearing here? Kids are basically encouraged to be howler monkeys until they enter intermediate school and have the life sucked out them. To do things any other way would require thought and discipline on the part of parents. God forbid. Just turn them over to state.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Screw this! Japan needs more kids than the walking, talking, road hazards that are the elderly.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan needs a Florida

10 ( +11 / -1 )


You are right, Lol!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do the kids need to chant while practising? Frankly, I would never want to live near a school/daycare again - I lived by an ele school my first three years. The baseball players chanting was annoying and needless. All day Saturday.

Kids ARE loud - though so are trucks, cars and old people. My issue with the kids here is that their parents don't tell them to shut up. Babies crying are one thing, kids running/biking around screaming are another. Go to the park and do that. I shouldn't have to listen to kids screaming and running around in grocery stores, cafes... but I do because many parents here don't seem to draw a line between parks and kid's space vs adult/work space. By all means kids can scream all they like at a park but I would not be happy to live under a family with kids who thumped around all day screaming at one another. I don't blame the people in apartments for being upset. Apartments aren't places for kid. Buy a house folks. Kids need space, they need a backyard. Can't afford one? Send your kids to the park or better yet, go with them, tire them out so they are quiet at home.

The idea of living near a daycare gives me shudders. No thanks.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I was relieved to read this, knowing it's not just happening in my neighbourhood, but everywhere. And when I consider complaints against children singing outside or engaging in healthy cheering when they're playing football against the all too frequent noise of loudspeakers, I'm amazed. Many older people definitely have their priorities all mixed up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sounds like a lot of badly built buildings- an office block should be just about soundproof. Western skyscrapers are so soundproof that they only fell the vibration from a small bomb.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is nuts, why are the teachers and children capitulating? What power do neighbours have over living beings?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And yet nothing is done about the excessive noise of:

Bosozoku revving their crappy-looking motorcycles (while being followed by passive police) The black vans with their rising sun flags and ultra-nationalist proclamations Politicians with megaphones at train stations getting in everyone's way and on everyone's nerves Politicians in little white vans, wearing little white gloves, saying little of any importance Loudspeakers blasting out elevator music on city streets and 'shotengai' Advertising over the PA as the Odakyu bus approaches the station (on my route, anyway) Endless noisy promotions and announcements at just about every shop you enter Campaign girls standing on boxes and promoting stuff in front of shops, not inside

What will these people complain of next - birdsong?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Hats off to hatsoff's 8:33pm post.

What will these people complain of next? Probably the cicadas, which are going to start their relaxing humming pretty soon, lol.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bertie: "ONE or TWO grumpy individuals who should be ignored are the ones who are making the NOISE. Don't listen to them."

Reminds me of a few Okinawan posters I know. :) You're right, though, these people want to complain for the sake of being heard, which could be considered ironic given their complaints. If people complain about kids jumping up and down in the room above them, then whose fault is it, genuinely? logically it's the fault of those who built such a poor structure and the people who choose to live there.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This bears out something I wrote here not long ago: that as more and more people elect not to have children the more child unfriendly society becomes. This is not a problem with a few elderly people. It goes across the board. It is also not a problem limited to Japan. Read the BBC or American Yahoo and you'll see what I mean. There are now child free resorts. Restaurants now have child free sections, as does one Asian airline.

Modern industrial urban society is seeing a reverse Malthusian trend, increased production of life's necessities and fewer people partaking in them.

This is a society where people are atomized. The extended family is gone and there is nothing around to replace it. Urban society is expensive, cramped and uncertain. Children are useless in this world, except as expensive pets. What pleasures urban society offers are adult and individualized. The only time an increasing number of adults ever see children is when they (the children) are at their worst--namely when they are in some public place with their parents. Children screaming, crying and running around in supermarkets or restaurants only further alienate the childless from children and their parents.

If you'll pardon an unscientific personal observation, I've found that when children are with children they tend to be calm and not offensively noisy. But with parents in a coffee shop or a supermarket, they are shriekers, bawlers, tantrum throwers and dangerous runabouts. They seem unhappy. Their parents appear to be to child-rearing what TEPCO is to nuclear safety.

Modern urban society is not child friendly, which means that a critical mass of future taxpayers may never be born. There are remedies. A major one is immigration. Unfortunately, that remedy is not in the cards in japan, which has more of an aversion to non-Japanese than to its children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I get the feeling some of these people complaining want to have their cake and eat it too: ie live somewhere cheaper than right next to the station, which nevertheless has a lot of amenities available to service the population who live there. They then complain about what comes with that.

People who choose to move somewhere unwisely have only themselves to blame. There are plenty of quiet neighbourhoods around but they typically have less accessible amenities unless they are specifically built for the wealthy. People who have always lived in a neighbourhood and seen it change in ways they don't like (for example a childcare center built too close for their ideas of comfort) deserve more sympathy but ultimately it's bad lluck and they need to either move or put up with it:

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"“We were once told not to take the children for a walk” because they make too much noise, she said."

How sad. If people next to a day care center don't like the sound of kids going for a walk, they should be told to move.

I'm the opposite. The older I get the more I like to hear the sound of young, genki kids who still know how to have fun and like being alive.

Sad, morbid old people. But in a few years they'll be unable to look after themselves and be lying in an old folks home just wishing they could see some young kids faces.

Miserable old sods.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


Check out mainland Asia. Roving noise trucks advertising movies. Noisy tuk-tuks and motorbikes. No comparison. Also, North Africa and anywhere there's an amplified call to prayer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thank god they don't have lawns.

Lonely old people that are a product of their own misery.

I went to a festival today and it looked like a zombie apocalypse with so many ragged old people sneering at children playing AT A FESTIVAL.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ever been to greece, etc?

Chinese also got a reputation for being noisy/demanding.

But kids will be kids

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan desperately needs the few kids she has infinitely more than these whinging old pensioners, who - lets be honest here - have had their day in the sun and are likely contributing NOTHING of benefit to the community.

Luckily where we live - semi-inaka - the older folk are the complete opposite, and dote over our daughter wherever we go! Maybe this is more of a city phenomenon?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm on the side of the oldies here. A couple of days ago I went for a mani-pedi (in a salon located near a pre-school) and had to spend the whole session listening to some squalling, snivelling brat having a major temper tantrum outside the window. I could practically feel my ovaries shrivelling up in disgust. My dream is to live in a retirement community where kids are only allowed to visit once a week.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Forget the Children , Their fine, I don,t mind the noise of young kids , What i do mind is the absolute annoying and relentless sound of dogs barking, you ring the police and they say "We told the dog owners to keep their dogs quiet" That,s it, no other Authority, We tell the neighbours , they say "Sumimasen" Absolute Joke...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kids bat last.

2 strikes, 2 outs, top of the ninth. Ganbatte geezers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Check out mainland Asia. Roving noise trucks advertising movies. Noisy tuk-tuks and motorbikes. No comparison.

you're right. I'd take Southeast Asia over Japan any day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the old people want their way, they should invest designating school zones. Within a school zone should be a minimum of 3 three out the following (park, day-care, kindergarden, middle school, high school). Each facility must be within 1km of at least 2 other facilities. From the centralized point of all facilities a school zone will be extended in all directions for a minimum of 1km and a maximum of 3km. Within a school zone, natural noise disturbances within reasonable tolerances will be allowed between the hours of 10am and 7pm regardless of private discomfort as long as the noise disturbance can be linked to social, physical, or educational benefit. For the old people in a school zone, time to reconsider where you live. For young people, guess what your property just became more valuable. For families, it might cost you more money to live in or around a school zone, but now there will be a designated place to play with your kids. Japanese enough...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All these idiots who complain about children making noise should be asked to declare that they will never depend on the public pension system.... which of course will be paid for by he very children they complain about. If they are sure that they can live without a future generation, fine. But in that case, I am sure they also can afford to move to a really really quiet neighbourhood somewhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“We were once told not to take the children for a walk” because they make too much noise, she said.

I can believe that someone would say this. To me, I think it boils down to a few issues that some elderly may have in regards to children and noise:

These are probably the people who didn't have kids not so much because of some medical issue, but due to the fadt that they devoted themselves to the "company" was business was big in Japan and now they have some regrets about the road not taken. To further the theme from my first point, they may have had kids, but chose not to spend too much time with them for the sake of the company, and they regret that they didn't take the time out to play with their kids, and those kids now are grown and either don't have any grandkids for them to see or they just don't come around anymore.

True kids can be noisy, but I don't mind them. I think you get more noise living close to a train line with trains going every 15 minutes a day than the noise one would hear from kids playing at a school.

People need to learn to mind their own business, and if they are miserable, jsut be miserable by yourself and don't rain on other people's parades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The solution is obvious: install loudspeaker wherever there are children.

Play an annoying little tune followed by an announcement, "Children must no make a noise."

Repeat endlessly.

"In Tokyo last year, a neighborhood family sued a day-care center, demanding the facility stop emitting noise and pay 17.46 million yen ($172,000) in damages for their mental suffering." Hasn't anyone sued JR, camera shops, owners of large screen TVs installed in public places for mental stress? For that matter why not sue politicians for their speaker trucks?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is one of those things is backwards to me in Japan. I'd rather hear kids outside playing vs loudspeakers blaring political slogans or bozo's driving up and down the street. But yeah, those damn noisy kids, this is ridiculous to say the least.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm ok if children make noise, as long as they don't say rude things or damage things on purpose. Aren't japanese children nicer than other ones from other places? Here where I live children are very impolite and rude with each other, and that's the only thing that it bothers me. Besides, they should know children have several outdoor activities inside daycare centers and schools. It's not something rare or inusual, why complaint?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Tokyo last year, a neighborhood family sued a day-care center, demanding the facility stop emitting noise and pay 17.46 million yen ($172,000) in damages for their mental suffering.

They sue because they can't digest the refusal of the center to accept them as pupils. If in Summer, they installed a larger inflatable doraemon pool for bachans to splash and shrieks with buddies, they wouldn't get any complain.

Play an annoying little tune followed by an announcement, "Children must no make a noise."

You don't have that yet in your neighborhood ? That's exactly that in Osaka. Local park : don't run, don't enter with a cycle/rollers/skate-board, don't play with balls, don't sit or step on the lawn, don't catch insects, don't eat or drink, don't make music, don't speak loudly... they add new ones all the time.

These are probably the people who didn't have kids ...etc

They are simply aging baby-boomers. Here, like in France, I've found that the biggest complainers, those that sue and call the cops, tend to be the old farts that 30 to 50 yrs before graced the neighborhood with the noisiest unruly brats ever, that bought them the noisiest drums, dogs, fireworks, scooters, bikes, cars, sound systems. Back then, they were away working or shopping, so they didn't care what a mess the neighbors, teachers and particularly the grand-parents that did most of the child care had to put up with. Now they have become elderly homebodies that make a nap after lunch and can't tolerate that a mosquito flies. Between their onsen and gaikoku trips, they declare themselves "too tired" to spend time with their own grand-kids that they describe as noisy and wild, while in reality they are fewer, tamer and more obedient compared to previous generation. Now, and for the rest of their life, they have all their free time to complain. Full time pain in the a.... Even if they are a minority, they live long.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL its kids just japans future so shut up and make some allready xD

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't worry old geezers. Soon you'll be dead and everything will be so, so quiet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan needs a Florida

It's got one, it's called Okinawa. Starting prior to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, many elderly people have been buying land and building houses down here in a number of communities in Okinawa. The cost of living is lower and their pension money goes much farther.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They are very quiet comparing to TV talento.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well surely the problem is not just that people are complaining about the noise of excited children playing, its that schools etc are actually taking notice of the complaints and acting on them. Just politely tell the old whingers to stick it where the sun don't shine....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These complaints are just ridiculous. Children making normal sounds that they make has been going on longer than anything else. They may as well complain about the wind making noise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A few things come to mind...

I bet these old people won't be complaining when these kids are paying their pensions..

Old people complain all the time, sometimes we should listen as they have some wisdom but often they are just old and grumpy.

Japan needs to become more family friendly both in law, finance and in society.. they have a huge population problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All these idiots who complain about children making noise should be asked to declare that they will never depend on the public pension system.... which of course will be paid for by he very children they complain about. If they are sure that they can live without a future generation, fine. But in that case, I am sure they also can afford to move to a really really quiet neighbourhood somewhere.

You mean the system that these old people have been paying into for decades?? They HAVE paid for their pensions but that money was used for say, things like schools, parks, playgrounds, free health care... I really dislike when people suggest that we need to be thankful to kids because they'll be paying for my pension. Nope. I pay my pension thank you very much. Add in that something like 50% of those under 35 aren't even paying and what you're suggesting is wrong. WE'RE paying for them. That will change in the future but as it is, the old pension comment is wrong.

I also laugh when people suggest that old folks have the money to pick up and move. Why should they? If they lived in a nice place with few children and a noisy family moved in or a daycare that doesn't monitor noise levels moved in, why should they move? Why doesn't the daycare pay for soundproofing? Why not take the kids to a park? No park? Why on earth would you put a daycare in an area where the kids can't run around and use their pent up energy? The busiest areas in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya... all have small parks these places can use. And if the old folks want to scream about the noise there, I wouldn't support it. However, in quiet residential areas? Yes, Complain away.

We have to share public spaces with each other. If parents were a little more respectful of where they allowed their kids to run around and scream, I don't think there would be so many issue. The thing is, many parents are NOT respectful of boundaries - such has allowing their kids to play tag in a grocery store. Inside voices, outside voices. I know I was taught that. There are plenty of play areas in Japan - though yes, they could use more - why aren't parents using them?

And I don't think anyone here is suggesting that the noise pollution from from bike gangs, trucks and whatnot are not an issue. It is a huge issue. However, this topic is about kids and noise, not all noise pollution in Japan. Pointing out something else doesn't make the noise from kids better. And let's be honest, parenting, be it in Japan or "back home" hasn't really gotten better when it comes to raising kids who are mindful of others. If anything, it's gotten worse. Those screaming kids turn into screaming teenagers who turn into loud and clueless adults. Perhaps the older folks might want ot take a look at how they raised their kids and how their kids are raising their kids??

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Children should be seen and not heard - wasn't that an old English saying?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

tmarie, many people have never paid a single yen into the pension system, particularly the old ladies. My wife's granny is now in her 37th year of a free pension she never contributed one yen towards. Mind you, she doesn't complain about children making noise as she's been dead for 5 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saxon, if you're ever read anything I've posted on the topic of J women NOT working you would know I have a HUGE issue with these women taking money from the system they haven't paid into. However, when I complain about them, everyone goes on about how they are mostly mothers who are staying home to raise their kids, they should be home, blah blah blah... You guys can't have it both ways. I'm all for daycares but they need to teach the kids to be respectful of those around them. Same for ele schools. Like I said before, there is no need for the baseball kids to chant while they practise. We managed not to do it. Needless noise pollution in a country that already has more than enough!

And since she's been dead for five years, I guess she's not "now in her 37th year" is she? I have issue with it and I 100% agree with where you're coming from but to suggest these kids will pay... nope. The female ones probably won't be until the system is changed.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Stay on topic please. Whether or not women work is irrelevant.

Tmarie, whilst you're partially correct that many old people have paid into the pension system for all of their whole working lives, that's not quite the same as saying that they have paid for their pensions. As a generation the current crop of retirees are taking out FAR more that they ever contributed. Whilst this is not individually their fault - it's hard to blame people for living so much longer on average than they did when the pension system was set up - it's also not the fault of the younger generation who are going to be saddled with an ENORMOUS debt that will not be repaid in their lifetimes. A little humility on the part of the older generation, and a recognition that retirees pensions absolutely will be paid for by coming generations, wouldn't go amiss.

I do have some sympathy for people craving a quiet life who unexpectedly find themselves living next to a noisy daycare center but really, Tokyo and Yokohama are not the right places for someone to live who expects nothing to change, and demands peace and quiet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hatsoffJUN. 02, 2013 - 08:33PM JST And yet nothing is done about the excessive noise of: ...

Snme good arguments and some not so good ones there. As long as noise is made in crowded public places that should be OK. Shop yellers, music played in shotengais.... That's part of Japan's exotic flair. But minivans with ridiculous politicians shouting like they have been bitten by a tarantula and junk collector lowlifes with their extremely annoying looped every ten seconds announcements driving around your house 4-5 times a day, intruding your living room with their noise, a place where you're supposed to find some rest and privacy... That's a completely different thing!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nothing is sweet than the sound of happy children.. unless you are old and grumpy because you have no family and no children who care about you and are just waiting for you to die to pick over your things and throw out your personal treasures as junk.. there should be more programs to have elders come to schools and play with kids.. and teach kids lessons that only can be learned from being old and having lived life and survived living so long.. elders should not be thrown in homes or cast off to die alone.. and children would learn compassion, caring and something other than what being consumers, brand loyal, greedy, jealous, teasing, bullying and other things that are left to them in a school prison environment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You know, this is not the way we should be treating out children, they need to play and just to make another point, there are elderly that get up at 6am on weekends and bother me and my children talking loudly and no one ever complains about that...........

0 ( +2 / -2 )

tmarie, you missed the intentional gag about us even paying these pension costs long after the demise of the pensioner in many cases. Who pays what is a misnoma for this issue. I agree there is way too much noise. I agree that the ritual chanting of school clubs is excessive. I agree that a lot of parents don't control their kids properly too. But I also feel that shoddy construction makes the problem worse as there is little sound-proofing. Meanwhile, the 2 small parks near my place were recently sold off and new houses have been built on the land, which means even more kids playing in the streets, with old people moaning about them doing so.

We are buffeted by noise all day every day, from pachinkos to trains, traffic to loudspeakers, bosozoku to politicians. Where I live there are very loud announcements from the city office several times a day telling kids what time it is, and announcing elderly people have gone missing etc. Vans selling everything from tofu and washing lines to fuel, or asking for second-hand appliances annoy me on a daily basis. I can't sleep through one of my neighbours going off to work at 4am on a motorbike with the silencer removed. Then the cicadas, crows and crickets add their sweet music to the daily assault on our senses. So for old people to blame the country's noise on kids is actually a tad ridiculous. They often just don't like kids because they are grumpy old people, and they deserve to be ignored.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Indeed we ARE buffeted by such noises but we can usually avoid them - we can't avoid kids. And we shouldn't feel that we have to. They should be taught to be respectful and keep their voices down when they aren't in a kid friendly place and daycares and the like should be aware that not everyone finds the screams of children delightful. I'm all for banning screaming vans, pachinko, bosozoku as well but you know what is easier to deal with? Teaching kids to be quiet unless they are somewhere where they can run and scream to their heart's delight - and I am all for having those places.

ADK, I 100% that old folks are taking far more than they deserve but I get a feeling my comments will be deemed off topic. Look, I'm not "old". I'm not taking anything away - if anything I am helping this country stay afloat with my taxes - but I also have issues with the amount of noise and behaviour I have to deal with when it comes to kids here. Moms, and I say mothers because they are usually the prime parent, are not all teaching their kids manners or how to behave. Daily I am subjected to screaming kids (not babies as that really can't be helped) on the trains, the grocery store... I couldn't imagine being frail and weak and dealing with these ankle biters and their mothers. A little compassion for the old folks.

And yes, some compassion for the kids. It isn't their fault the adults in their life aren't raising them so that kidless folks or older folks want to be around them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Children should be seen and not heard.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No such thing as bad kids! But stupid bad parents that produce loud, rude brats?? You see a rotten kid just go and take a look at its parents!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Woaw, i live near a school were kids make their "Normal" noises, sports events on sunday and around 8 o'clock every morning i hear "ohayou gozaimasu!" every 30 seconds, i don't mind, geezers should have child mode on their hearing aids.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some people want the kids being kept in underground bunkers. I don't care about their retirement premiums, they are insane, not apt to live in society. I think they are the ones that should go to live in bunkers and caves in the mountains themselves. Tmarie, Tessa, whoever finds the shoe fits, start digging !

They may as well complain about the wind making noise.

They surely do. They complain about the chirping of cicadas so Osaka-city has cut half of the street trees to eradicate the insects.

Why not take the kids to a park?

Do you understand the article ? Neighbors complained when educators took kids to public parks for an occasional walk :

“We were once told not to take the children for a walk” because they make too much noise, she said.

2 yr old toddlers (badly educated ?) dared making noises while they passed in their street. For daily use, centers have their own parks (with shades, etc...) and the "17.46 million yen for their mental suffering" family is complaining about the noise when kids are outdoor in a park designed for kids.

An official at Tokyo’s Meguro Ward office said the number of complaints they receive about noisy children peaks in the summer when youngsters go to outdoor pools. sports clubs are restricting the times that youngsters can play outside to avoid upsetting the neighbors.

In in public schools and in the playground of their schools, they disturb ? I doubt the schools and big parks have appeared after they bought their houses.

The busiest areas in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya... all have small parks these places can use.

FIY, most of these small green spaces with a sandbox and a few kid props are private. They are property of neighbors (in common for a block of houses or a mansion) not of the cities. Parks owned by the cities are much fewer, and more adapted for grumpy dog walkers than for toddlers.

in her 37th year of a free pension ... as she's been dead for 5 years.

She is mummified in the tatami closet so you can keep getting the pension ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to live in a bunker because I feel that kids need to be taught to be quiet in certain areas? Um, yeah...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have to live in a bunker because I feel that kids need to be taught to be quiet in certain areas? Um, yeah...

Is there any other place on earth for a person that needs silence on a field of baseball ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you'll pardon an unscientific personal observation, I've found that when children are with children they tend to be calm and not offensively noisy. But with parents in a coffee shop or a supermarket, they are shriekers, bawlers, tantrum throwers and dangerous runabouts. They seem unhappy. Their parents appear to be to child-rearing what TEPCO is to nuclear safety.

Well said !

My elder son (aged 3 at the time) had a tantrum in front of his European grandmother when she came to visit us in Kobe... He never tried that again ! Granny didn't do anything, it was just the expression on her face... I soon managed to calm him down. But as quoted above, most Japanese parents haven't a clue about raising their children. To hear children laughing or playing can actually make one feel younger again ! But to have the little brats screaming on the top of their lungs, or running around in Supermarkets, bashing into people and thoroughly unruly, is no joke !

As others have said : Not to mention the loudspeaker trucks, bosozoku, noisy politicians, etc... They're enough to drive anyone insane !

2 ( +2 / -0 )


" You mean the system that these old people have been paying into for decades?? They HAVE paid for their pensions "

It seems you are falling for a myth about the pension system. There is no "lock box" into which your pension payments go. There never has been, there never will be. Neither in Japan, nor anywhere else. Whatever goes into the governments accounting, goes into one big pool. Pensions have always been paid from the contributions of the current workforce (i.e. the children that the current morons are complaining about).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kids need to be kids. Let them play to their heart's content.

On they other hand, they really need to rein in the "rhythmic" shouting that goes on during sports practices, especially baseball. In my neighbourhood the boys shout to each other every time they throw the ball to each other.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Glad i didn't marry a feminist.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

let the children play. The Adults need to grow up and realize it's part of life

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is there any other place on earth for a person that needs silence on a field of baseball ?

I don't think anyone on here is asking for silence on the baseball field.

It seems you are falling for a myth about the pension system. There is no "lock box" into which your pension payments go. There never has been, there never will be. Neither in Japan, nor anywhere else. Whatever goes into the governments accounting, goes into one big pool. Pensions have always been paid from the contributions of the current workforce (i.e. the children that the current morons are complaining about).

And your comments suggest otherwise? Well aware there is no box and it goes into one large pool - hence saying that these folks HAVE paid. Pensions are paid by the younger generation but those currently getting paid have also paid and supported this country. To suggest that are getting a free ride on the back of the screaming kids they are sick and tired of listening to would be incorrect.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It would help if it weren't the case that every single outdoor surface in a Japanese city is noise (and heat) amplifying. More trees and grass would dampen the sound and cool things down (including tempers).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

i could just punch all these grumpy old farts right in the face

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The amounts paid in over time are not enough to cover the payouts due to demographics. They need to be subsidized...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is the problem with the nuclear family. Grandparents don't live with their grandchildren anymore. Since the kids don't bring the grandchildren to grandpa and grandma, they complain about other peoples children since they feel neglected. It is also strange that older people complain about children when many time they behave like unreasonable children. Then the question is if older people have to listen to TV with the sound so high, how do they hear children? But part of the problem is towns and associations taking the complains seriously. Older people tend to vote but it used be that the towns told them, shouganai. What happened to that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a society filled with noise. Kids bother me anywhere in the world, but what else is there? Screaming waiters at izakayas; politicians literally causing noise pollution while spouting their garbage on megaphones; recorded greetings and warnings at stores, on escalators, etc; go to the beach, you get music blaring from the klaxon; go to a ski field, same again when you take the chair lift. Children are the most natural annoying sound in the world, but in Japan, they're just the tip of the iceberg.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How about old people on the train keep talking non-stop and has to end every sentence with,! Ne my a**! And if something bad happen they just try to pretend innocent or like they know nothing. boo!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If there is a demand for less noise from children, In the cities, Japan should build more separate 55+ housing market: condominiums and rental apartments. If these people really needs the quietness, move to the country. In the city, you have to co-exist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sound of children joyously playing is one of the happiest sounds there is - if one finds it bothersome, they have probably given up on life!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Decision made: Tokyo is not a friendly place to raise children. 3 more weeks and they will enjoy playing freely soccer, basket ball, cycling in the street, ...

As one of my best japanese friend told me: "when you have already been 3 times in a year at Tokyo Disney, you may think about moving out!"

Children have no space no play, in the few ones they are asked to be silent, 90% of the restaurant are children free, ...

Enough is enough!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To be honest, the middle schoolers chanting would piss me off, too, but the noise of other kids naturally playing is much much better to hear than the sound of drunk a-holes coming home from a night of drinking or any form of transportation with a loudspeaker attached. As another poster pointed out, this playing is DURING THE DAY. What's the problem???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With all respect, I'm tired of the attitude of the 60-80 year old block of his population. Look around at that age group of oba-sans who won't queue or oji-sans who sit with their cars idling and air con on full during summer for hours on end while reading the paper and you'll understand what I mean. And Selfish, ignorant and unable to think outside the square.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe if they didn't construct walls to be paper thin in this country people wouldn't mind the faint laughter of children.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Playing is fine, but I ask the kids bonking their tennis and baseballs off the local walls for hours to STOP as it is extremely annoying. Go to a playing field or court. So far, simply asking nicely directly does the trick.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Instead of Aging if we called them JUNK !!! then, what they will do? they will all come to the street and produce the same thing, NOISE by all means... right? Childrens are FUTURE, Youngster are PRESENT, REST is ...... It simply indicates all this AGING people only think about themself, and not about future, yes their own future. Who will pay for their pensions? So stop complaining about Children and start thinking about their own future.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love Heavy Metal, love the sound of a Harley passing by, love the dawn chorus in summer, love the water of the stream that runs through my garden, love to sit in the beer garden of the pub at the end of runway 1 at Heathrow airport & count the rivets as the planes come & go. But one child with its random high pitched yelps will have me reaching for the air-rifle/katana/grenades before you know it. And I have been this way all my life - it's not an age thing! 'Children should be seen and not heard' as my father used to quote. Only wish they didn't have to be seen either. Children are our future? What future do we have on this planet when people keep breeding recklessly at the rate they do?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seriously, some old people need to grow up. I'll take the noise of children playing over certain old people moaning any day...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At least in Japan if you lose a civil suit you must usually pay the attorney's fees of the defendant. I hope family who sued loses. I enjoy the sound of children playing, though my in-laws live across from a high school in Saitama and their baseball team begins practice at 7am every Saturday and Sunday and that sucks if tied one on the night before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Alot of people on here have NO respect for elderly, after all everyone commenting on here is technically closer to being elderly than being a kid since you cannot be a kid again once you already were one, since we are all are adults here. So if you treat the elderly like a pile of poop what about when you are old, same thing then? And when I was a kid I was quiet, not hyper, and behaved myself in public, I got discipline from my parents and got taught not to be disrespectful in public or to elders. Kids these days shove into people in public and do not say they are sorry, scream and throw fits everywhere and do not get any discipline or taught to behave. I have to agree with the elderly, kids in Japan are way louder and hyper than in other countries (as I come from another country plus travelled to another country and have seen how the children are in elsewhere).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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