Japan Today

Japanese ad showing mom doing all the housework and childcare has people steamed at dad

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Before we dive into this commercial from Japanese home construction company Universal Home, you’ll need to know one Japanese phrase: Chotto matte ne. It means “Wait just a minute,” and you’ll hear media personality Miki Fujimoto, the ad’s star, say it several times during the 15-second video.

The first chotto matte comes when Fujimoto is washing dishes, and her character’s energetic young daughter comes running up and says “Mama, let’s play!”

 Chotto matte ne.


The video then cuts to Fujimoto vacuuming her living room…

▼ “Mama, read me a story.”

Chotto matte ne.


…and by the time we get to the harried mom hanging laundry, she doesn’t even have time to let her daughter make her full request.

▼ “Mama –

“Chotto matte ne.”


But Fujimoto’s life takes a turn for the better at the video’s six-second mark, when the onscreen text tells us she’s moved into a brand-new home (built by Universal Home, of course). The new house is filled with modern creature comforts, such as an automated dishwashing machine (still a relative rarity in Japan). So this time, all Daughter has to say is “Mama…,” and Fujimoto cheerfully reacts with “Let’s play!”, which makes her daughter jump for joy.


Pretty sweet story, right? Except, wait, go back up for a second…Who’s that guy on the couch?

Oh, that’s Dad, who we next see standing next to Fujimoto and observing:

“You don’t have to say ‘Wait just a minute’ anymore, do you?”

▼ A line he delivers while she’s still apparently cleaning something.

Image: YouTube/ユニバーサルホーム公式チャンネル

A number of Japanese viewers who saw the ad were startled by the father’s sudden appearance, and then disappointed at the delayed realization that, as busy as the family’s lifestyle seems to be, he’s never seen lifting a finger to pitch in with the housework. Comments on Twitter have included:

“When he says (You don’t have to say ‘Wait just a minute’ anymore, do you?’, all I can think is ‘Why don’t YOU wash the dishes?’”

“Even if he doesn’t want to wash the dishes, can’t he at least say ‘Mom is busy washing the dishes, so I’ll play with you’ to their daughter? What a jerk.”

“Wait, she had a husband the whole time? Where was he hiding in the other scenes?”

“I’m betting the team that made this commercial are all men.”

“It would have been a lot more modern if they’d shown the dad loading the dishwasher. The atmosphere of the video is outdated.”

Not everyone was so quick to throw dad under the bus, though. Some theorized that he might be the family’s sole breadwinner, and in the earlier scenes he’s not around because he’s at work. Others mentioned the possibility that he might indeed handle his share of the chores, but that in the one scene he does show up in, it’s Mom’s turn to wash the dishes. And the end of the ad does at least show mom, dad, and daughter all playing together, so it’s not like he’s totally disinterested in family life.

And then there was the commenter who, perhaps based on the husband’s frequent invisibility and ethereally white wardrobe, offered this possible explanation:

“The dad is dead. That’s just his ghost checking in.”

Still, for husbands of the non-dead variety, if your wife and the mother of your children is as busy as Fujimoto is in the video, and you happen to be around the house, helping out is probably a good idea, especially if you don’t want your wife to become murderously frustrated with you.

Sources: YouTube/ユニバーサルホーム公式チャンネル, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Japanese wife becomes Internet’s favorite when she replaces dollhouse bunny with Zangiefs

-- Things get awkward as cosplayer’s dad learns to double-check his suitcase before business trips

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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So people are getting annoyed with the fictional dad instead of the nonfiction advertising agency who made the ad or the company who commissioned and then OKed the ad. That's not very good!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The ad is so misleading. As one with weekdays off, I always see shopping centers full of at home wives/mothers enjoying their free time while dad is at work and kids at school. So yes, the stay at home mom or dad should do the household chores. In addition, I often hear from my male friends that they take care of the home and kids on their days off so mom can take a break with her friends. I find this ironic as she already does this during the week. I would love to be an at home dad.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Let's just let people lead there lives as they wish without all the SJW moral outrage by a vocal minority.

The fact is that a majority of Japanese women choose to be 'at home with the kids' while a majority of men prefer paid employment. Both roles are very noble and necessary for a society to function. While there are some lazy husbands I'm getting tired of all the recent man bashing, denigrating of motherhood as a calling and demeaning of the nuclear family. This CM reflects society as it generally is. And what is wrong with that?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Great comments above guys keep it up !!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Epitome of a desired household culture, rightly or wrongly, I think.

It can happen thus: He cleans dishes. She says, 'もう!まだ洗ってないないだよ。ほら見てよ - こことここ‼もうあんたはチョーへたくそ。あたしやるわ。もう、あちイケ! (What? You haven't washed them yet!. Look! This bit's dirty, here too! You are SOOOOOO hopeless! Let me do it. You, just get out of my sight!')

Does this happen in your blissful 'MyHome'? It does in mine, often.

Personally I agree with

the commenter who, perhaps based on the husband’s frequent invisibility and ethereally white wardrobe, offered this possible explanation:

“The dad is dead. That’s just his ghost checking in.”


-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Looks pretty much like the many of the Japanese households I know when I'm in their houses.

Not sure what the exact deal is here but it could be that this husband is gone every day from 7 to 9 and this is his one free morning.

Husbands definitely need to help out around the house more here in Japan but the people getting upset over this commercial need to chill.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I’m really really upset by this. If they have a dishwasher, wouldn’t it be “do” the dishes instead of “clean” the dishes.

Be right back, have to go hang the kitchen mats outside to dry.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Our dad, who received several medals for fighting the Nazis and Imperial Japanese in World War II, had no problem with helping with the housework, or with taking care of us kids. I talked with him about it, and pointed out how he was different from most of our friends' dads. He said it was the right thing to do. Mom had a job outside of the home, which she wanted to do and was good at, and he said it was just common sense for him to share in doing some of the housework. We never thought any less of him for helping to take care of us.

When I was working 12 hours a day, and my wife stayed home, I did very little housework, aside from taking out the trash, doing the laundry, and helping with the cooking. ( I am the better cook, and everyone wants me to do it. ) Now that I am retired, I do much more around the house, and don't mind at all.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I used to think mothers had a nice easy life traipsing around all day.

Then I had a kid. Then I had another kid.

My wife has more times than I do throughout the day where she's able to just sit and watch TV or meet with a friend or whatever, but she's first one up in the morning, and the last one to sit down in the evening, seven days a week.d

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Is it really a surprise in a country where the powers that be felt that too many women were becoming doctors, or where women in the office are expected to bring tea for the men, or where officials felt that enforcing the "no women allowed on the dohyo" rule was more important than saving somebody's life?

I'd be more shocked to see a commercial with a man helping the wife do housework.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Educator60, I grew up doing household chores and as a father continued. I know what is involved in keeping a home and know that it is not a 5am to 9pm job. My kids woke up on their own, prepared themselves for school, prepared their own breakfast, kept their own room cleaned, folded and put away their own laundry, help with dinner dishes and also helped keep the house clean. Perhaps mothers do too much for their kids these days and don't teach their kids the responsibility of doing household chores.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Commercials showing men doing housework, shopping, etc are actually quite common in Japan these days.

Not that I've seen. And, I watch a fair amount of JP TV. Well, I sit with my wife while she watches. Most of what she likes is dreadful, so I don't pay much attention to the shows themselves. But, I often watch the ads. And, they pretty much reflect the society in general, as it relates to gender roles. Although, there are exceptions, of course.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The story is not real so no need to be critical of individuals. So comments like - "Perhaps the father just got home after working 12 hours" etc are meaningless imo.

But what is real, is the fact that the ad agency and universal homes saw it fit to wheel out this old dated narrative of the mother as the active house cleaner, the husband as passive and the child as a cutesy helpless thing.

Full of Pastels and Fluffiness direct from the 50s, I would have thought the creative team had a far stronger grasp of the 21c, but perhaps management rules and it's "what the client wants and is paying us filthy amount of money to do".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yeah, the ads tend to reflect the target market of the product and it's the client that sets that target. Most producers of household goods continue intentionally target women/housewives specifically as their core consumers. They expect other groups (men, single women, working mothers, etc.) to accept the same messages/pick up whatever is cheap or popular, but they're somehow not 'worth' targeting directly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So what makes people think that the scene didn't take place during summer vacation when the wife is at home with the child and father works on weekdays. How will they be able to afford that new house? Leech off of the grandparents?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Dad spending 12 hours at work as kacho, working to be a bucho, so mom can stay home and spend all the time cleaning the big house of her dreams, such a beautiful arrangement.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The dad probably works 80hr weeks mum stays home with the kids and according to the SJW's she needs help the average house including the washing takes about two hrs a week to clean so apart from cooking the meals the wife must have at least 50 hrs of time for herself.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Of course in the ad focusing on the wife/mother is purposeful, as she is likely to influence thepurchase decision more than husband/father. Not surprising in the least this ad

Otherwise, yeah, generic streotyping of aproned mother doing chores and dad just popping in to comment. Not so much these days as 20 or 30 years ago, and of coursee going to draw comments form people who think they see reality when it is just an ad with a deliberate marketing strategy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As browny1 put it so nicely, why on earth are people speculating on the background to the husband in the advert? The only background to the advert is the marketers and the company who commisioned the advert. Those posters are showing the same difficulty in separating fiction and reality as the people commenting on the husband in the article!

Educator60 - your comments on the absurdity of drawing conclusions from watching women in the mall were spot on!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 why on earth are people speculating on the background to the husband in the advert? 

Because the Stepford wives vibs. The caption "the house that makes Mum's job easier", her robotic face and the guy's creepy satisfied face. I see other weird things :

Primo : Mama no shigoto (Mum's job) is not cleaning. Most parents surely clean , but non-parents too. Cleaning is not parenting. Mum's first job is playing and interacting with the kid, here it comes in second. But is it a real kid or a robot you get with the house ?

Segundo : Then I don't understand how buying a big house makes chores easier. On the contrary you get more surface to clean than in a flat, plus a garden to maintain. You can have the dishwasher/laundry cleaner-dryer/self-vacuum in a flat.

The higher mortgage may make Dad 's presence even more ephemeral than in the ad. But Mum too may need to work longer hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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