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Father's story about parenting on a train highlights Japan’s hidden prejudice against male parenting

73 Comments
By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

In Japan, gender roles are still fairly divided; the typical set up is that the men work and the women stay home with the kids, manage the house, and do the cooking and cleaning. While nobody really seems to mind this arrangement–except when the husbands leave random trash around the house or generally don’t make any effort at all to be helpful— it has some unintended consequences, not just for mothers, but for fathers as well.

Japanese dad, musician, manga artist, and Twitter user Mikito Tsurugi (@tsurugimikito) learned this the hard way, when his attempts at calming his hysterical daughter on the bullet train brought him some unwanted–and perhaps unwarranted–attention.

“I was on the bullet train on the way back from visiting my family in Nagano with my daughter, when she started wailing because she was sleepy. When I was trying to comfort her in the vestibule, a crowd of police officers got on board and started investigating me. Apparently, somebody had reported a serious possible kidnapping. There’s definitely prejudice against male parenting if a man alone with his children is considered strange.”

It seems that, in being alone with his crying two-year-old daughter, Tsurugi was mistaken for a kidnapper. It might be a little ridiculous, but you can’t really blame someone who was worried enough to call the police, especially when it comes to children’s safety. Even Tsurugi doesn’t blame them, as he says in a follow-up tweet. Still, he wonders why being a man alone with his children has to be such a big deal? “Judging from the way the police were behaving, I felt like it was a pretty serious situation. Did I really look that shady?”

Thankfully, the questioning ended without incident. Tsurugi’s daughter, miraculously, stopped crying when the police appeared, which probably helped to make him appear less suspicious. Tsurugi also calmly produced his ID card and his daughter’s insurance card as proof, and they called his wife, who explained about her husband and spoke to her daughter. After all that, Tsurugi was cleared of suspicion and allowed to go.

After the police left, a station attendant offered to throw away Tsurugi’s empty coffee can for him, which prompted his little girl to start crying again, saying, “That’s papa’s! Give it back!” Tsurugi began to worry that he was going to get in trouble again, but luckily, he and his daughter managed to get home safe and sound.

The whole story highlights a major problem for Japan: men are so rarely seen taking care of children that they are automatically suspicious if they do. Now, whether or not men should play a role in child rearing is a separate matter, but the fact that they generally don’t in Japan causes problems for single dads and fathers who do take care of their children.

In fact, other men on Twitter described similar situations of prejudice or discomfort they’ve experienced when parenting their children:

“When I go into the baby room in shopping malls to make my kid’s milk, sometimes the mothers glare at me from the second I go in to the second I leave. It makes me really uncomfortable. It’s almost like they don’t think men shouldn’t be raising their kids.”

“I’ve had to confirm the blood relationship between me and my daughter when we checked into a hotel on vacation. Can’t a father and daughter go on vacation together?”

“Ahaha, I’ve been in the same boat! They didn’t call the police on me, but my daughter was crying way louder than usual, and the environment around us got really uncomfortable. I walked really fast to catch up with my wife and handed her over. I felt like it would be bad if I tried to run.”

“I’ve also been questioned by the police, when my daughter burst into tears while we were walking back from city hall in the early afternoon. Kids cry for all sorts of reasons…why does a man have to be questioned by the police just because he’s walking with his kid during the day? I remember feeling pathetic, frustrated, all sorts of feelings.”

Kamiko Inuyama, Tsurugi’s wife, a columnist and radio personality, wrote a blog post about the incident, in which she explained that her daughter is currently in a stage where she is always crying and shouting “no”. She said she could understand why someone might be suspicious, and is even grateful for them taking quick action to protect her child. She is also thankful for the police, for being so thorough. “It’s our jobs as adults to protect the children,” she wrote.

She did have some concerns, however. “If it had been me alone with my daughter, no one would have reported it, would they?” she wrote. “The fact that my husband immediately thought he’d been reported for kidnapping is proof of the pressure that child-rearing men face…Since it’s important that both men and women raise children, I think we have to be aware that men face this kind of pressure.”

Twitter comments, on the other hand, were a pretty mixed bag:

“It might be prejudice, but you just have to deal with it. It was good to call the police, and good of the police to investigate. It’s possible that one of ten kidnapping cases investigated could be a real kidnapping. The other nine just have to deal with it.”

“I mean, you don’t need to hear this but, there’s the argument that if you were raising your kid well they wouldn’t cry in front of people or in public places. That’s probably why they called the cops, because their kids don’t act like that in public.”

“It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

“Oh my gosh, what a disaster! But don’t blame the person who called the cops. Blame the society that marked men raising children as strange.”

“Now that I’ve read your story it sounds like any mother’s story anywhere. The human subconscious is scary.”

Whatever your opinion of the cause or the morality of the situation, it must have been quite a scare, and an embarrassment, for this dad, who was likely already sweating bullets because his daughter was causing a major disturbance on a crowded train. Hopefully he’s not too afraid to spend time with his daughter alone in public in the future; it would be a real shame if such a stressful event affected their father-daughter relationship.

Source: Twitter/@tsurugimikito via My Game News Flash, Kamiko Inuyama Blog

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Why deciding whether or not to help a crying girl is complicated in Japan

-- Father develops simple method to make cranky toddlers into productive little go-getters

-- Poll asks for the top 10 times Japanese men are disappointed in their adult daughters

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

73 Comments
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“It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

My thoughts exactly. Better safe than sorry.

-27 ( +6 / -33 )

It’s exactly discrimination. Exactly half of all parents ever have been men. Applying a stereotype of a group to an individual of that group is the definition of discrimination. It’s exactly that discrimination.

23 ( +32 / -9 )

Sure seems like this guy gets into a lot of things with his daughter.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

 or ‘women are poor drivers so that woman shouldn’t be driving’.

You mean they aren't?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

I do not see a problem of checking if everything is fine, then moving along. Non-story....

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

This comment is itself prejudicial: women commit crimes against children all the time. In fact mothers are statistically more likely than fathers to kill their children.

If a two year old crying is the sole basis for suspicion, that is idiotic. Kids that age cry all the time. Accepting a standard that any man in the presence of a crying toddler is by definition and worthy of police investigation is going to seriously hamper the ability of men here who have very limited opportunities to spend time with their kids to do so.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

It's not just sexism against men as parents that made people suspicious. It's also that the people who grab children, especially female children, are usually men.

When you see a man alone with a young female who looks upset, your first thought is not going to be "Oh, she is mad at her daddy." It's going to be, "Is that her daddy, or is he grabbing her?"

I think it's best to act on the side of caution, especially in consideration of cases such as the Vietnamese girl who was murdered. If someone had paid attention when he put her in his car, she might be alive today.

I don't mean automatically calling the police - I mean keeping an eye out and noting the child's reaction and listening in to see if you can discern the situation, and then report if it doesn't feel right.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

First, calling the cops situation, I understand. Secondly, you men....grow some. I was a mom/dad, working full time helping my wife raise my son; preparing the bottle so that my wife could sleep at night, playing with him early in the morning at the park every weekend, taking him shopping for new pajamas and clothes, the whole nine yards. Not once did I ever feel embarrassed to be doing so, and I didn't care how other people looked at me or what they thought of me. My attention was 100% on my son and not on how others perceived me because I wasn't doing anything wrong. So Japanese men, if you're not doing anything wrong and contributing to your family's well being don't worry about what others are thinking. If you're too busy looking the other way, you'll miss your child's precious moments. It's also dangerous. My son is now in grad school studying nano science and has goals to proceed with his Ph.D. and often consults me about his studies and women, although not necessarily in that order.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

My kids kindergarten was exactly a mile from our house, and I walked my son and daughter there every weekday for five years (unless it was raining, in which case we drove). The purpose was communication time.

A student of mine attended a seminar on parenting where the speaker noted that, on his morning commute, day in and day out, he saw a foreigner walking with his child and went on to praise that behavior by a father as exemplary. My student realized he was talking about me.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

. It's also that the people who grab children, especially female children, are usually men.

Regardless of the practicalities, extrapolating to infer that all men are potential child-snatchers is the definition of prejudice. We hear all the time about how bad women have it in society. Notice the “suck-it-up” attitude in some of the comments, including yours?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

My kids kindergarten was exactly a mile from our house, and I walked my son and daughter there every weekday for five years (unless it was raining, in which case we drove). The purpose was communication time.

Some of the best conversations I've had with my kids is while walking them to/from school. I've never turned down the possibility to do either of these when I can.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

So if the baby screamed when the mother was there then it would've been normal. Lots of prejudice here too. I hope he got an I'm sorry from the caller.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

rainyday - Kids that age cry all the time. 

Um, no they don't! If this 2 year old was wailing for an extended period of time (long enough to cause concern), this fella needs to do some parenting classes. When travelling long distances with little kids you must always have some weapons in your kit, snacks, games, toys etc. and ensure they get enough sleep. These days everybody has a smart phone, the ultimate kid calmer.

However, it is possible this guy is just the standard one day a week Japanese father and the kid felt like she had been kidnapped by a stranger.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Good one Tony; everyone knows Gai’Ji’s are all criminals.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It is not always bad here. A couple of weeks ago I had to take my son 2 yo and my daughter 7 yo to dinner, without my wife, and my younger one was very upset and crying his lung out. The waitress offered to bring a baby chair, which is not that unusual, then she asked if she could offer him a lollipop, on top of that she brought a hair band for my oldest along with the meal. Such a sweet lady. I thanked her a million times.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@rainyday

In fact mothers are statistically more likely than fathers to kill their children.

This statement is an oxymoron. One of the rules of statistics is that it is factual that statistics are not facts. Statistics are just aggregate data.

But mothers are more likely to kill their children probably because in most cultures mothers are more likely to be with their children. That’s like saying “in Japan, more Japanese people die in an earthquake than foreigners.”

Its true that its prejudice. But I would prefer someone check to make sure things are okay if I’m out with my daughter than not checking. Because it only takes one moment for someone not to for things to be the wrong time. Wouldn’t bother me if a police officer walked up to me and asked if it’s my child. When it comes to my children, it’s better safe than sorry.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It used to bother me that 'women' would say things like, ''good for you'' or "more men should babysit''.

If we want to allow men to parent, then let them parent. I never once babysit my children, I raised them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

simon gToday  07:18 am JST

“It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

My thoughts exactly. Better safe than sorry.

It is NOT a fact that men are more likely to commit crimes against children. It is not a fact at all.

Do some research. Women are at least as likely, if not more so, to abuse and neglect children and otherwise mistreat them illegally. Studies confirm this.

Just glibly pronouncing men as being more likely to commit crimes against children? That's a vivid example of the very prejudice being referenced in this article.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@girl_in_tokyo

The majority of kidnappings and sexual assaults on women and on children are by male perpetrators.

First of all, there is some faulty logic in your comments. I do agree that women are more likely to get kidnapped or assaulted by a man than another woman or child in Japan. However, kidnapping and sexually assaulting both women and children is not the topic of conversation. We are talking about crimes that are committed with only children involved.

“It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

Actually in Japan, that is not a fact in Japan. Most of the abduction cases involving Japanese children nationally and internationally are by Japanese women. Most of the killings of children are usually by Japanese women whether it is a group suicide or abandoning newborn babies. Japanese mothers are also more likely to kill multiple children.

Children deaths and assaults by men get more attention because of the violent nature involving some of the events.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

your first thought is not going to be "Oh, she is mad at her daddy." It's going to be, "Is that her daddy, or is he grabbing her?"

I think it's best to act on the side of caution

In other words, treat him as guilty until he proves himself innocent. The hallmark of a free society!

What other people would we say should be treated this way? Foreigners in Japan? Black people in America?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Would love to see a Japanese remake of 'Mr. Mom'!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Judging by the comments here, it seems prejudice against male parents exists here too.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.

It's a fact that men are more likely to risk their own lives to save children. Not only his but other people's too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

SilvafanToday 10:10 am JST

However, kidnapping and sexually assaulting both women and children is not the topic of conversation. We are talking about crimes that are committed with only children involved.

Actually in Japan, that is not a fact in Japan. Most of the abduction cases involving Japanese children nationally and internationally are by Japanese women. Most of the killings of children are usually by Japanese women whether it is a group suicide or abandoning newborn babies. Japanese mothers are also more likely to kill multiple children.

Children deaths and assaults by men get more attention because of the violent nature involving some of the events.

I will concede your point that we aren't talking about sexual assault against women. That comment was aimed at Strangerland because of his past comments. He often complains about women being overly suspicious of men and calls it "discrimination".

But we aren't talking about women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings, either. We are talking about the kidnapping of children by strangers who intend them harm, and what is mainly feared in that regard is sexual molestation. The main perpetrators in those cases most certainly are men.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@girl_in_tokyo

But we aren't talking about women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings, either. We are talking about the kidnapping of children by strangers who intend them harm, and what is mainly feared in that regard is sexual molestation. The main perpetrators in those cases most certainly are men.

Once again, that is a strawman argument because you are being quite specific. The article nor has anyone on this thread has said that. If we are talking about a case that meets all of your criteria then you are probably correct. That is what a strawman argument does. It steers the conversation in a direction that favors you. You just can't ignore points that are relevant because you have no rebuttal for them.

The topic is kidnapping of children and/or harming children. You and some other believe men do it more. On the contrary, Japanese women kidnap Japanese children both abroad and in Japan than men. Second, Japanese women are more likely to harm children because culturally, the women are expected to be with the children more. Mothers abandoning children after birth is harming and usually killing the child. Women committing suicide and taking all the children with them is harming the children. Allowing their husbands to abuse the children is harming the children, and participating is harming the children. All three instances can involve killing multiple children at the same time, abandoning multiple children over the course of their lives, and allowing multiple partners to abuse multiple children over a certain period of time with their possible assistance.

The fact is Japanese women kidnap and/or harm children more than men. In Japan, men's kidnapping and/or harm of children tend be more violent in nature.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

When she was little, my youngest would cry and say "mama ga ii" (I want mummy) whenever I told her off somewhere. For lying on the supermarket floor, etc. Anyone who thinks that is evidence of a child being kidnapped is a complete idiot.

She would occasionally say "I want daddy" when my wife told her off.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I think the people who called the cops did the right thing. If you see a little girl hysterically screaming for a long time and she is accompanied by a single person (male or female) then this should raise some alarms... Better safe than sorry. As a father of 2 girls, I am very happy to hear about this happening.

What’s the downside? Dad writes a blog and gives JT trollers a venting opportunity...

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

“Oh my gosh, what a disaster! But don’t blame the person who called the cops. Blame the society that marked men raising children as strange.”

So in Japan it's fine just to give all child matters to female. For males that don't care about child matters at all, like drinking late at night with their co-workers or god know who else, that's Ok. Even go out play golf whole weekend while wife taking their kids that's also Ok.

But when a genuine father going travel with his kid, someone call emergency number.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@girl_in_tokyo

But we aren't talking about women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings, either. We are talking about the kidnapping of children by strangers who intend them harm, and what is mainly feared in that regard is sexual molestation.

and yet the article says........

“It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

And, I just explained why that is actually false because of women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings which you are choosing to ignore.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

so if a crying child is with a woman , she cannot be suspected as a kidnapper? And only applies to men!?

Mr. Hesei

I think the people who called the cops did the right thing. If you see a little girl hysterically screaming for a long time and she is accompanied by a single person (male or female) then this should raise some alarms... Better safe than sorry. As a father of 2 girls, I am very happy to hear about this happening.

So are you suggesting to call cops everytime we see an adult with a crying kid? How about trying to talk to the child and the adult first?  I think people should use common sense and fair judgement first rather than paranoia before we waste police's precious time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

better safe than sorry.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Saulojpn,

the waitress was trying her best to save the other customers the aggravation of having to listen to your screaming child.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It seems that, in being alone with his crying two-year-old daughter, Tsurugi was mistaken for a kidnapper. I

I think this sentence is misleading. Clearly, people did not call the police simply because he was alone with the child. Otherwise, the police would be called non-stop.

Somebody made the call when they say a small child clearly being uncomfortable with the adult she was with. So what exactly do you do in that situation? Nothing? Remember James Bulger?

I understand to err on the side of caution.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kestrel

better safe than sorry

I think common sense should be used first before calling the cops everytime we see adults with crying kids. Because the fact is a kid who is been kidnapped can also act calm and quiet .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

simon g - “It’s not prejudice. It’s a fact that men are more likely to commit a crime against children.”

Really? This is a fact? I guess ‘the fact’ that nearly all infanticides are carried out by mothers escapes your scope of reality.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As a father of three in Japan who is quite involved in raising the kids and going out with one or all three of them a lot (to give wife some breathing time), I think it has a lot to do with the actual circumstances, which cannot be properly conveyed by a short article based on the guy's blog alone. The girl may have cried hysterically for a long time, and maybe say some things that made the person who called the cops suspicious; or the person who called may have been a bitter old lady who jumped on the chance to call the police. Another thing that may escalated the situation is that appearance is very important in Japan: the guy is a musician/manga artist, he may have been loosely dressed, maybe a tattoo or piercings, and some country side old lady may have freaked out.

I never had any problems in Japan with my screaming toddlers (but we do go around mostly by car), other than myself getting close to insane sometimes...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“I mean, you don’t need to hear this but, there’s the argument that if you were raising your kid well they wouldn’t cry in front of people or in public places. That’s probably why they called the cops, because their kids don’t act like that in public.”

That is terrible. A 2 year old kid is struggling with all sorts of new feelings and emotions without proper speaking abilities to communicate their stresses. Tantrums are unavoidable at this age and forcing your kid to suppress these feelings is most likely going to mess them up internally. Of course there are ways to avoid it and calm things down; but toddlers cry. Its a fact of life.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I agree with timeon...Best not to make too many judgements from these articles as they are generally poorly written and lack a lot of detail. Most JT comments seem to be based on reading more into the article than is actually there, which is really for entertainment purpose rather than news.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@timeon

I never had any problems in Japan with my screaming toddlers (but we do go around mostly by car), other than myself getting close to insane sometimes...

I would also guess that if your children are biracial/bicultural and look biracial (Japanese and something else) or all foreign then the Japanese people around you would not think much of the situation regardless of the situation. And driving around shields you from a lot of the experiences on public transportation.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

timeone

As a father of three in Japan who is quite involved in raising the kids and going out with one or all three of them a lot (to give wife some breathing time), I think it has a lot to do with the actual circumstances, which cannot be properly conveyed by a short article based on the guy's blog alone. The girl may have cried hysterically for a long time, and maybe say some things that made the person who called the cops suspicious; or the person who called may have been a bitter old lady who jumped on the chance to call the police. Another thing that may escalated the situation is that appearance is very important in Japan: the guy is a musician/manga artist, he may have been loosely dressed, maybe a tattoo or piercings, and some country side old lady may have freaked out.

I don't think the issue is with the article, the problem is poor judgement and lack of  common sense . If having doubts, why not ask the adult with the kid directly FIRST or ask the kid if he/she knows who is she with before ringing the cops? The point is prejudism is not really the solution to solve these problems. So we suspect the "Manga Artist with tattoos" and ignore the guy in suits as the soceity think that they will never ever commit kidnapping when the fact is THEY CAN! Calling the cops right away without judgement is just plain stupid. These cops could have been doing something else more important than this. I don't really understand if you guys really have kids or not as its normal that kids go hysterical sometimes. And how about the kids who stay silent when taken!?  Some kids keep quiet while being kidnapped, it's a fact that there are different behaviours and reaction when kids are beaing taken. They don't necesarrily go hysteric as what you see in movies etc.  So in this case, should we call cops everytime we see adults with children!? That's ridiculous desho!?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a father, I have become somewhat accustomed to being addressed as one of the "Okaasan", when I take my kids to some child rearing lecture/event/activity, where it is predominantly mothers that are bringing their kids along.

I would like to feel a little more included as a father taking care of his kids to give his wife a break from the task! Diversity for all!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Something so wrong is the police calling your wife to check while he has some Id justification.

I am sure that is totally illegal in most countries.

Common sense is to help the guy and if any real suspicion then only, call police.

Kidnapping... Are you kidding me ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If this was in America or other violent country, would people be less sympathetic?

if someone abducted your kids would you appreciate someone calling the police when they saw the warning signs? If they didn’t then there would be a flurry of posts asking ‘why nobody did anything’... you cannot win either way.

For those who say that onlookers should have just talked to the dad, try doing that... this is Japan and most people avoid confrontation.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

MrHeisei

If this was in America or other violent country, would people be less sympathetic?

Because most of people in other countries will analize and judge the situation carefully first before calling the cops.

if someone abducted your kids would you appreciate someone calling the police when they saw the warning signs? If they didn’t then there would be a flurry of posts asking ‘why nobody did anything’... you cannot win either way.

Because 99% of the time crying kids are not kidnap victims, again like what I said over and over again, COMMON SENSE need to be used here. If you just want to "MAKE SURE" then you should call cops everytime you see children with adults as all these kids can be potentially abducted or being taken against their will, as you don't have assurance that ALL abducted kids always go hysterical because some are quiet and in that case everyone is a suspect.

For those who say that onlookers should have just talked to the dad, try doing that... this is Japan and most people avoid confrontation.

That is the problem, Japan needs to fix that kind of thinking, If people really care and worried, do they really have time to be shy and avoid confrontation? Getting sorrounded and asked by cops is not convenient at all. So to avoid these inconvenience to other people ans wasting policemen's time, people should use common sense!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This isn't a Japan only issue. Prejudice against fathers who are alone with their children also occurs in the UK. There's been numerous incidents in the past of fathers that have taken their children away on a trip being reported by hotel staff to the police...

Of course you could counter how the staff are acting on suspicion of a crime taking place. However that's where the prejudice comes in. Because a mother who takes her children away won't even get as much as second glance from hotel staff. However a father is automatically accused of being a paedophile.

And that's the exact same problem here. If the mother was with the young girl nobody would bat an eye lid. However the father was automatically accused of being a kidnapper and even though he produced evidence that she was his daughter, the police still called the mother to get confirmation!

I'm a father that is very hands on when it comes to parenting. I take an active role in their upbringing and I also enjoy taking my girls on trips. Because I believe that a close father/daughter relationship is important to my girls' upbringing and how they will value themselves in later life.

However because I am the father I have experienced this kind of prejudice in the past and it does get tiresome.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

SilvafanToday 11:07 am JST

And, I just explained why that is actually false because of women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings which you are choosing to ignore.

I was honest enough to capitulate your point that the article is not about men and assaults on grown women. Now it's time for you to be honest enough to capitulate that the article is not about women who abandon newborn babies or mothers who kidnap their children during custody disputes.

The point being this: if you see a man with a crying child, it is best to err on the side of caution - which means keeping an eye out to see if you can discern if the situation is a kidnapping, or merely a father caring for his fussy child.

The same, by the way, would apply to a woman. If the situation seems off, act.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The most shocking in this story is exactly this - the number of policemen involved and that after proving relation with ID and health insurance card still thay had to call his wife! Unbelievable!

Father tried to deal with the problem by going out in the antre not to bother other passengers but still someone might have done it just because he/she couldn't take a nap...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

girl in tokyo

The point being this: if you see a man with a crying child, it is best to err on the side of caution - which means keeping an eye out to see if you can discern if the situation is a kidnapping, or merely a father caring for his fussy child.

The same, by the way, would apply to a woman. If the situation seems off, act.

But why not confront the adult and ask the kid first before calling the cops?

And how are you sure that all abducted children go hysteric? If we would follow your point then we should ask all children with adults as all of them are potentially taken against their will and just being silent or quiet due to fear.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Um, no they don't! If this 2 year old was wailing for an extended period of time (long enough to cause concern), this fella needs to do some parenting classes. When travelling long distances with little kids you must always have some weapons in your kit, snacks, games, toys etc. and ensure they get enough sleep. These days everybody has a smart phone, the ultimate kid calmer.

> However, it is possible this guy is just the standard one day a week Japanese father and the kid felt like she had been kidnapped by a stranger.

You have no idea what you are talking about. I am the father of two kids in that age range (4 yrs and 1.5 yrs) and they'll cry loudly for extended periods often for no reason other than being tired or not getting something they wanted. This is not unusual on a train, I've been in that situation several times while taking my older kid home after fun day out and he breaks down crying on the train because he is sad the fun day is over and also exhausted from being outside having fun. If you think giving a kid who has entered a temper tantrum mindset like that a snack or game will make them quiet, then I can't take anything you have to say about parenting seriously. EVERY parent on here will back me up on that, I guarantee it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This statement is an oxymoron. One of the rules of statistics is that it is factual that statistics are not facts. Statistics are just aggregate data.

Its not an oxymoron, its a statement of what the aggregate data tell us. Statistics are based on underlying facts: in this case the number of murders of children committed by parents, categorized by the gender of the parent. Those are facts, those murders happened. Mothers are more likely statistically to commit certain crimes against children (and fathers other crimes). My point in mentioning that is not to demonize mothers or defend fathers, but rather to point out that the idea that a father (as opposed to a mother) is suspicious merely based on being in the presence of a crying child is based on stupid stereotypes.

Its true that its prejudice. But I would prefer someone check to make sure things are okay if I’m out with my daughter than not checking. Because it only takes one moment for someone not to for things to be the wrong time. Wouldn’t bother me if a police officer walked up to me and asked if it’s my child. When it comes to my children, it’s better safe than sorry.

I'd prefer NOT to have people call the police on me based solely on the fact that my child is crying and I, a man, am the person taking care of them. Because its stupid - I have no other word to describe that. It is an incredibly invasive thing to do based on something that shouldn't be considered suspicious at all. There has to be something more than just the combination of a crying child and a male caregiver to make it socially acceptable to call the police - some sort of sign of abuse, a child displaying signs of fear (rather than just being upset), - SOMETHING other than just a male in the presence of a crying child.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The point being this: if you see a man with a crying child, it is best to err on the side of caution - which means keeping an eye out to see if you can discern if the situation is a kidnapping, or merely a father caring for his fussy child.

This is just the worst attitude to have. Its outrageous to state that whenever you see a man with a crying child your default assumption should be that it is a kidnapping in progress until you see evidence to the contrary. It should be the exact opposite. My reaction is always sympathy for a father trying to do his best to take care of his child unless there is something other than the mere fact that he is a he and the kid is crying that would raise a red flag for me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There were times when I took my sons to the mall alone when they were 2-3 years old and they would flip out and scream and cry. It was tough honestly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyo

I was honest enough to capitulate your point that the article is not about men and assaults on grown women. Now it's time for you to be honest enough to capitulate that the article is not about women who abandon newborn babies or mothers who kidnap their children during custody disputes.

There is no need to capitulate. You came to a conclusion based on faulty logic.

It's not just sexism against men as parents that made people suspicious. It's also that the people who grab children, especially female children, are usually men.

And I showed you why that logic was wrong!

The majority of kidnappings and sexual assaults on women and on children are by male perpetrators.

Very convenient that this line was removed from your previous post! So, you try to defend that logic by attempting to take the conversation in a direction that favors you.

But we aren't talking about women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings, either. We are talking about the kidnapping of children by strangers who intend them harm, and what is mainly feared in that regard is sexual molestation. The main perpetrators in those cases most certainly are men.

And, I just explained that most crimes against children in Japan are actually committed by Japanese women because of women abandoning babies, killing their own children, or parental kidnappings. Japanese women are more likely to be in proximity of children than men.

The point being this: if you see a man with a crying child, it is best to err on the side of caution - which means keeping an eye out to see if you can discern if the situation is a kidnapping, or merely a father caring for his fussy child.

The same, by the way, would apply to a woman. If the situation seems off, act.

Common sense should be applied to both sexes in suspicious situations. By the way girl_in_tokyo, you write very similar to another poster on here that gets mysterious editing of posts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nopikyanto:

calling the cops everytime we see adults with crying kids.

None of us was there to witness the scene. The article does not give a detailed description. You assume the child was just crying; I a rather imagine she cried violently and gave the impression she did not want to be with the man in question. So what would you do in that situation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's one thing to err on the side of caution by checking the lad's ID against the child's insurance card. It's a whole other level of nonsense to force a call to the wife.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliB

The article does not give a detailed description. You assume the child was just crying; I a rather imagine she cried violently

In Japan people love to use emergency number for nothing, so whether that child crying or crying violently, whatever it is, it doesn't matter. It's only take one person discretion from that train car to make that emergency phone call.

https://japantoday.com/category/have-your-say/an-increasing-number-of-non-emergency-calls-to-119-is-straining-the-system.-what-are-some-ways-to-curb-this-misuse-of-the-system-for-example-should-callers-be-charged-for-ambulance-use

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm a woman and I was carrying my (at the time) boyfriend's little sister through the supermarket, and we got to the checkout and she said, "We're not family!" to the worker. I was scared something would happen but nothing did. If I were a man, perhaps I would have been reported.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That’s the problem in Japan-people call the cops even when no crime is in progress!

Why not speak to Mr Tsurugi first to confirm a held suspicion and then call the cops.

Unbelievable!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is not only in Japan ...

Actually when I was in Japan I was "asked" if I could teach a first grade for a month as a substitude and I was rather "scared" as most of the Kids in class were Girls ...

Here in Germany most people would suspect a Male working with little girls to be a pedophile molester who only does the job to get close to the little girls so I asked the other teachers and some Japanese friends if there is anything I need to be carefull about but they were all rather relaxed and said there is no problem at all.

Some of the girls got realy touchy and I tried my best not doing anything which could look bad anyways but there were no problems at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps he wasn't acting as the model compassionate sensitive gender neutral (insert buzzword) father he claims he is in the train vestibule that day, prompting people to think something was wrong beyond a tired baby.

It's easy enough to straighten that misunderstanding out with the police. At least they're responding quickly when they think a child is in danger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would also guess that if your children are biracial/bicultural and look biracial (Japanese and something else) or all foreign then the Japanese people around you would not think much of the situation regardless of the situation

Exactly! I have had times in stores or restaurants which my kids were crying and then I freak out that people will think I am some sort of kidnapper. Then I realize, well my kids all look Western like me, no one will even bat an eyelid.

Many of us here know the feeling of the father. The police sometimes stop us on the street requesting our passport or ID just because of our foreign looks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nobody really seems to mind this arrangement

Well that’s an unsupported and ridiculous statement with which to begin this article. There are a lot of people in Japan advocating for better work-life balance for men and for more and equal opportunities for women to work outside the home. Strict gender roles ignore the basic and unavoidable reality that talents and interests are distributed across the sexes and therefore force and confine people to roles to which they may be ill suited and do not want to play and prevent people from doing what they really want, from capitalizing on their abilities, and from maximizing their happiness. The fact that this is still an uphill battle does not mean that everyone accepts the status quo!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would the same have happened if it was with a Son ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of men up in arms here about this - and while I get it, let's be honest, how many of you are the primary parent? How many of you actually take your kids out alone without the help of your partner packing things and preparing. I'm guessing so many of you will claim you do this all, are really involved but come on. We all know that for most, the mom is the majority parent and very few dads in Japan are anything more than weekend dads. Yes, including you guys who aren't Japanese. I work with guys who want a pat on the back for taking their kids to swimming lessons once a week and whatnot. I get the frustration with this, I get it isn't good but this is the state of parenting in Japan for the most part. If you don't like it, do something about it beside ranting on JT today.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

EVERY parent on here will back me up on that, I guarantee it.

Here to back you up! Kids have tantrums and meltdowns. And regardless what anyone says, it has zero to do with "parenting." Screaming and crying at that age are completely normal and one of the only ways little ones know how to process stress and emotions. You can start teaching them how to control those big, unhappy feelings as they grow older, but two-year-olds aren't known for their logic and reasoning capabilities. Hell, my son is nearly 7 and I still have to remind him to use his "emotional toolbox" when he starts getting upset about things.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I, the father, also do a lot of male parenting for my child . . . and do as much house work as I can . . . in order to help take some of the burden from my wife, especially during times when I am not able to be at home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A lot of men up in arms here about this - and while I get it, let's be honest, how many of you are the primary parent? How many of you actually take your kids out alone without the help of your partner packing things and preparing. I'm guessing so many of you will claim you do this all, are really involved but come on. We all know that for most, the mom is the majority parent and very few dads in Japan are anything more than weekend dads. Yes, including you guys who aren't Japanese. I work with guys who want a pat on the back for taking their kids to swimming lessons once a week and whatnot. I get the frustration with this, I get it isn't good but this is the state of parenting in Japan for the most part. If you don't like it, do something about it beside ranting on JT today.

My wife is a stay at home mother. I am the breadwinner. You make it sound as if the father should be a full-time father, regardless of what else is going on in their lives. That's silly.

My wife is the primary caregiver. And I go out with my children, without my wife, all the time. Sometimes with one, sometimes with both. Because I work a lot, and I'm out of the country a lot, I am for quality, not quantity. I try to make all of our experiences meaningful. I consider that any experience could be the last; life sometimes makes decisions we don't like.

And you know what, I see this in most of my friends who are fathers. Men who are dedicated to being the best dads they can, spending as much quality time as they can with their kids, while working to support their families. I can't speak for them, but I know that I would rather have a life where I could spend all my time with them, and not work. But you know, then I snap back to reality... and make the best I can with what I've got.

Your post is railing on about bad fathers, it seems you've really got a misandrist streak in your posts. The overwhelming majority of fathers, Japanese and non, love their kids and try to do the best they can.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

WilliB

None of us was there to witness the scene. The article does not give a detailed description. You assume the child was just crying; I a rather imagine she cried violently and gave the impression she did not want to be with the man in question. So what would you do in that situation?

First I will find out what is the kid crying about, is she asking for HELP!? or not. You can tell easily when a kid is asking for help or just having tantrums. And then ask the adult if he/she is related to the kid, then ask the kid if she knows the adult she is with.  Do you really think a kidnapper will take it's victim inside a crowded train especially when the victim starts crying? Common sense people!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you don't like it, do something about it beside ranting on JT today.

Huh? I'd reckon that most working dads do do something about it, like take their kids to weekly swimming class, or take their child somewhere at the weekend like the guy in the story, AS WELL AS rant on JT!

My wife's a stay at home mother, she would like to work again but i'm fortunate enough to make more than enough for her to not have to, until both children are older at least anyway. I race home after work to catch even 30 mins play with them before putting them to bed, then take them out on the weekends. What else exactly do you suggest I do with the little free time I have???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A lot of men up in arms here about this - and while I get it, let's be honest, how many of you are the primary parent? How many of you actually take your kids out alone without the help of your partner packing things and preparing. I'm guessing so many of you will claim you do this all, are really involved but come on. We all know that for most, the mom is the majority parent and very few dads in Japan are anything more than weekend dads. Yes, including you guys who aren't Japanese. I work with guys who want a pat on the back for taking their kids to swimming lessons once a week and whatnot. I get the frustration with this, I get it isn't good but this is the state of parenting in Japan for the most part. If you don't like it, do something about it beside ranting on JT today.

What on Earth does this have to do with anything? I'm "up in arms" because people are explicitly stating that they are going to assume I'm a child kidnapper whenever they see my kid crying in my presence. Who wouldn't be up in arms about having a standard like that applied to them for no good reason?

That has ZERO to do with the fact (totally true, but also totally irrelevant to the point at issue) that moms do way more parenting work than dads in this country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it's clear that post was more an anti-male rant, than anything of substance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A lot of men up in arms here about this - and while I get it, let's be honest, how many of you are the primary parent? How many of you actually take your kids out alone without the help of your partner packing things and preparing. I'm guessing so many of you will claim you do this all, are really involved but come on. We all know that for most, the mom is the majority parent and very few dads in Japan are anything more than weekend dads. Yes, including you guys who aren't Japanese. I work with guys who want a pat on the back for taking their kids to swimming lessons once a week and whatnot. I get the frustration with this, I get it isn't good but this is the state of parenting in Japan for the most part. If you don't like it, do something about it beside ranting on JT today.

Nice of you to assume that all the fathers commenting on here only claim to look after their children and aren't actually that involved in the child's upbringing.

The mother of my older daughters walked out of the family that we started together after she couldn't hack the responsibilities of being a mother anymore. She left me with the responsibility of raising, clothing, feeding and giving love to the children that we created together.

Did I ask for sympathy or money from anyone as the sole carer? No. Even with the prejudice that fathers face. I raised my daughters alone and that only changed when I met my wife who is more of a Mum to our girls than my former partner could ever dream to be.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

God forbid a kidnapping syndicate of women gets formed. They wont bat an eye!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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