shoganakunai comments

Posted in: What is the best way for parents of children of mixed heritage to make sure their kids grow up bilingual? See in context

The International school way obviously works but at around 2 million a year (in Tokyo)per child is not cheap unless you're on an ex-pat package. In my case, with 3 hafu kids, Japanese is their native language so the emphasis is on me to get them to speak English. Talking to them in your native language is not enough. The old maxim about little kids being language sponges is true but they are unwilling sponges... just like adults, they want to take the easiest option ie. speak in Japanese in their case. So I have to constantly make them repeat & practice English (and only watch English language TV). It works but it requires patience that some parents don't seem to have. I have met many "hafu" families whose kids are native Japanese speakers and who understand English very well but can't speak English properly because the (usually Japanese-speaking) gaijin parent can't be bothered to force the kids to respond in English instead of Japanese.....

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Posted in: The shrinking state of Japanese salarymen's pocket money See in context

Unfortunately like many stories on Japan, this fails to take into account the shadow economy. Although most salarymen may receive a pitiful kozukai- it is not their only source of income. A large % of salarymen hold multiple bank accounts and arrange with their HR department to split a small percentage off into the secondary account which acts as their entertainment cash account. Ask your Nihonjin male colleagues if they are aware of this and you'll see. The wives in these cases never get to see the original gross salary. I remember when my Japanese boss discovered only on pay-day that the company was henceforth sending his monthly payslip directly home by mail instead of delivered to his desk. His horror was only matched by how fast he went home to intercept the payslip... But lest you think Japanese salarymen are all bad and deceptive, it is a common practice for wives to spin off a small % themselves into their own private account. Originally to protect themselves in case of a divorce, its more often used to fuel those handbag expenses.... again ask your female SAHM friends and see if they'll confess after a couple of drinks. Neither get reported in the general media though...

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