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This is a past article published in Hiragana Times. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vise versa, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier. [Magazine Sample] [Subscription Page]

Are Mothers and Daughters Friends?

[From August Issue 2013]

201308-3

Nowadays more and more young women enjoy going shopping with their mothers, just as if they were friends. This kind of mother/daughter relationship is called “parent/child friendship.” As if they were friends, some daughters give their mothers a nickname, or address them as “~ chan.”

As the birth rate continues to decline and the marriage age for women is getting higher in modern Japan, mothers are spending more time with their children at home. As a result of this, because they are the same sex, mothers and daughters feel closer to each other and are becoming friends. Indicative of this is that matching mother/daughter wristwatches have been brought out.

Mothers subsidize their daughters financially when they go shopping together. Mothers are also helpful when it comes to paying for lunch after shopping. Generally speaking, while they’re still students, parents pick up the tab for their children, but once they become working adults and receive a salary, this happens less and less.

Mothers don’t purchase exactly the same things as their daughters. Mothers don’t only buy things for themselves, but also buy things for the family, while daughters tend to only buy things they want for themselves. Both buy clothing and cosmetics. Clothing is bought in different stores, but cosmetics are purchased in the same stores. It seems that they have similar tastes because they are mother and daughter.

In regards to shopping, mothers have a slightly different attitude to their daughters. If we look at the example of clothing, mothers buy high quality items, regardless of cost, that are well taken care of and worn for a long time. But daughters buy cheap stuff and throw it away after a season if they don’t like it anymore. Everyone has a different attitude towards money, but relatively speaking, we can say mothers prefer quality to quantity, while daughters prefer quantity to quality.

Today’s market is glutted with products; in the case of clothing alone there is a wide array of choice, but young women lack a sense of how to dress appropriately for different occasions. Daughters can learn from their mothers about how to manage their money, how to spot good quality items, how to buy the minimum items necessary and how to use them carefully.

Recently, more and more mothers and daughters not only enjoy shopping and eating out together, but also going to the movies, going on trips, and having beauty treatments together. For daughters in Japan, the parent child relationship means having a good friend with whom they can have a frank exchange of opinions and having a teacher to advise them about life. Despite being friends, daughters still respect their mothers. 

Text: TERAUCHI Moe


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