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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]

I Wish to Have a Child Like Ryo-kun

[From January Issue 2010]

A new star has been born in the world of Japanese men’s golf. His name is ISHIKAWA Ryo. He is only 18, but became the top prize winner in 2009, earning over 180 million yen. In addition, he is good-looking, speaks well in interviews and speaks English. Now, many parents wish to have a child like Ryo-kun. Hiragana Times CIA interviewed Mr. OOBOSHI Hikaru, author of the bestselling book “Parents’ dreams betting on their own children.”

CIA: Why do many parents wish to have a child like Ryo-kun?

Author: Until now, most parents have wished for their children to have a steady life, offering them a higher education so they can enter a leading company. However, it is difficult nowadays to be a regular employee of a leading company, and even if they do get such a job those companies also have the possibility of going into bankruptcy. Because of this, there is an obvious trend now for parents to encourage their children to be somebody like an athlete who isn’t reliant on a company.

CIA: But, it can cost a lot of money for a child to become a top athlete.

Author: Taking golf as an example, parents let their children start from around age 6. Golfing requires a lot of money for equipment and practice. It will be a burden for poor families. Father of professional female golfer YOKOMINE Sakura devoted himself to raising her. They would sleep in a camping van when she participated in a competition. His devotion to her was admired and he was later elected to the Diet.

CIA: Even so, only few people can be successful, can’t they?

Author: 6 billion people live on the planet, but no one has the same face and character. Suppose the world is a theater, everyone is given a role from God and leaves the stage after acting their role. Not all people can be the main character.

CIA: In spite of that, parents wish for their children to be stars.

Author: That’s a problem. The most important job for parents is to find a child’s talent and guide them in that direction. But, it is most unfortunate for children that parents are lacking in the talent to find it.

CIA: It must be hard for such parents.

Author: Actually, the parents’ desires are not really concerned with what is best for their children. They come from their selfishness to want their children to realize the dreams they could not achieve themselves. It is like the parents are gambling on their children being a success.

One Comment from CIA

The Hatoyama cabinet promised to pay 26,000 yen per child monthly as child support aid in the election. Do not hesitate to invest it in your children. We are not interested in whether your children are talented or not, but if you spend money on your children, the Japanese economy will surely recover.

* CIA(Cynically Insulting Agency /皮肉冗談局)


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