Calling all Mamas in Japan - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-24-2009, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I've tried this on my usual EFL job sites, but am getting little useful feedback from the (mostly male) teaching community. Perhaps some of the mamas in Japan can shed a little light.

I am toying with the idea of returning to Japan to work. I've done it before, with husband in tow. But now I have a daughter (17 months) and I'm not sure how this would complicate issues. I'd really like input on rural vs. urban for quality of family life and resources. Also, are we going to get a lot of resistance for having a working mother and SAHD?

Also, I hope to enroll my daughter in a local yochien. But I worry some about xenophobia and bullying. Anyone have first hand experience with public schools?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 of 3 Old 06-25-2009, 04:19 PM
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I can tell you a bit about urban life. DH is Japanese, we have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old, and spend about 4 months of every year there. (The rest we spend in Africa for DH's work.) We stay with his father in Yokohama, and I love it. I love that people in Tokyo/Yokohama walk or ride bicycles a lot. I love that I can walk to the supermarket, 5 minutes from our apartment. I love the focus on the seasons and all the different Japanese holidays -- DS has such a blast on Setsubun, for instance, throwing beans at the oni! And I love DS's preschool. I've heard horror stories about Japanese preschools, but in our case, we were lucky enough to find an alternature school that focuses on things like nature walks, playing in the mud and Japanese traditions like taiko drumming, and serves homemade organic food.

Of course there are downsides too. It can be hard to fit in with the neighborhood "housewives". I guess it would be even harder for your DH! And because Tokyo/Yokohama is so big, I have to travel quite far to see my friends (2 hours on buses/trains), so I don't see them as often as I would like.

Where are you planning to live, and what else would you like to know?

Globetrotting mama to DS (9) and DD (6)
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#3 of 3 Old 06-25-2009, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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The last two times I've lived in Setagaya-ku in Tokyo, not far from Shibuya. The uni I worked at was in very western Tokyo. Far enough out of the city that it was surrounded by vegetable gardens.

I don't think we want to be in the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo again. We've even toyed with the idea of some place very different like Fukuoka, or Hokkaido, or maybe around Osaka.
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