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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2011 12:41 AM
mmmmochi

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03-24-2011 12:32 AM
mmmmochi

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03-24-2011 12:32 AM
mmmmochi

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03-23-2011 10:46 AM
freestylemama

Dear Japan Mamas,

My heart aches for you and your country.  I cannot even imagine the magnitude of suffering that you are enduring.  Please know that many are thinking of you and your sweet children in this horrible time.

 

 

If you have ideas or suggestions for how we could help, please let us know. 

 

 

03-19-2011 12:47 PM
simonee

Dear Japan mamas and others, I'm thinking of you every day. How terrifying your lives must be. 

 

Is there anything members in other parts of the world can do for you except think of you and hope for the best under these terrible circumstances?

 

 

So many  grouphug.gif grouphug.gif grouphug.gif grouphug.gif grouphug.gif grouphug.gif

03-16-2011 06:15 PM
Erinz

Jeez this doesn't seem like the right place to post this but I can't stop thinking about all you mamas and kids (and everyone else, but I'm a mom of young kids so esp you guys). My heart goes out to all of you and I hope you and your families are safe and as comfortable as possible... that sounds so cheesy but I don't know what else to say. Sending much love to all of you. (and donations to the best of our ability).

02-26-2011 08:45 PM
leenalea

Hi.  Introducing myself, since I'm new to MDC.  So glad to find a group from Japan!  

 

We're in Misawa, Aomori prefecture.  Americans.  My husband is a civilian working on a military base.  We live in the community, but can use the base all we want.  We do shop, eat and site-see in the community.  But all of my friends and my organizational affiliations are fellow Americans I met through the base.  That said, I love Japan.  It's so beautiful.  The people are considerate and pleasant.  And it is so safe!  But I don't know that much about Japan, other than as a "tourist."  

 

We have a 14-month-old boy and are going to start TTC #2 in a few months.  We may still be here when #2 is born, or we may be back in the states.  Depends on if our contract gets extended.  Regardless, I'll be using medical on base.  I have a friend who's delivering in a Japanese hospital, because her pre-existing conditions make her higher risk than our little clinic can handle.  She has a translator who attends all appointments with her, and she's having a great experience so far.

02-03-2011 06:55 PM
mmmmochi

........ 

02-03-2011 05:40 PM
wagamama

Yes, I have to say, that if I could do it all over again, I would not choose to raise my kids in Japan. Because of the school system, because keeping their English intact is a constant struggle, because my Japanese seems stuck at about 75%, and because I find it hard to connect with people on a deeper level. Sigh!

Having said that, we live in a beautiful neighborhood, I love being able to walk and bike everywhere, and the kids are happy at their yoichien. I don't know what the future will bring. Trying to stay positive, but experiences like mmmmochimama's scare me!! I guess we wouldn't rule out moving either, if things came to that.

I'm really looking forward to spending the next couple of years in Ethiopia -- I guess bc of the English-speaking environment, I feel more at home in Africa than in Japan (we lived in Nigeria & Kenya before).

I do wish we hadn't bought a house here, so that we would have more freedom to move in the future. Sigh again!

Anyone who reads this forum will be scared off Japan :)

02-03-2011 07:43 AM
Orro

Hello women

 

i do hope things will work out for both your families and yourself joy.gif

i just have this little pinch in the heart thinking of how Japan keeps missing the best people and stick with its worse...disappointed.gif

 

i do love Japan lots and lots although i hate it so much...brrr how can i pull my feelings together...om.gif

 

i believe it might have to do with the romantic perception i had when i came to Japan for the first time...i have had it for many years before arriving here,i do know that some Japanese would love to see a change coming to their nation many Japanese would love to see their culture and tradition rehabilitate or merge into modern times without this distortion...which makes it all so ugly and grey...

well....

just a moment of...romantizationing i guess..pardon me ladies do continue...lurk.gif

02-01-2011 10:50 PM
mmmmochi

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02-01-2011 08:46 PM
wagamama

Mmmmochi mama, I like your name too! But your story is heartbreaking! I am glad, at least, to hear that you are planning a move.

 

For us, we have bought a house, DH's career is here ... a move doesn't seem viable. I will just have to "ride it out" and see what happens. Things are OK right now. DH has started our 5-year-old DS in a rugby school in our neighborhood -- aside from the sports aspect, he wants DS to belong to a group, make friends, etc.

 

We do have an unusual situation in that DH works in international aid, and we will be spending some time in Africa as well (in Aug. we are going to Ethiopia for 2 years.) So we will be in and out of the country, and, I guess if our kids got bullied, we could always whisk them off to Africa. .... Hoping to make it work.

 

Good luck to you too!

01-30-2011 09:04 PM
mmmmochi

.............................

01-30-2011 06:56 PM
wagamama

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old, and one on the way, due in late September.

 

What you said sounds about right, yoichien (kindergarten) is actually alright, but shogakko (elementary school) is where it starts to go wrong. Second grade was hell for my daughter. It was  not tolerable in any way, shape or form. I have been called a bad mother for removing her (by PTA mothers from the school), told I am wierd, my daughter is strange, that she has to learn how to `gaman` to tolerate to stand the bullying. We have been called dirty foreigners, generally very very bad. Everyone from PTA members, to grandparents, to a woman in the supermarket seems to want to tell me how awful I am to homeschool.

 

However, I had a daughter who was being physically and emotionally bullied by a large group. Who had started to withdraw and stop talking (yes my eight year old went silent). She was learning nothing apart from `people can be cruel`. She was being kept in at breaks because the teachers refused to deal with the bullies. I had other kids coming up to me and saying `your daughter must  not use kanji to write her name, she is not Japanese`. It was just beyond tolerable.

 

It just gets worse and worse from what I have heard from other mothers. More restrictive, more rote learning, more bullying by teachers and students....

 

We are working on a move - we should be gone by Spring. It cannot come quickly enough for my family.

 

If a young newly married non Japanese woman in Japan asked me for advice, it would be to make her life out of Japan. It is far too hard here. I know some people have made it work, but more who have not.

 

We are enrolled with calvert school, and managed to fill in the right papers to remove our daughter from the system. For what its worth she is doing amazingly well academically and is fine socially. Far far happier.

 

Oh, if anyone is interested, Sanno hospital has been very nice for prenatal care but only have had one visit so far, but for anyone who wants a vbac in Japan, there is no way they would allow it. If I end up staying here, they will jsut deliver by section before I get a chance to go into labour.

 



OMG, what a nightmare! I'm sorry for you, and scared to death for me! We are here for the long haul!

01-29-2011 11:26 PM
mmmmochi

Thank you mom61. I really hope the move works out and we can be in Cali soon.

 

If we are still around and you are in Tokyo, Ild be happy to meet you for a Starbucks, and Im sure we can get a few other moms together.

 

If you are devoted to a particular brand of shampoo or soap, Ild bring a supply with you, the Japanese brands are different. I dont know about Hiroshima, but if you need a good hairdressers that speak English, Sin Den in Tokyo are great and do really good colour. I would bring stuff like hair removal wax, if you use it as well. Its things like that, which I really miss. You can get Johnsons baby toiletries, but apart from that, only Japanese brands. I would also bring a baby paracetamol with you, just in case. You can buy `bufferin` here, but I jsut dont trust it as much.

 

I have my fingers crossed for you that you will find nice people in Hiroshima and it isnt too hard on all of you.

 

It is so difficult, we have to be where the work is for my dh, and that is not always where we are happiest. I have told him that if we get to Cali, I am NOT ever coming back to Japan. I have done my time here and I need a bit of living rather than surviving.

 

You will be fine here, people do manage. I didnt get much help when I first had to be in Japan with children, and I would hate to think of anyone struggling like I did, so please dont worry about asking questions.

01-29-2011 08:53 AM
mom61508

We love Cali :)  I hope you get there soon hug2.gif

01-28-2011 02:24 PM
mmmmochi

Im not American...Im European, so its going to be a little bit strange for me going to live in America, though I really cant wait to go. Dh has found a good job, and although Ive only visited the US before, I am pretty sure we will be very happy there. Once the visas are sorted out, we will be heading to California. I think we should be there by April if everything goes smoothly.

 

It is good that you will have other American families there, hopefully that will mean a bit of support and people to talk to.

 

I am happy to help, really.

 

If I think of anything else, Ill let you know. hug2.gif

 

 

01-28-2011 01:28 PM
mom61508

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

Also bring shoes! I strgg;e to find anything above a 25cm in a nice style and kids shoes are awful.

 

My daughter lives in mary janes from the uk, and i find it hard to find kids shoes for her as she is an adult size here...at 8 years old - 23 cm


good info! i was wondering about shoes. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

Ah! My husband will be impressed, he loves baseball with a passion and has passed that onto my 4 year old son.

 

If there is anything else you need, or want to ask, let me know. I can read Japanese and am happy to help you order. My Japanese is not great but I can survive here. Hopefully there will be a good support system in place for you once you get here.

 

It doesnt look like there is a costco near you, but perhaps if your husband is playing games in Tokyo stadiums, you will get to come up to TOkyo now and again. Toys r us/babies r us has everything you need for babies. http://www2.toysrus.co.jp/store/en/chugoku.html. The Hiroshima addresses are there.

 

Please feel free to pm me, and I am sure Orro will be happy to answer any questions too!

 

Quote:

 

i'm going to be in Hiroshima for about 6 months. My husband plays for the Hiroshima Carp so we will only be there for the season Then come back to states in September. I understand where you're coming from so don't think at all like you're being unkind. Apparently we have an oven but I'm not sure If it's a proper one hmmmmm. Thank you for the meat site! That could really be a lifesaver for me! Hopefully DH will get to go check it out soon If need be I will ship a good toaster oven there! Thanks again for your help :)


 

Again thank you so much. You have been so very helpful! There will be 3 other american families there so that will be nice. When do you head back to the states?
 

01-27-2011 04:40 PM
mmmmochi

Ah! My husband will be impressed, he loves baseball with a passion and has passed that onto my 4 year old son.

 

If there is anything else you need, or want to ask, let me know. I can read Japanese and am happy to help you order. My Japanese is not great but I can survive here. Hopefully there will be a good support system in place for you once you get here.

 

It doesnt look like there is a costco near you, but perhaps if your husband is playing games in Tokyo stadiums, you will get to come up to TOkyo now and again. Toys r us/babies r us has everything you need for babies. http://www2.toysrus.co.jp/store/en/chugoku.html. The Hiroshima addresses are there.

 

Please feel free to pm me, and I am sure Orro will be happy to answer any questions too!

 

Quote:

 

i'm going to be in Hiroshima for about 6 months. My husband plays for the Hiroshima Carp so we will only be there for the season Then come back to states in September. I understand where you're coming from so don't think at all like you're being unkind. Apparently we have an oven but I'm not sure If it's a proper one hmmmmm. Thank you for the meat site! That could really be a lifesaver for me! Hopefully DH will get to go check it out soon If need be I will ship a good toaster oven there! Thanks again for your help :)



01-27-2011 04:28 PM
mmmmochi

Also bring shoes! I strgg;e to find anything above a 25cm in a nice style and kids shoes are awful.

 

My daughter lives in mary janes from the uk, and i find it hard to find kids shoes for her as she is an adult size here...at 8 years old - 23 cm

01-27-2011 04:24 PM
mmmmochi

This is the best oven I have had in japan http://en.item.rakuten.com/den-ki-ya2/mro-fs7/. I do not like the helsio so much (sharp). The helsio doesnt brown as well or cook as evenly as my other one.

I found http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/inshop-mall?f=1&v=3&sid=218946&uwd=1&s=1&p=1&sitem=MRO-GV&st=A&nitem=&min=&max=!!!! I do not know about having them plumbed into the gas, but they look considerably better and wish I had seen them before!

 

I bought my Toshiba in Costco quite cheaply.

 

I really wish you all the best of luck once you are in Japan. Amazon.co.jp do really good delivery, and you can pay cash on delivery too, so you do  not even have to enter your card details. They are very prompt at delivering and the website is partially in English. They do deliver diapers and some food. http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_seeall_1?rh=k%3Adiapers%2Ci%3Ababy&keywords=diapers&ie=UTF8&qid=1296174133

 


Ill have a think about other things for you. PM me if you need anything else.

 

01-27-2011 02:42 PM
mom61508

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

Mom, using a car seat for children is not as culturally engrained as in the States or Europe. Mothers put babies on their knee sometimes and you do see children crawling around cars as parents drive. However, it is meant to be illegal for a child not to use a car seat here, and a car accident would have the same consequences if a child were not strapped into their seat. So please bring yours!

 

You can buy organic veggies, but the supply will not be as regular as you are used to, in fact some days you buy sweetcorn, other days there is nothing etc. It is very seasonal. There is an organic mark you can look for. Ill try and take a photo of one so you can look out for it. We eat meat now and again. We have been very happy with www.themeatguy.jp . He has very good quality meat and the delivery was good too. I do believe he sometimes has organic produce. I have never seen meat labeled as organic in the supermarket here, Im afraid.

 

Oven...no, it is highly unlikely you will have an oven, let alone what you will recognise as a family oven. You cannot buy a proper oven here. We tried and failed. It is just  not the culture, I suppose. You can buy those oven/micro combinations. We have a healsio, which is going to be rubbish compared to with what you have, but you can bake a cake, or do a chicken in it. Sorry, no ovens, makes me cry too. A proper oven, gas or electic, with a few shelves etc...I have never seen one for sale here, not even in the huge electric shops, nor online or in kitchen shops. We looked and looked.

 

How long as you going to be in Hiroshima? Are you going to be living here? hug2.gif I am not being unkind or negative, but I would say I would not reccommend to anyone with children to live here. I have been here for over ten years and cannot wait to leave. You WILL get stared at in the street, there is a certain amount of anti-foreigner racism, it is not a fluffy kind accepting place in my experience. If you are here for a while, are you planning on finding an international kindergarten? I really am not trying to be unkind or negative, I just know how hard it is when expectations crash and things are not as you want them or expect them to be for you as a family. I learnt the hard way..I really am not trying to be unkind, and Im sure Ill get shot down and people will say `oh I love japan, great place.`

 

i'm going to be in Hiroshima for about 6 months. My husband plays for the Hiroshima Carp so we will only be there for the season Then come back to states in September. I understand where you're coming from so don't think at all like you're being unkind. Apparently we have an oven but I'm not sure If it's a proper one hmmmmm. Thank you for the meat site! That could really be a lifesaver for me! Hopefully DH will get to go check it out soon If need be I will ship a good toaster oven there! Thanks again for your help :)

01-26-2011 03:29 PM
mmmmochi


Peachy,

 

You will need to enrol with a charter school, like Calvert or Sonlight, and get paperwork confirming enrollment and start date, and this has to be submitted to the ward office. To be honest, from that point they really do not care much what you do.

 

We had to also fight the school to get dd out, as she was enrolled there. In the end they have her down as a `school refuser`, despite having all the paperwork proving she is homeschooled.

 

You should actually be left alone from that point in, Peach. There is no supervision from the ward office, just put in the paperwork every year and you will be fine. Calvert is terribly unfriendly and rude  in my experience, and their delivery was useless, but the course is very good indeed. It is also a bit expensive....I have heard good things about sonlight, but it IS a Christian course, and so not for us, really.

 

Good luck with the homeschooling! If I can help in any way let me know.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by wagamama View Post

 I have heard the the school system is a downhill thing in Japan -- starts out great in yoichien, shogakko is OK, but junior high and high school are terrible. I know that I am fortunate now to have my kids in a great preschool, but I am worried about the future.  :(



That's also the impression I've been getting.  That's why I am looking into homeschooling before DS makes school friends and wants to keep going to school just to be with friends.



01-26-2011 03:22 PM
mmmmochi

joy.gif The move really really cannot come quickly enough now! I am so so happy to have the chance to be able to leave Japan.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

 

We are working on a move - we should be gone by Spring. It cannot come quickly enough for my family.

 


Wow, mmmmochi, after all you and your daughter have been through, I am glad to hear you will be moving on to a better place.  Best of luck!
 



01-26-2011 03:19 PM
mmmmochi

Still makes me sad when you read of a traffic accident and there is a small child been killed, who might otherwise have lived if they were strapped into a car seat. I say stuff cultural norms when children are being put in danger needlessly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

Mom, using a car seat for children is not as culturally engrained as in the States or Europe. Mothers put babies on their knee sometimes and you do see children crawling around cars as parents drive. However, it is meant to be illegal for a child not to use a car seat here, and a car accident would have the same consequences if a child were not strapped into their seat. So please bring yours!

 


Yes, when I first observed this, I was SHOCKED to see kids crawling all around a car while it's being driven!  But I guess that's the thing about different cultures... different ways and thought processes.
 



01-26-2011 08:35 AM
PeachBaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

Mom, using a car seat for children is not as culturally engrained as in the States or Europe. Mothers put babies on their knee sometimes and you do see children crawling around cars as parents drive. However, it is meant to be illegal for a child not to use a car seat here, and a car accident would have the same consequences if a child were not strapped into their seat. So please bring yours!

 


Yes, when I first observed this, I was SHOCKED to see kids crawling all around a car while it's being driven!  But I guess that's the thing about different cultures... different ways and thought processes.
 

01-26-2011 08:27 AM
PeachBaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmochi View Post

 

We are working on a move - we should be gone by Spring. It cannot come quickly enough for my family.

 


Wow, mmmmochi, after all you and your daughter have been through, I am glad to hear you will be moving on to a better place.  Best of luck!
 

01-26-2011 08:17 AM
PeachBaby

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagamama View Post

 I have heard the the school system is a downhill thing in Japan -- starts out great in yoichien, shogakko is OK, but junior high and high school are terrible. I know that I am fortunate now to have my kids in a great preschool, but I am worried about the future.  :(



That's also the impression I've been getting.  That's why I am looking into homeschooling before DS makes school friends and wants to keep going to school just to be with friends.

01-25-2011 05:35 PM
mmmmochi

...................................

01-25-2011 05:21 PM
mmmmochi


Orro! Yes, we did do a few vaccinations in Japan, mumps for the boy. They do the individual jabs here, rather than all in one. We did a reduced , and very delayed schedule. There is no pressure to vaccinate in Japan, if you dont chose to, in the hospital we went to, they were happy to do a very reduced and delayed immunisation schedule. If you do not have much luck in picking and choosing, let me know and Ill take you to the vaccination clinic in Tokyo that we used.

 

They give you those slips for a few free vaccinations. We paid for mumps, as that is not included, but meant to be quite nasty for boys. We did not do measles, but did tetanus, polio, meningitus, Japanese encephalitus (sp sorry) and diptheria. No whooping cough.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Orro View Post

Any insights about Vaccinations ?

ive given my first child 3 out of 569 (kidding!) back in Israel and i did so only after he was 4 months old.

we gave him the Whooping cough,Diphtheria and Meningitis

but here i am quite clueless although i am doing some online research i was wondering if anyone have previous experience with the subject?jaw.gif

 

my baby girl is now 3 months old ! time flies!!!



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