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Ryoma-kun 06-19-2002 10:03 AM

Anybody else in/from Japan out there??
i live in Kochi which is a medium size city in western japan on shikoku island. it's pretty far from tokyo. look forward to hearing from anyone else out there!

sherriber 07-16-2002 02:25 AM

Hey. I'm in Kagoshima City, Kyushu. Mom of Jake (21 months). Thinking of working on baby number two soon. Let's chat sometime.

Ryoma-kun 07-20-2002 02:27 PM

hey, kagoshima! i have never been there but that's a kind of my neck of the woods. i am on shikoku island. are you married to a japanese? you should come check out my website for foreign wives. we have lots of members in japan and one who is also in kagoshima. you can click the link to foreign wives club in my sig line to get there. PM me anytime!

sukiyakigirl 07-25-2002 09:40 PM

I've been in Japan for almost all of my adult life. I'm the mother of a teenage son. I really like your FWC site Ryoma-kun, I'd join myself except that as a single mother I don't strictly qualify as a wife! Phew, is it getting hot enough for you? Don't hesitate to keep in contact on this board. I like to know that other people are suffering with this heat as much as I am!

Ryoma-kun 07-29-2002 12:15 AM

sukiyakigirl you are welcome to join FWC. we have another single mom on te boards and even a couple of men! where abouts in japan are you from? i guess you plan to spend the rest of your life in japan. is your son bilingual? what do you do in japan? sorry to be so nosy. just curious.

Carmen 08-01-2002 10:03 AM

I would like to let you know of a Yahoo group that I moderate called "AP-Expat-Moms". This group is for those parents living outside their home countries who are interested in Attachment Parenting. This is a safe and friendly place for us to come together and talk about our parenting experiences in foreign

Currently there are 60 members with some interesting discussions
going on. If you would like to join us, just go to:

If this group is of interest to you, I hope to see you there!!!

Carmen Crenshaw-Hovey
US citizen in Zurich, Switzerland
SAHM of Sam 7 & Aleksander 3

Kam 03-18-2003 03:04 AM

Just popping in very late to say konnichiwa! from another AP-oriented mama in Japan. We live in the far north, in Iwate Prefecture. My hubby's a doctor, and I'm staying home this year with our very long-awaited baby.
Ryoma-kun (he must be your son?), Sherri, and sukiyakigirl--nice to meet all of you! Are any of you still around? Would love to have a chat sometime.

Carmen, I'm off to check out your list. It sounds great!

Kam, mama to Meg(umi )

Ryoma-kun 03-18-2003 03:24 AM

Hi Kam!
As a matter of fact, I took the name Ryoma-kun from a famous revolutionary from Kochi which is where I live. I have a daughter but if I had had a son I would have liked to have named him Ryoma. It is really nice to see another mothering mom in Japan. I hope you will check out my site Foreign Wives Club and join us there too. It is a really interesting and friendly bunch of women.

Quirky 03-18-2003 03:33 AM

I used to live in's been 10 years this year since I left, and nihongo wasurete shimaimashita!

Welcome to MDC!

Kam 03-19-2003 12:29 AM

Sakamoto Ryoma! Of course! I have been to the place where he was killed in Kyoto (we lived there for a year). I will have to pay more attention to his ideas. I always have just associated him with his untimely death and the great story of it all.

You know, I let my AFWJ membership lapse this year. Sometimes I regret having done so, but mostly I was just fed up with the high fees. Now I hear from a friend that they are lower again, so maybe I will re-join. : We move a lot, and it is always nice to have that contact and a way to meet other couples like us. Did you go to the convention this winter? Sounds like it was good fun.

And Jane? I know you from the diapering board! I'll bet you get a good kick out of the kanji dipes at FMBG, too, don't you? DH calls our Meg "Oshime-sama," and I still laugh at out loud when I hear it. Guess my diapering interests are a bit overdone.... :LOL And on forgetting Japanese--Daijobu yo. You can never truly forget a language. Maybe if we just chat here in Japanese, you will pick it back up.

Thanks for the warm welcome, everybody.

Kam, mama to Meg

Bladestar5 03-19-2003 12:44 AM

Hi! I am in the US but I have always wanted to go to Japan. Is it as beautiful as I have heard? I have a Japanese-American friend. He was born in the US as far as I know, but his older brother was born in Japan and raised mostly in the US. You may have heard of the actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa? I am friends with his brother, Greg. Anyway, I think it is cool that there are so many mamas in Japan.

Quirky 03-19-2003 02:54 AM

Kam, I'm very picky about kanji fabrics! I have a beautiful black kanji on red AIO from Bizzy B that I love love love (check out her Asian fabrics page, she has a thing for Japanese themed prints!); a lot of the characters are ancient-looking. Some of the kanji prints I've seen elsewhere look like they were drawn by gaijin without a clue, KWIM? I'll have to post a picture on our website of my Bizzy B, it's one of my faves! (black microfleece on the inside, hemp/cotton snap out soakers....OK, enough hijacking with diaper talk!)

Sometimes I dream I'm speaking Japanese again....sigh. It was such a huge focus of my life for a number of years.

Ryoma-kun 03-19-2003 03:58 AM

Kam--I have never been a member of AFWJ partly because it is expensive and partly because Kochi is a bit out of the way and I don't think there are any events close enough for me to attend. I am a memberof the Married In Japan mailing list and have my own site for Foreign Wives so I don't feel the need to join another group--especially one that is not free. There are several other foreign wives of japanese in Kochi though that I have seen but not met so I might be wrong about the lack of AFWJ meetings. Anyway, how is it in the North where you are? Are there other foreign women around? How is your Japanese? Is your daughter bilingual? My Japanese has gotten poorer and poorer since I havent studied it since my pregnancy, I speak only English to my dh, and I am, of course, speaking only english to my dd (now 28 months).

And about Sakamoto Ryoma, have you read the book by Romulus Hillsborough? It's called Ryoma, Renaissance Samurai (or somethng like that). It was good. Romulus was kind enough to let me reprint some articles of his about Ryoma and another about Katsu Kaishu (Ryoma's mentor) on my site. You can click the Foreign Wives Club link in my sig line that go to the articles page to read them.

Kam 03-22-2003 11:34 AM

Boy, I'm just full of misunderstanding these days. Yes, I will check out the Foreign Wives Club site, Jennifer. How funny that you think dues to AFWJ are too high as well.

Tohoku is wonderful. We have lived all over Honshu, and I like it here best. People are friendly, everyone wears jeans and drives Jeeps, there's lots of snow--I feel right at home. There are a few foreign women here, all of whom I've met through a new AFWJ/MIJ friend. ( to you if you're reading this, K) Mostly I just pass my days with Meg, though. I still pinch myself in wonder that she is here, and ours, and mostly don't mind having no social life. What's Kochi like?

I have let my Japanese go, too, since being pregnant and now with a baby. I would have to study hard to pass ni-kyu, and used to have such aspirations, but now I'm lucky if I can just hold on to the fluency (or lack thereof) I possess already. DH speaks mostly Japanese to Meg, and I use mostly English, but we have ten years of mixed Jinglish under our married belts, and that is a hard habit to break. I really hope Meg doesn't grow up speaking in incomprehensible sentences. Any suggestions for books or websites on raising bilingual children?

Bladestar, yes, Japan has its beautiful areas. It also has Nagoya. :LOL I'm sorry I don't know your friend's brother. I am not very hip on modern Japanese culture, though. I didn't even know who Utada Hikaru (hip Japanese pop singer) was until a few weeks ago.

I will check out Bizzy Bee Hive, Jane. I know what you mean about goofy kanji. I always love seeing T-shirts in the States with upside-down or absolutely meaningless characters, but Meg's only going to have self-respecting kanji on HER bum. :LOL

Great to chat with you all.

Kam, mama to ten-month-old Megumi, aka Oshime-sama

Quirky 03-25-2003 01:36 AM

Hmmm. I will have to post a picture of Evan in his kanji diaper (darn!); I don't see the fabric on her website any more.

I always love seeing T-shirts in the States with upside-down or absolutely meaningless characters, but Meg's only going to have self-respecting kanji on HER bum.
Guess it's payback for all the goofy English on T-shirts etc. in fav, which has become a personal saying of mine, was on this completely weird sculpture over a video arcade near Shibuya that said "Oy gefilte fish." My Jewish friends have never quite understood where I got that one....

And can I just give a big bow of appreciation to all the people who can make a bilingual marriage work....I have enough difficulties communicating with DH in English, which (supposedly) we both speak! :

Bladestar, yes, Japan has its beautiful areas. It also has Nagoya.
And Yokohama, and much of Tokyo..... I loved Hokkaido though. I thought it was gorgeous.

[email protected] 05-02-2003 02:01 AM

i went to a sewing expo today and "discovered" japanese fabrics

she had kimono silk and yukata and wrapping cloths

i am soooo in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!

which is useless from new hampshire, usa ; )

5796 04-06-2004 01:56 PM

are you guys still around?....maybe you can help us....

Ekatherina 09-25-2004 09:18 AM

hi tracy...hello everyone... i think this thread is anyone still there???? i live in Hokkaido in Japan...sapporo....and im having my first baby here (homebirth) in october 22....:

pacificmama 09-28-2004 12:18 PM

Hi Ekatherina and everyone,
I am in Shiga (Kansai area, the prefecture around Lake Biwa). Been here 6+yrs, ds is 14mos, and was homebirthed! I had never pictured myself having a homebirth but thanks to a wonderful mw we did, and now I can't imagine having it any other way. Ekatherina if you have any questions or just want to chat feel free to pm me. And I have to ask, how have you managed to make it this far with no US? I consider myself lucky to have gotten away with only 3 in this wacky place. (though if there is a #2 someday I'll know better...)

kyotosarah 11-17-2004 03:25 AM

I am in Kyotanabe, Kyoto, near Nara, but my husband is from Adogawa, Shiga, and we often go back there on weekends.
Please write!
[email protected]
Mom of Koki (girl) born July 2003

Ekatherina 11-17-2004 03:55 AM

Hello Sarah.....i live in hokkaido...far from is beautiful but i have never been there. ...i study at hokkaido university and have a baby just born.......much much luck to you!!!

yamaguchimama 03-06-2005 10:40 AM

Hello Jennifer in Shikoku, right? I'm Jennifer in Yamaguchi. I'm married to a great Japanese guy (10 years!) and we have two children, Ellis 7 and Isabel 3. Please let me know about you and your family!


J. Tamura

thepeach80 03-13-2005 10:21 PM

Hello everyone! My parents are currently living in Japan (Sagamihara City) and I used to live there oh 13 yrs ago I guess now! Wow, so long ago. Anyways, we are visiting in October hopefully, but it doesn't seem anyone is close. I have a sushi print diaper cover that I just adore and am sad my oldest doesn't fit in it anymore. Hope everyone is well.

livnanismama 04-05-2005 01:28 AM

My friend is moving to Japan soon. Her husband is being stationed at Misawa. She is looking for a midwife to transfer to. She is seriously considering a homebirth to avoid the military hospital. Does anyone have any information they can offer on birth and midwives in Japan? Thanks!

pacificmama 04-05-2005 10:30 PM

It's easy to find a midwife in Japan... in the hospital. Since WWII they have been trained in the medical model and by and large follow typical western hospital protocols. The one exception is that epidurals are less common here. Routine induction, episiotomy and cesarean rates are quite high. The doctor's word is the law and many doctors do not expect that a patient will question standard procedure. The concept of informed consent here is quite novel.
What to do? Find an INDEPENDENT midwife. There IS a network of them in Japan, and many will attend homebirths. The other option is a MW clinic, though you must search carefully to distinguish the ones that embrace truly natural childbirth. I'm not sure where Misawa is but if you give me more details on the location, I can seek out a few names in the area.
If you are interested in more info please post a reply or mail me privately. My son was born at home here in 2003... I negotiated the system, found a wonderful mw who is now a dear friend and mentor, and came away with plenty of new knowledge and Jpn vocabulary, not to mention a beautiful babe!!

Shiga, Japan

MovingMomma 11-30-2005 03:29 PM

Caitlin, we may be moving to Okinawa soon & I am very interested in more info on negotiating the system to find an independent midwife for homebirth.

pacificmama 12-01-2005 04:15 AM

Where in Okinawa will you be?
I will contact my mw and get her to look in her handy book... it lists independent mw all over Japan.
Are congratulations in order?

MovingMomma 12-01-2005 11:25 AM

You know, I am not sure exactly where we would be. At one of the USMC bases, which means either central island south of Nago or south island in the Okinawa City area.

No congrats in order yet...we are planning on TTC after we know when & where we'll be moving.

Are the independent midwives licensed or underground? What do their fees typically run?

Thank you for your help! I am so excited to know that a homebirth may be possible there!

pacificmama 12-02-2005 09:47 PM

OK, so I know I don't need to run over to her house today!

Independent midwives are definitely licensed in Japan, they just practice independently of a hospital (some even practice both ways). Since midwifery was never outlawed here, unlike in the West, midwives were not forced underground. Fees for birth in Japan are pretty standardized, about 300,000 yen, ranging to 400,000 or higher for cushy private clinics. Independent MW tend to set their fees about the same (as the basic hospital), regardless of where you give birth. There may be exceptions to that, I'm not sure.

When you are on the National Health System here, the local city/town usually gives a "gift" to the parents of around, hey, 300,000 yen. Since birth is not considered an illness, and not covered by national health care, the municipalities fill in the gap. If there are any medical complications then those costs are covered under health care.

Since you are talking about living on a base, I imagine your health coverage is different? It's worth looking into how you may be able to get reimbursed.

Are you in Japan now? Where are you, just out of curiosity?

Caitlin in Shiga-ken

MovingMomma 12-02-2005 11:05 PM

Yes, I'd be on Tricare (US military health insurance) & I doubt I'd be able to get them to pay for a midwife. We're prepared to pay out of pocket.

I'm in North Carolina husband is due for a transfer we'll most likely either go to Okinawa or stay where we're at.

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