Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fuck You Japan, My Kid Couldn't Get into Preschool!!!

On February 15, an anonymous post to Hatelabo about their kid's failure to get into a preschool set Japan on fire. 

First, some background. Most prefectures in Japan are suffering from a preschool shortage. People who are planning to have a kid will probably put their names on a waiting list as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. 

Unlike the US, where we have large and small daycare centers, baby sitters, live-in nannies, and more; Japanese women typically stay home with their kid(s) until the kid can enter kindergarten or first grade. And, unlike the US, kindergarten is not included in public education. 

Japan has a multi-layered system that I find to be completely confusing. 
Instead of explaining, I will leave some links on Nintei Kodomoen, Hoikuen (daycare) and a very detailed explanation of the difference between youchien (kindergarten) and hoikuen.

Needless to say, it's a very stressful process and some places even have "exams" for the kids. I don't know if the author's kid had an exam, but she(?) did use the word "fail."

So, this is my rough translation of the original Japanese. I will try to add notes and links to sites that might better explain what she is talking about. Link to the original Japanese is my translation of the title.

Fuck You Japan, My Kid Couldn't Get into Preschool!!!*

What the fuck, Japan?!
Isn't this a 100 million-some strong active* society?!
We did a grand job of "failing*" preschool yesterday. 
What the hell, I'm not going to be "active" at all!
You tell me to have a kid, raise the kid, go work at a company, pay my taxes, so what the fuck is the problem, Japan?
Fuck this 'low-birthrate' shit.
No ones having kids 'cuz it's all fine when we birth them, but when we want to put them in preschool it's nearly impossible and you're all LULZ.
Go cheat on your spouse. Take some bribes. I don't care, just increase the number of preschools.
Spending trillions of yen on the fucking Olympics.
No one gives a shit about that emblem, just make some damn preschools!
If you have the money to pay some famous designer, you can build some preschools.
What the fuck am I supposed to do?! I have to quit work over this!
Fuck off, Japan!
If you're not going to build some preschools, give me 200,000 yen for my child allowance.
You're not going to build more preschools and you're only going to pay a few thousand yen for the child allowance, but you retards are going to be all: "We need to do something about the low birthrate," amirite?
If we don't have kids, what's supposed to happen?
There's at least 50,000 fuckers that'll have kids if you pay them, so how's about you either pay up or make all the shit we need for the kids free.
You can come up with the cash by firing at least half of parliament...cheating on their spouses, taking bribes...making fans...
Get your shit together, Japan!

- The title of the original post was 保育園落ちた日本死ね (Hoikuen Ochita Nihon Shine). A direct translation would be more like: (My kid) failed preschool, die Japan. I'm sure others will translate it differently.
- Active: The word used was 活躍 (katsuyaku), which I linked to. I typically see it used to describe someone or something that's a go-getter. Active, positive, getting shit done.
- Fail: Some school have exams for kids, especially somewhat elite schools. Others, due to limited space, have raffles. 

I don't really have a dog in this fight. I'm not going to have kids and I don't plan on living out my days in Japan. What I liked about that post was the realness of it. It appears the author has a twitter account and with so many media outlets reporting on it, some real attention is being focused on the preschool shortage and low wages of preschool staff. It will be interesting to see how this pans out...


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I am pregnant in Japan, due August. Our babe is going to be raised here and though I intend to go back to work once we are settled, it has occurred in the back of my mind that there are only a handful of hoikuen and youchien in my town. I wonder if I should be looking into getting on waiting list already myself? Been following my pregnant sister-in-law's lead so far lol.

    Do you know if youchien is considered mandatory? Is it bad if your child doesn't go into youchien?

  2. Good luck with everything!
    Yochien isn't mandatory as far as I know. I am pretty sure that some kids just stay at home with their moms and family until 1st grade. If memory serves me correctly, hoikuen is more like day care and they accept younger kids. Yochien is more "educational" and I think the kid has to be at least 3 to enter. They practice hiragana and science and such, similar to kindergarten in the US. Nintei kodomoen are supposed to bridge the gap, I think.

    Then there are the "international kindergartens" that will take your money and are supposed to teach the kids English.

    I think Mr Sunday or some news program last week said that Tottori is the only prefecture that's not experiencing a day care shortage. x.x

    Honestly, I did a translation for work about this stuff and even my Japanese coworker couldn't explain how everything works out!

    1. Thanks for your insight! Apparently my father-in-law knows someone who works with the yochien near our side of town and my mom-in-law says it's a good place for our future babe. I guess we'll see, hard to imagine while it's still in fetus stage lol.

      Quite sure that international kindergartens (and intl schools in the future for that matter!) are our of the picture though. Not only would the commute be a lot but extra costs we just couldn't afford! At least not any time soon.

      Thanks again!