By the Light of My Father’s Smile
– Fathering Japan Kansai

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Noriaki Wada, Representative of FJK and Atsushi Shinoda, Secretary of FJK

Sheryl Sandberg, author of “Lean In” said that,

Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal – and equally capable – partner.

While many are still questioning the possibility of a “career mother”, have we ever considered the possibility of exploring new roles for fathers?

Fathering Japan Kansai (FJK) is a non-profit organization with the ethos “How great to see Daddy Smiles!”

The organization was started in 2006 in Tokyo, and then expanded to Kansai in 2010. The Hyogo-branch was just established in 2013 with 33 members since then.

Fathering Japan tries to create happy fathers through three parts: lectures and workshops focusing on the “how-to” of fathering, events or games that encourage communication between parents and children, last but not least forums and conferences that depict broader parenting topics such as spouses’ responsibility, contemporary work style or child abuse topics.

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Gymnastic program that encourage communication between fathers and children

Being a stay-at-home dad

Noriaki Wada is a stay-at-home-dad, who joined Fathering Japan in 2009. He used to work as a TV photographer, but resigned from his job after his first child was born.

It was hard being a stay-at-home-dad at first.

In the workplace you could chat with your colleagues, but being a stay-at-home-dad can be lonely. You don’t have friends who share the same values about fathering as you, you get afraid of how society is going to define you.

Wada explains,

Looking back I think it would be nice if I had openly admitted to my role as a father, and told everyone else what it is like being a father.

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First day of fathering – Wada and his daughter

In Japan, reported child abuse has increased more than 60 times since 1990. Apart from this, there is also the problem of women facing the stress of being a mother, while men are increasingly feeling stressed from overworking. These stressors lead to all sorts of health and financial problems, or even suicide or homelessness.

Fathering Japan might not offer the direct solution to child abuse, rather it plays an important step in recognizing fathers and providing choices.

By creating happy fathers, it is expected to create happy mothers too, and thus we can imagine children might look forward to become happy adults just like their parents.

[via Greenz.jp written by Kensuke Akashi]
[English Text by Katia Wong]
[Editor: Mike Cutno, Kana Tateyama, and Kota Suzuki]


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