Sawako Obara

For Sawako Obara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

More career-track wives working away from families

Apr 1, 2015

More career-track wives working away from families

Tokiko Nakayama speaks to her 6- and 3-year-old sons via her computer at a company apartment for 20 to 30 minutes before going to work every morning. Nakayama, 36, is among an increasing number of female company employees working away from their families. Hired ...

Feb 26, 2015

Elder care givers take on surge in demand

Elder-to-elder nursing care is expanding in Japan due to the aging of care workers. The ratio of elderly workers is rapidly rising in the nursing care sector because young people are unwilling to take on the tough, low-paying work. While care services, including bathing ...

Renewing wedding vows a growing trend in Japan

Dec 24, 2014

Renewing wedding vows a growing trend in Japan

Renewing wedding vows, a practice common in Europe and the United States for decades, has been slowly taking root in Japan over the past two to three years. Amid prolonged economic stagnation and in the aftermath of the March 2011 triple disaster, many Japanese ...

Martial arts tricks ease pain for new moms

Aug 28, 2014

Martial arts tricks ease pain for new moms

Wrist tendinitis and back pain are among the physical ailments that often affect new mothers, usually from the lifting and carrying required in caring for babies. To provide relief, a physical therapist in Japan has drawn up a parenting regimen that combines techniques from ...

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

May 27, 2014

Baby boomers becoming gray gang

As the last of Japan’s baby boomers turn 65 this year and retire, many are taking low-paid or voluntary work to get them out of the house — a trend that could have broad-reaching effects. The transition came later than expected as many workers ...

Senile seniors challenge Japan Inc.

Apr 10, 2014

Senile seniors challenge Japan Inc.

As businesses grapple with the social changes being brought about by the rapidly graying population, dealing with senility has become a fact of life at shops and banks. Supermarket operators and banks have been struggling to figure out how best to handle customers with ...

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

Feb 12, 2014

Japan's elderly reach for the joys of romance

On her first date with her stoop-shouldered “prince,” Tae, a 77-year-old widow, felt her heart flutter in her chest as she gazed with him toward brightly lit Tokyo Tower. While this may just be a scene from a recent Japanese movie about a gray-haired ...

Elder care with a human touch

Nov 20, 2013

Elder care with a human touch

Humanitude, a caregiving method developed in France that emphasizes eye contact, touch and verbal communication to convey respect for the patient as a human being, is gaining attention in Japan for treating patients with dementia. Tokyo Medical Center in Meguro Ward, one of the ...