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When the Japanese TV show “Hajimete no Otsukai” was added to Netflix recently, it brought back uneasy memories. Dubbed “Old Enough!” for English-speaking viewers, it follows Japanese toddlers as they run their first errand for their parents. Whether they actually are “old enough” is up for debate.

I came across the show for the first time years ago on good ol’ linear television here in Japan. My daughter, Hana, was 5 and already slightly older than most children on the show (apparently the cut-off age for “Hajimete no Otsukai” is 5 since that’s when most children will be able to figure out they’re being followed by a camera crew). My Japanese wife and I agreed that it might be time to send Hana out on her own; my wife being a little more assured of this than I was. In my home country of Germany, kids under 7 can’t legally buy anything on their own, and I wouldn’t have minded going by the German rules.

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