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We choose our friends but we don’t choose our parents. Nor do they choose us. It’s a pretty fraught relationship, sometimes, that between parent and child. Perhaps “love-hate” best describes it — hopefully with love dominant.

Confucius said — and what Confucius said is not irrelevant in Japan 2,500 years later — “Nowadays for a man to be filial means no more than that he is able to provide his parents with food. Even hounds and horses are, in some way, provided with food. If a man shows no reverence, where is the difference?”

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