Osaka school principal tells students it is ‘most important’ for women to have two kids or more


A 61-year-old male principal of a junior high school in Osaka has told his students that giving birth to two children or more is the “most important thing” for a woman, according to the city education board.

Hisao Terai, the head of a public junior high school in the city of Osaka, said at a school assembly with about 600 students on Feb. 29 that “the most important thing for a woman is to give birth to two or more children” and it is “more valuable than building her career.” He added that a woman can go to college after finishing her child rearing.

The board said it is considering taking some sort of action against Terai because his statements were “indiscreet,” adding the action could include disciplinary punishment.

According to the education board, it questioned Terai about the statements after receiving an anonymous call earlier this month. The school head told the board he recognizes no error in his statements.

When Kyodo News contacted him, Terai admitted he made the statements and reiterated them, saying, “The greatest joy for women is child rearing.”

Terai said he made the statements “out of a keen sense of crisis over (Japan’s) falling population” and that he also told male students to “offer assistance in child rearing.”

“I really hope that they will create a society in which people can raise a family with a sense of security,” he added.

  • Rebecca

    The 1950’s in action yet again. Interesting how a man knows the “greatest joy” for a woman. What about the great joy of “fatherhood” and nothing being more important than “men raising their children”? Why is being a mother continually fetishised in a way that being a father isn’t? Both parents are equally responsible for the child and both roles are equally important.

    • 151E

      “Why is being a mother continually fetishised in a way that being a father isn’t?”

      Umm, biology? If men had wombs it might well be the other way round. But I do agree with your general sentiment.

      • Rebecca

        Yes, I knew I was setting myself up for that predicable reply. I said “being a mother” as in bringing up a child not carrying one. I just did a Google Uk search for “motherhood”: 44 million hits – “fatherhood” has 17 million.

      • 151E

        Perhaps you thought I was being facetious but I wouldn’t be too quick to write off the influence of biology. Among mammals, only some 5-10% exhibit any paternal care at all.

        Of course humans are different from other animals; with our large sophisticated cerebral cortexes we are capable of reasoned thinking and (with effort) overriding instinct. But it would be a mistake to think we have completely freed ourselves from millions of years of evolution.

        Nine months of pregnancy followed by 12 or more months of breastfeeding is bound to result in a significantly different bond between mother and infant than that between father and infant (testosterone may actually interfere with oxytocin and bond formation!). It shouldn’t be all that surprising then that this difference should be reflected in popular attitudes in society.

        And while human societies do exhibit a wide range of differing degrees of paternal care, for all known societies the father’s involvement in infant care is less than that of the mother, although it does tend to increase for older children (especially males).

        This is not to suggest that I condone perpetuating an unequal distribution of parental responsibility, but is merely an attempt to answer your question why there exists a persistent gender bias.

  • Philosopher

    If Japan was an easier place to have children, I’m sure more women would have them without the need for this intellectual mouse and his demeaning statements. If it was easier for women to combine careers and motherhood, they’d have more children. If fathers shared the burden of child-raising, they’d have more children. If employers didn’t value hours spent at work over productivity, their employees would have more children.

  • Ruchesko

    A junior high school principal said this? Does he think the population “crisis” would be best solved by a big surge in teen pregnancies? Does he plan on showing the girls that old NTV drama “14-sai no haha”?

  • J.P. Bunny

    Of course giving birth and rearing children is the most important thing in the world, as long as one is male and doesn’t have to do any of the aforementioned. Have a feeling his tune would change if he were required to give up his career and stay home with the children for the next fifteen or more years.

  • TokyoMommy

    So women are supposed to have children, married or not, and men get the benefit of offering assistance in child rearing? This is why women are not having kids. What woman wants to get knocked up twice, have the entire responsibility of raising, financially supporting and attending PTA duties and praying to God daily that child doesnt loose his or her marbles and end up a sponge/criminal/hikkikomori adult? Sorry, but Japanese women are smarter than that, even HS girls. Talk to the kids about how to be outstanding men and women who build relationships, live in harmony with and try to understand each other (including foreigners), learn to resolve conflict and learn to be responsible citizens and decent human being. Then you can say something along the lines of how future generations can benefit from a society of men and women working together.