As a babysitter looking for work, Naoya Miyatake was rejected a number of times by parents uncomfortable with him undressing, bathing and changing diapers for their children.
Like in many other countries, a prejudice against male babysitters — and reservations about them dealing in a personal way with children — persist in Japan. Add to that the ingrained “men at work, women at home” mentality of a patriarchal society, and the notion that women can be more trusted with children than men has long pervaded the child care industry, making male sitters and nursery teachers something of a rarity.
Determined to prove the gender stereotype wrong, Miyatake, 30, has over the years committed himself to an array of child-rearing jobs. At one point he was ranked as one of the most sought-after babysitters in Japan on an app that connects parents to sitters.