I always felt that you could get a sense of the Western mother by how she’s depicted on television. From the idealized perfection of Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” in the 1970s to the more authentic imperfection of Roseanne Conner on “Roseanne” in the 1990s, American sitcoms always seemed to be where “mom” lived. And in the U.K., mums seemed more complicated, on soap operas like “EastEnders” and “Coronation Street.”

In various surveys asking who best represents a Japanese mother over the decades, the most popular responses generally skew older. Actor Sayuri Yoshinaga, 79, ranks high on a few lists, for instance. Maybe the moms that helped us emotionally recover from the war will always have a hold on our hearts.

Another source of motherly role models in Japan? Manga. Specifically, manga that spawned TV adaptations. The full-time mothers in shows such as “Chibi Maruko-chan,” “Kobo-chan” and the longest-running animated TV series in the world, “Sazae-san” (sorry, Marge from “The Simpsons”), not only gave us our ideal moms but also presented them living in Japanese-style multigenerational households.