For all the great things about life in Japan, one thing bothers me about raising my son here, and that’s the lack of a farm, or a normal backyard, or a garage with power tools and a lawn mower to repair, let alone any livestock or a tractor and other farm machinery to work on together. Did anyone else take those things for granted at home and now regret not having them for their kids here?

I wonder sometimes if anyone else might be interested in starting community workshops, where people could donate any old tools, power tools or small machines they might have for other parents to use to teach their kids; or, with appropriate adult supervision, for kids to use by themselves or with friends. As things stand now, most kids probably don’t have the tools needed to do their own bicycle repairs, and that to me is sad.

Kidzania allows children to imagine themselves in various careers and to play out such fantasies; that’s a small step in the right direction, but it just won’t cut it for teaching kids basic mechanical and other practical skills. Lots of families would utilize and benefit from communal garages or workshops — if they ever got started they’d soon be overridden with demand.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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