Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poodle Flowers and haha no hi!!

The other day my honey and I took a walk to a shopping mall near by. The weather was fab....ok ....a bit windy but still just wonderful!! So, I took some pics of the "river" near the mall.

Then we did our shopping and on the way out we saw these flowers....I did a double take because I wasn't sure what I had seen the first time I glanced at them!! Most look like poodles to me but there are some others in the 2nd pic that look like foxes but I'm sure that can't be right!

Now, having lived in Japan so long I kind of forget what things are like back home so I'm not sure if this is a Japan thing or not but the carnation is the "haha no hi" flower (mother's day flower). Actually to be honest, most mothers are lucky to get even carnations....most kids don't give anything which usually means I end up sort of scolding them in class and reminding them how hard they work. And husbands don't give anything to their wives on mother's day....my dad always gave my mom presents on mother's day!

Anyway, for the amount of work Japanese moms do, they should be given diamonds in my opinion!! I mean cleaning the house everyday, waking up a good hour before everyone else so she can make fresh rice for the bento lunches ....and don't forget punching cute faces out of nori for the kids' rice balls.....cutting sausages into tulips...cooking 1 piece of broccoli, 2 fried chicken, fresh veggies etc...and this is before making breakfast! Driving her husband to the station! Oh and doing laundry everyday and having it hanging outside as the sun rises (or at least before 9 am-I had a student who told me she felt guilty if she put her laundry up after 9 am....what would all the neighbours think?!). And most Japanese women grocery shop everyday or every other day!!( Oh and I have just realized that I'm the only one who walks around with a shopping list....seriously...no one has a shopping list but if you are only buying food for 1 day or 2 days, perhaps you can remember everything you need!!) Other things they do.....airing out the futons which involves hanging them over the balcony and beating the bejesus out of them with a special "stick"....so if you have 3 kids...chances are you have 4-5 futons to beat (4 if the husband and wife sleep on one futon....5 if they don't). They also air out the pillows and blankets so there is a lot of hauling of bedding out to the balcony!! Then of course there is preparing dinner and remember Japanese eat many little dishes of food so there is a lot of dishes to prepare and to clean later on. And many husbands come home after 11pm and expect a hot meal so they will cook at that time. I know a woman who cooks every night for 2 hours!!!! And many husbands come home from work, sit on the sofa and demand beer and snacks! And remember most kids and husbands do NOT help out at home or at least not much!! So....now that I've rambled on a bit (can you tell this topic drives me crazy!!) I should stop! I will, of course, be reminding my students to buy their mothers something for "haha no hi"....perhaps a poodle flower!!

13 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

those are cute flowers :)

if hubby came home from work and demanded a beer after I spent the day cleaning I would probably end up tossing a case at him :p

FromJapanWithLove said...

LOL!! I tell my students all the time that it would only happen once since I would probably pour the beer on his head!!

Grace said...

Aww those are so cute!!

I didn't know that the tradition of men not having to do much at home was still ongoing... I guess at times hubby expects me to be more of a traditional Japanese wife - LoL! I'm too Canadian...

I'm missing my hub so much already and he just left for Japan yesterday... sniff, sniff

FromJapanWithLove said...

HI Grace!! I just checked out your blog.... you have cute kids!! So what is hubby doing in Japan? How do you like Canada? I miss Vancouver- sometimes I seriously wonder what I'm doing over here!! And sadly (though not for me...my hubby is great) it is still going on!! I hear it from my students and friends all the time!! This was one reason I thought I could never marry a Japanese guy...no way I was going to get up and make obento!! But my honey is totally not...well...he isn't very Japanese for a Japanese guy (even my female students say that...with a bit of jealousy in their voices)!

I hope he is bringing you back some great omiyage!!

Sanctum's Muse said...

The way Japanese women are treated is disgusting. I heard that Japanese women like marrying American men because Americans have a reputation of being more appreciative and helping out around the house.

Anonymous said...

Complex societies like Japan are difficult for outsiders to understand therefore people just see what they already believe.
Serving your husband a beer after he's worked from 7:30am to 11:00pm is an act of showing love (showing love by actions is more important in Japan than just by words). You could think that women are treated badly here but you'd be wrong- it's just different. I don't know many (middle class)women in the states who can have the option to stay at home and then when the kids go to school spend their time studying English or flower arranging or meeting with their friends. Go to any cafe, restaurant, movie theater or any department store in Japan during the daytime and see the hoards of women enjoying themselves... It's the women who decide how to spend their husbands' paychecks; it's the women who have freetime in the day; it's the women who travel abroad; it's the women who have the longest life expectancy of any place in the world... And as for bentos, truth is (no matter what they tell their English teacher) it's most often made from left-over dishes from the night before- and getting up to cook rice? The rice cooker is always on and kept full... Ask a Japanese women if she'd prefer to be a man and most likely you'll get a resounding "No way!!!"
Everything's different here, you can't judge it through Western eyes...

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi Anonymous-of course Japanese society is complex and not every woman is treated bad and many like the way their lives are but I have many Japanese friends (not just students) who are not happy for the very reasons I stated.

As for women not wanting to be a man...i get that as I have to say I do feel bad for the men in that there is so much pressure for them to make money since they are the only ones working.

While the women may have "control" over the husbands money that is the case as long as the stay married...happy or not. I know the laws recently have been changed so that women get (I believe) half their husbands pension (this is for older couples) so the divorce rate among older people is increasing because finally the women get something for all the years they supported their husbands at home. I don't really know how it plays out finacially for younger couples.

Here is just one article about this topic

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4741018.stm

And serving beer or something to your husband out of love is one thing....having your husband come home, sit on the sofa and yell for beer and snacks is another.

Grace said...

Hubs is just on vacation with my brother... doing some sight seeing and touring around Tokyo & Kyoto. He's never been to Japan before, so I told him that this was his opportunity since my brother was going back to visit. I'm guessing that it is super busy there now seeing as though it is Golden Week. I'll definitely be asking for lots of omiyage! =) I also asked him to look for a yukata for our 8 month old girl....

I really like Canada. The diversity is great and at times, I feel like I'm in Japan when it comes to the food here - although the sushi in Japan can be much better =)...And I'm looking forward to the 2010 Olympics here!

Where in Japan are you?

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi Grace-I'm in Fukuoka...even after 11 years here I still haven't been to Kyoto!! Golden week is next week so he should be ok for a few more days at least! Are you in Vancouver? I don't think I would want to be there during the Olympics-too many people!

Grace said...

Hubby says that his hotel is getting fuller everyday and noticed that some businesses are closed already... His main complaint so far is that he's feeling claustrophobic due to the amount of people around, especially the train/subways =) (I warned him about that and he also said that they don't have paper towels in the washrooms, which I told him about as well - I guess he's learning)

Yes, I'm in Vancouver. The Olympics will be crazy busy here and if I could take off somewhere, I would =)

FromJapanWithLove said...

Grace-today was a national holiday so some businesses were closed but might be open again tomorrow and Friday. And it's funny how some people don't believe you about the trains or towels in the bathrooms. I always explain that is why people give out free tissues on the street...you need them in the public toilets! And why we all carry around small towels!! I have to say that while Tokyo has great shops I really don't like it- the people!!! "Taking a walk" as my sister put it once is more like "dodging people bullets"....there are few leisurely strolls in Tokyo!

Ah Vancouver!! I totally miss it!! I used to live in the westend...barclay and denman....my apartment building had a pool on the roof and a fab view of ...everywhere!! I miss Milestones restaurants and grabbing a cup at Second cup and going to English bay to watch the sun set!!!! Enjoy Vancouver for me!!!

Ku said...

I'm a wife and a mama. My husband is part Japanese and he loves Japan. He always tells me about how much better he feels when he goes back. We do plan to move back permanently in the future. But one thing he knows on a fairly regular basis I will do the typical house wife duties but if for one minute he even thought to demand of me. It would end so fast it would make his head spin. It's one thing to expect something but demanding it is rude and shows little appreciate for what women have to do on daily basis. However, I prefer being a working mom. I don't find it safe to depend on one income. Their are good sides and bad sides to everything.

ankur said...

those are cute flowers :)

if hubby came home from work and demanded a beer after I spent the day cleaning I would probably end up tossing a case at him ..Thanks for this article guys, I have read the entire article and I am feeling happy to read this. Great and awesome work.
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