Why do Japanese dads bathe with baby?

Not sure why this particularly struck me as different from what I would expect back home – could just have been a made up cultural difference to save me from taking a bath, as I’m a shower man myself…

The first thing is that in Japan someone does really need to get in the bath with the baby, because the bath tub is too deep and the sides are too high to make putting baby in the bath and holding him/ her from outside practical. As I said a couple of posts below, it is traditional for dads to bathe first when the water is cleanest, so it would make sense for baby to go in then too. I also have a feeling it gets Dad out of the way so housework can be done and is a sign that it is assumed he can’t do anything more useful around the house!

Why is cone-shaped sushi more popular outside Japan?

“in large part because they had the architecture to hold just about any filling”

The Sushi Economy

Why do Japanese dads bathe first?

As everyone shares the same reheated water, the water is cleanest then. A positive effect from the women’s point of view is that it stops him drinking and gets him out of the way while the women of the house clear up.

Why was a job for life a big thing in Japan?

And why is it fading away?

“Shrewd observers of the Japanese system had long ago noted that lifetime employment offered companies the opportunity to employ scads of young people at little expense. Starting wages were fixed below true value across whole industries, and workers endured them in return for security and promised raises…

By 1993, with the percentage of workers fifty-five or older rising to 13 percent, that benefit had turned into a costly burden. Nearly 40 percent of Japan’s workforce had fifteen years or more of seniority. This posed a grave problem: Under seniority-based wages, only a tiny fraction of those older workers could be expected to produce more than the earned.”

About Face pg 153

Why are robots such a big thing in Japan? 2nd attempt

“In Japan robots were early on perceived as a strategic industry worth developing, not just because robots can provide labour at less cost than humans, but because robots can also be more accurate, reliable and clean” (America and the Four Japans pg 116)

Makes sense.

First attempt here.

Why the obsession with quality? 3rd attempt

“As Sony’s founder, Akio Morita, has noted, exporting forces an improvement in quality, not just to satisfy foreign customers but to reduce the high costs of servicing the products in distant places after the sales have taken place”

America and the Four Japans pg 120


Why so many white and silver cars?

“Around 1986, when the colour white became fashionable in Japan, 70 percent of the passenger cars pouring out of Toyota factories were white, with the figure as high as 90 percent for some models. Asking consumers why, one would get answers ranging from ‘it’s a clean colour’ to ‘white cars have a higher resale value’”

America and the Four Japans pg 86

Why square watermelons?

“The shape of the melons, which are grown in glass boxes, is intended to make them easier to stack and store”

International Herald Tribune last week

Sounds very unlikely to be the main reason to me. For one thing, that would make it more economical to distribute them, but they cost about ten times what a normal watermelon does.