You might find https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Shinto to be interesting reading.
One other example is that in Japan, the arguably most formative work of literature is 'Tale of Genji' (~1000 AD!), written by a woman. This work has a Dante's Inferno like status in Japan, in that it was both formative to both Japanese language and culture. The closest you could compare it to in English is if you combine the impacts of both the King James' bible and Shakespeare's work.
This is just to show what I mean with cultural status of women in Japan - it basically started since 1000 years ago when the women's way of writing (Hiragana / vocabulary / grammar) has started to become more and more the standard thanks to Lady Murasaki, and funnily enough this is still an ongoing process with Kanji's still being dropped for Hiragana. I think you'd have a hard time finding a historical Western woman with a comparable cultural impact - Queen Elizabeth I is the only one I can think of.
Now, it is true that if you are an ambitious woman in Japan, it is going to be difficult to make a career for yourself and you will certainly face discrimination at some workplaces. But that does not mean every woman is like or feels like that.
One of the issues of inequality is that housework and child-rearing is looked down upon, not that people choose to do housework and child-rearing. There are only a few countries that have made progress on that end - see e.g. Scandinavian countries where paternal leave and stay-at-home dads are on the rise.
You don't always have a choice - because there are no or few daycare facilities available anyway, and you may not live close to your parents either.
As you mentioned, don't generalize to everywhere in Japan. I can tell you even in Kansai it's far from ideal and the daycare facilities are completely full and you need to reserve more than a year in advance to even have a chance to get your kid in.
This was last year. The situation is very much still problematic, even in cities.
More traditionally, he's considered the patron saint of children (living ones too) and travelers. The "baby Jizo" thing came about when he morphed from being the protector of unborn and recently died children to actually representing the unborn/dead child, and is as far as I know this is an entirely Japanese adaptation.
Also, Jizo statues are common memorials for children who died young as well. Every now and then, you run into one with a child's sandals, toys, snacks etc beside it, which is pretty heart-breaking because you know that only a few months ago there was a little toddler running around in those tiny pink flipflops that are now bleaching in the sun and rain.
I was once at Hase-dera in Kamakura, which has an exceptionally large collection of baby Jizos. There was an American tour group stomping through and laughing at all these statues decorated with bibs and Hello Kitty figures and even little bottles of sake, because isn't Japan just so wacky and crazy? If they only knew the amount of heartbreak and pain they represent...
But there is something fun in a Jizo statue - that it makes an abstract feeling more concrete.
Huh? Why? Back when I was married, we had a funeral every time one of our pets died. Not some big affair with other people, of course, but just a small little ceremony for ourselves in our home or in the backyard where we buried the box.
Writing goodbyes on balloons and letting them go as you did can also be said to be a form of a funeral.
We also didn't have a body in either case - maybe an empty box felt strange? I don't know. I am also very into breaking from traditions.
(edited to fix spelling)
We might need to change the way we grieve too? The book "On Death and Dying" points out that advances in science have made it harder to accept death in our modern age, since a "cure" could legitimacy be just around the corner.
I have enough shit to do in the morning, and I'm not waking up earlier.
But really, why? Why can't America just do things the American way? Why do people reject the idea that Americans are allowed to have their own culture?
The lack of any tradition has been a deafening issue for child deaths.
There are small efforts, such as rainbow babies or purple butterflies (Google them) that are helping bring awareness and systems to grieve. But most are to bring awareness or as a marker to indicate non-verbally to others to tread lightly. But nothing has taken root in the same mourning traditions we see in other cultures.
But in this case, jf isn't just emoting about his opinion, he's at least suggesting some place for further reading. His comment is useful for someone who might want to know more about how other cultures mourn.
No one said that they are not allowed to have their own culture. Read the post you are replying to again. It is implying that American are lacking in mourning traditions and that some should be adopted. Looking at what other cultures do is a start, but there's nothing to say that these new mourning traditions couldn't be entirely new, and specific to Americans.
No, people just constantly assert that other cultures are better and that Americans should adopt their values instead.
I visited the home of a distant family member (by marriage) once and their grandparents graves were inside what had become the sitting room/lounge.
> According to Buddhist belief, a baby who is never born can’t go to heaven, having never had the opportunity to accumulate good karma.
I'm no scholar in these matters, but almost every religion has some sort emotional torture built in for parents of miscarried/aborted children :(
Basic summary is that they rely on God to judge, and instead hope that He finds them worthy.
Anybody else feels similar or wants to explain? Is it cultural, all just pregnancy hormones or something else?
It doesn't matter if it's a human life or a hobby project, if a human being spends time and effort on something, and comes to care about that something which is causing them to expend that time and effort, and then they lose it, and can't replace it, they're most likely going to grieve in some way small or large.
Never burnt food or had a computer crash in the middle of some work and felt slightly sad or disappointed? The amount of grief is proportional, I would imagine, to the combination of the value of the thing, the amount of time spent on it, the amount of future plans for it, etc -- and with a baby which you're going to spend the rest of your life (and afterlife, wills and trusts) on... that value is going to eclipse everything else. Already you plan to spend the rest of your life on it, and as it grows you just become more attached, so I can understand the grief, to an extent, it's probably worse than I imagine. i.e., we all know it would be "horrible" to lose a child who had been born and grown up some years, but I don't think anyone could really grapple with the depth of that unless it happened to them.
If you can't understand that, and you never understood it, then I imagine you never bothered to try, because that's just human nature.
Having kids absolutely rewires parts of your brain. So, that said, I agree with both you and enimodas. I think this is one of those occasions where it's important to distinguish between sympathy and empathy.
When they learn a child is coming, they're joyful. They work and sacrifice in anticipation: everything from the mother's morning sickness (which, contrary to the name, can happen all day long) to preparing a nursery to finding a day care (which in crazy places like Silicon Valley people often have to do in advance of the birth to secure a spot). They share the happy news with friends and family and coworkers and strangers, have a baby shower, etc.
In some cases, they've been trying to have a child for years. Maybe they're getting up in age and worried they're losing their chance. Maybe they've spent a lot of time and money on fertility treatments. Maybe they've had previous miscarriages.
I've never experienced a miscarriage and hope I never will, but I can imagine some of the disappointment and sadness of never getting to know this new little person, of knowing the sickness was for nothing, of seeing of all these items they bought that now remind them of what might have been, of telling people it didn't work out, of undoing all that work done in preparation of something that won't happen, and of wondering if it's worth it to try again.
This is the reasoning behind suggestions of not even telling others until after the first trimester, which is when most miscarriages happen. It doesn't make any of the other parts easier, but at least the unwinding doesn't have to happen.
As someone who isn't really interested in having kids it's easy to forget that some people really want them. It is baked into our DNA and has been since before we as a species walked the Earth. If the pregnancy wasn't an accident then it's no wonder people mourn over a miscarriage. As far as they were concerned it was their future child. And I say that as someone who is very much not pro-life.
* Conception is not as easy as abstinence-only education would have you believe. Some perfectly fertile couples try for years before successfully conceiving.
If both partners are young and healthy then they should have a bun in the oven within 4 months, otherwise something is abnormally wrong.
Take a group of fertile 22 year old women, for example. Each one has about a 25% chance per month of getting pregnant, while trying to conceive. After four months, you can expect that about 30% of the original group still will have not conceived (75% ^ 4). Absolutely nothing wrong with them, it's just a numbers game.
Spreading misinformation like "a bun in the oven within 4 months, otherwise something is abnormally wrong" is awful for couples who are trying to conceive for a few months, and already stressed out enough about it.
Maybe those couples are not so perfectly fertile after all...
> Maybe those couples are not so perfectly fertile after all...
Perhaps seemingly perfectly fertile couples might have been a better way to put it.
Children carve something out of you, a place for themselves;
people can twist the knife in that spot, and it just bleeds and bleeds.
But it seems most people think of it somewhat differently. Other girls dreamed about what they'd name their children while I dreamed of travel and work and adventure.
But they grow up, and are genuinely excited to be pregnant. There are hormones and stuff plus fufillment of dreams and family life and things. And then it is all lost. The further along someone is, the more they are attached to both the human growing and the person they imagine it will grow up to be. I don't actually think it is possible for you and I to properly understand the loss because of the difference in mindsets.
For abortion, some folks have additional cultural baggage and guilt. Not to mention that some folks have to jump through hoops to get an abortion, and I'm pretty sure "what if..." is common. Understandable because it is a major life decision either way.