Dec 15, 2012

Crazy Christian Japanese Power English Mom

What a insane title.

I had no other way to put it other than that so you can understand a general summarization of this crazy person.

This is a story of 1 year ago that I had just recently remembered and decided to talk about now.


((NOTE ABOUT RELIGION IN JAPAN))

Most people in Japan are atheist. Japan is a Buddhist society, with cultural customs based on Buddhism. However, as for actually believing in a heaven or god, they do not. Most of the people do nothing and believe nothing. Understand the world was created by evolution etc. blablabla. (btw I am also an atheist)

((NOTE END))


I once got offered a English babysitting position, as a private tutor for a young little boy.

The mother told me the little boy is named Micheal....

In Japan, Japanese people usually have Japanese names. I thought this kid was either a white kid, or a half Japanese kid. If you don't have a Japanese name in Japan I think all Japanese people will suddenly think the person is either a foreigner or a half Japanese kid.

Me and the people I was living with at the time (my ex family in law), all discussed the possibilities as to why this kid doesn't speak English or why his parent doesn't teach their own kid English (after all he has a English name). They also thought it was strange that he had an English name.


The day comes to meet them, I meet them in a Rich area of downtown at the station. To my surprise a woman and a little Japanese boy approach me.

I was a little surprised that the boy was full Japanese, not half, yet he has a English name....that is so strange in Japan (this kid must be bullied).

We walked towards their house and the mother kept talking to her son in English trying to get him to introduce himself, but he didn't talk. I guess he was shy. I didn't think anything strange of them at first.

When we got to her house I tried speaking to him in English but he didn't repsond at all. I thoght he must have just been a shy little boy til finnaly he yelled to his mom,

""母ちゃん意味が分からない""  Mom I can't understand!!!

She then said in Japanese to him, "It is time to learn English so go play with the new teacher". 

It turns out. The kid doesn't even speak a word of English, AT ALL! . She explained to me what she is trying to teach him English but he doesn't understand it. She said she has had multiple English teachers for him, but he doesn't like learning English with them.

In her house she had a spare room used to teach English. She told me to go in there and play English games and basically do whatever as long as I was speaking English.

I tried. But really. Like I said, the kid doesn't understand English. I tried to play games with him and he just didn't understand what I was saying, nor did he look interested at all. He wante to play with me, but he wanted to play speaking Japanese. He really seemed like he hated English.

I understood that in the first 5 mins, She was forcing him to learn English, and he didn't want to (poor kid).

He would get so frustrated and he would get up crying and start saying to his mom in Japanese ""I hate English I just want to pay in Japanese"".

It was so awkward to me, I was left alone in a room while they fought for about a hour about him having to learn English.

After the lesson time was over we ate lunch. Again the mother was pressuring the boy to speak English words, he clearly had no idea what she was even telling him to do. He didn't understand anything except for the colours and numbers. Even with English colours and numbers it seemed as if he had just learnt them (even though he had been studying for 2 years).

This is a sign that someone just doesn't want to learn, Has no interest at all.


Before it was time to leave I asked the Mom,


""Was he born in America?""

""No he was born in Japan. Why?""

""Oh why is his name Micheal?""

""We are Christian""

"".............""

""Micheal is a Christian name, what is your Christian name?""

""......!!""


I am sorry. I have nothing against someone who wants to believe a religion. Go ahead. But to name your child a English name because you think it is so special in your religion...is just strange. It is even more strange to do this in Japan. You might find it hard to believe if you come from a place like Canada; where any name is OK and if you have a strange name people might think it is cool.

In Japan, this kid is probably bullied. He is not a half Japanese, but every time someone hears his name they must ask him if he is a gaijin every time. It is so normal in Japan to want to fit in as much as you can. If he has such a non-Japanese name he must be bullied. My friends said it, and my friends parents all said it. When he gets older it will follow him everywhere he goes. He will be thought of as a half Japanese or a non-Japanese and when they find out he is Japanese, Alot of people might think its weird. 

Poor kid.

The next 3 lessons after that it was the same thing. The kid would tell me in Japanese ""I hate learning English but my mom makes me learn"". After that she stopped making me come there because she thought I was not a good teacher and went off to find another one (I was the 5th teacher she has had for him).


Dear parents:  Don't force your kids to lean crap they don't want to learn. If people don't want to learn, they wont learn.

35 comments:

  1. Man, I feel bad for that little guy ... And annoyed the mother thought the problem was your teaching abilities! x_X;

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  2. i don't think it's appropriate to tell your client's privacy and judge their family business publicly.

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    1. It is my choice to tell whatever I want. I gave no personal information, it is a story. You can think it is rude or mean all you want. At the end of the day. It's my blog. If I have a interesting story to share. I share

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  3. LOL Micheal ^

    and that is very bad parenting.. that mom shouldn't force her son to learn something he doesn't want to.

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    1. Oh, good plan--don't force a kid to learn something that he doesn't want to learn. My kid hates going to school and doesn't want to learn anything there, so he no longer goes and stays at home all day playing video games. I let him decide for himself what he's going to do because a five year-old clearly knows what is best for him.

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  4. The correct term for Japanese people would be agnostic, not necessarily atheist. There is a difference. ^-^

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    1. I said athirst because most Japanese belive there is No god. Doesn't exist. I never met someone who said that they didn't deny an existence of one.

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    2. That's so cute... So I guess if most Japanese believe there is no god, they are just going to the many temples and shrines to clap their hands and shake a big bell because it's so much fun!

      It's called the land of the Gods, about 8 millions according to the Shinto religion. I will admit that originally Buddha is not supposed to be seen as a deity, but Kannon, Enma and all the others are kind of considered as such in Japan.

      So you never stumbled upon a torii or a mon? No shrines, no temples? Not even seen a tall pointy building they call "Pagoda" in the distance? Where have you been? Are you sure you're in Japan? I guess I'm just very lucky to see these... There's a very big one close to Harajuku called Meiji Jingu (yeah, like in the name of the train station), but hey, don't bother learning about the local customs and tradition. Have a good time and enjoy your stay ;)

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    3. Having shrines and stuff doesn't necessarily mean they really 'believe'. From what I have learned at university about Japan, going to shrines is more tradition than religion. And if one shrine 'doesn't work'/answers your 'prayers', you move on to the next one with another deity. Christians don't became Muslims overnight when their sickness doesn't go away and then move on to becoming Jews when they hear people say how much they are helped by their God. Maybe it is better to say they aren't loyal to a God? I have never been to Japan though, and I might now state a few statements too narrow/harsh (厳しい?Neither English nor Japanese is my native language, but I hope what I'm trying to say comes across), but does anybody know if what I'm saying is what is really happening in Japan?

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    4. What she's saying is true, most people in Japan don't actually believe in a God or Gods. They may engage in religious practices, but they don't actually believe in them. Actually Japanese people tend to be half-assed about this... they don't really take religion very seriously. They might try being a Christian for a while, get "bored" of it and move on to something else. It's the same thing with philosophy, etc.

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  5. That is so messed up. A lot of Japanese people think western = christian. They even think our names are christian meanings. Its not true. Just because an English translation of a name appears in a bible doesn't mean anything. Those are English names. The christian religion didn't even come from English speaking countries.

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    1. The name Michael has nothing to do with being "western", it is NOT an English name or translation, it's actually a Hebrew name. The archangel Michael lead God's army against Lucifer according to the bible. Clearly the parents knew that and drew from that story to name their kid, not on the idea that they wanted him to sound "western".
      I'm an atheist btw, but doesn't hurt to know things in order to avoid talking out of my ass like you just did...

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    2. Micheal is not a hebrew name, Mikha'el is.

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    3. Shalom!

      Mira I am a fan of your blog and your perspective about living in Japan.^^ Though I think your reaction to the mother (at least from your story) seemed quite judgmental. Kids don't want to do a lot of things, and learning a second language young is better in the long run. Believe me I've been in that child's shoes except I had to learn Hebrew as a child, and I still struggle in my grandparents language to this day. Besides that, Mikha'el is the same as Michael (just a variant). Both are still Hebrew. For example, Elisha is also a Hebrew name but have other variant names such as Alisha, or Alicia(Feminine). Oh, another example Gabriel or Gabrielle/Gabrielle (feminine). I was born in Israel but grew up in the U.S. for most of my life. Eventually I went on to study/Majored in Hebrew Studies and Minored in Biblical Studies for my Undergraduates degree in Haifa, Israel.

      Kol Tuv,
      Odeya from Haifa

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  6. ugh. it really bothers me that when parents do something that will affect the kid. especially if they never had a choice. not only going through what the kid hates, he's probably going to do horrible in school in english, and socially thanks to his parents.

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  7. Can you make a post on your ex boyfriend and his family. I am really interested to know what happend !!! :)

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  8. Christian names are what we call your first name here in the UK traditionally. But now its more common to just say 'Given Name' due to multiculturalism.
    That lady sounded interesting....

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  9. I can understand why he was given English name. Long time ago, many Japanese people who emigrated to the United States, etc... And they married with same Japanese. But many Japanese children was given middle name of English by Christians. I guess this kid is the same situation. Of course I don't think Christians are bad. However Ms. Mira said "he is bullied", I think it's right. But if he can be bilingual, he'll be good life. For example I know youtuber who is PDR. He is good English speaker. Actually many international Japanese can work good job. But if parents aren't native English speaker, they have to pay so many money for child learning English. For example I've studying English since 8 years old. I guess my parents paid so many money. But I hated learning English at that time. Now I sometimes think if I studied hard at that time, my English skill is better than now.

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    1. Middle names are NOT christian names, and have nothing to do with religion. I have no idea why Japanese people think that.

      Middle names are just part of English name culture. Middle names are traditionaly the name of your grandmother for girls, or grandfather for boys.

      Theres no such thing as a Christian name, the names used in English are just English names, which is WHY i think this lady was crazy.

      Learning English doesn't mean you will get a better job. It just means you can get a job that you can use English.

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    2. Thanks. I misunderstood in Christians middle name. Just I heard them in immigration of Japanese Hawaii. But English skill is sometimes for to get good job. For example many listed company say employee have to take high TOEIC score. Maybe they're said to take 800 score or more in TOEIC. If they can't do, they can't promotion. Of course we'll get job in foreign owned, we must use English so fluently. BTW Can you understand my English? I think bad, maybe I write in "ジャパングリッシュ". And sorry I don't know "ジャパングリッシュ" spelling.

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    3. @Mira kanadajin

      People don't typically take on a "Christian name" when they become a Christian, like some other religions do (unless you are becoming a clergy, then it is common to name yourself after a saint or biblical character you admire). Although when choosing children’s names, it is normal to look to the bible and the saints for inspiration.

      Michael is a Christian name. It comes from the bible. The Archangel Michael. It's popularity as an English/Western name is due largely to the fact that Christianity has been the predominant religion in the west for almost 2 millennium.

      So while you may not see naming a Japanese child “Michael” as a religious expression because the name Michael seems like such a bland typical English name, the Michael is an important biblical figure, and among Christians it is considered honorable to be named after him.

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  10. Its Michael not Micheal. Thats the right spelling.

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    1. Both are right spelling, it can be spelt both ways, this was the way his name was spelt.

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    2. If it was supposed to be a Christian name, then it would be spelled Michael since that is how it is spelled in the Bible.

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    3. Lol, I have a brother Name Michael and for over 12 years he would unintentionally write it interchangeably as Micheal or Michael. So I would have to agree with Mira that both are acceptable.

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    4. @Anonymous

      The bible is written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, none of which use the Roman alphabet. How Michael is spelled in English would be due entirely to how the translator chose to Anglicize it.... and in most cases would veer towards the standard/most common spelling (which is Michael).

      While spelling it Micheal is not wrong (as there's no such thing as a wrong name), it is certainly non-standard and quite uncommon (my roommate happens to spell his name Micheal, but he acknowledges that it’s due to a typo on his birth certificate that his parents never bothered to correct, and he just went with it) from my exposure to this blog and what I understand about Mira kanadajin thus far, the child’s name was almost certainly Michael and Mira is just a retard who can’t spell.

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  11. It's not the fact she's a Christian that is a problem here but more the fact that she's rich and nuts lol.

    You'll see some of these from time to time among rich or "high society" Japanese women, it's not a cliché. The wife decides something and it has to happen, if it fails, remove the witness so not to be humiliated in front of her peers.

    Try to give foreign language lessons in posh neighborhoods and you'll find some who are certain that they have a great command of said language... And remember, you are the only one who thinks that she is babbling. And you'd better act as if she is crystal clear with a perfect accent. If you mention anything in front of the others... you are dead meat.

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  12. I feel sorry. for that kid being forced into doing english lessons he will resent his mother and turn to anti social behaviour or anything to get back at his parents I think his mother needs to get over its a trend to have a gaijin name and go to parenting lessons lots of money but no parenting sense

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  13. The mother seems quite bizarre for being so adamant on having her kid being fluent in English, since it doesn't seem that she's fluent herself.
    Anyways, in Christian/Catholic families, it is very normal to named after a saint. Usually, kids are given their name when they are born, and they are given a second name after they are baptized. I have a few friends who have a second name due to their religion, and it's because they, or their parents, pick the saint who they feel represents them the most. Sure, it sounds strange to be named after someone from the bible, but hey, who are we to judge?

    I am atheist as well, but honestly, you're judging the mother a bit too harshly on her theism, especially since you've only met her a few times. Of course, she shouldn't be forcing her kid to learn English if she doesn't want to, and that's the only reason why she would be "crazy".

    tl;dr: Christian names DO exist, kids from religious families often have a name (whether first or middle) of a saint, mom is kinda crazy for forcing lessons on her kid, but it doesn't mean she's a crazy foreigner wannabe just because she's in touch with her religion.

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  14. I'm a swimming instructor, and deal with children who don't want to learn all the time. If you're ever in the same kind of situation again, you need to teach the kid with rewards. You make a deal with him. You tell him: "Your mommy really wants you to learn English, because it will be important for you when you grow up. So what if we make a deal? You learn english with me for half an hour, and then we play any game you like (Or you could use candy, or something like it)."
    I've done it with kids in my class, and it works every time. First they're afraid to get into the water. Then I say; If you stay in the water for the whole play time, you'll get some candy. (We have a five minute play time at the end where kids can do whatever they want in the water). And from there on out you increase the time, or the chore, or the activity.

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  15. That's terrible, if he doesn't wanna learn they don't force him. Maybe she has all this money and doesn't know what to do with it.

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