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No. 56 • January - June 2013 • Page 114
 •  Initiatives

Kyoto, (Japan) -- Ikumen-kai: Workshop for Young Fathers

Since May 2012, Yoshida Student Center has organized the Kioto Ikumen-kai, a monthly workshop for young fathers on how to raise children. Ikumen is a word recently incorporated into the Japanese dictionary, used for young fathers who play a more active role in their children’s education, in contrast to what was customary in the past when this was seen as mainly the task of mothers. The meetings are coordinated by the writer and teacher Toshimi Nakai, author of numerous books and articles on education, and Dr. Shoji Tateishi, a physician and director of a pediatric clinic. Those taking part come from Kyoto and other nearby cities.

In each session Dr. Tateishi talks about a practical topic, for example, television viewing, relationships between the spouses, or forming a child’s affectivity. This is followed by an interchange of experiences among the participants. Frequent reference is made to St. Josemaría’s teachings on the family: parents as protagonists in the education of their children, finding the right balance between freedom and responsibility, etc. “More and more fathers in Japan are realizing that dedicating time and energy to their children’s education is the best way to sustain their family, and also to grow in their own formation,” says Professor Nakai. Owing to the novelty of this initiative, the Kioto Ikumen-kai has been the topic of articles in several of the city’s newspapers.

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