Tokyo Parenting: Father and Son Learning Japanese, Together


To Be a Bilingual or Not

Jim and Hikari don't have many preferences when it comes to daycare, but they are inclined to enroll their son in a Japanese hoikuen. However, they intend to start teaching Léon both English and Japanese at a young age. The pair is even thinking about relocating to Europe for a few years soon. But for the time being, they think it's crucial to master the fundamentals of Japanese. Although it is false to say that Japan is a monolingual or monoethnic nation, there is no denying that Japanese is the most widely spoken language there.

Hikari laughs, "My idea is that Jim and Leon can study Japanese together." She goes on to say that Jim does read some bilingual picture books to their son in the hopes that early on in his development, he will become accustomed to toggling between one language and the other. 

International spouses frequently struggle with choosing which language to teach in what context when parenting mixed-culture kids in Japan. When I'm alone with him, I speak to him in Japanese, explains Hikari. The couple's primary language at home is English. 

The tooth gel from

The tooth gel from, which is a part of their cleaning and hygiene line, is perfect for usage starting on the day your baby begins to erupt teeth. This gel is manufactured from edible components and has a light natural mandarin flavor; it is free of additives, abrasives, and foaming agents and is a safe alternative for infants who are unable to rinse their mouths yet. 

"We've tried different brands, but I like how ['s tooth gel] is thick," says Hikari. She claims that it's a simple product to carry with you and that the straightforward list of ingredients gives you peace of mind.

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