One theme I write about often is how important children are in Japan, and how much energy the country spends on raising its children well. I’ve spent the past 16 years raising my own half-American, half-Japanese kids, and I’ve been continually impressed with nearly all aspects of child-rearing here. Health care is provided free to everyone aged 15 and under in most prefectures, and there’s a real structure built around the whole process that provides first-time parents with lots of guidance. One symbol of how important children are in Japan is the boshi-techo, or mother-and-child notebook, which is given to new mothers-to-be, as seen in an episode of Bunny Drop. Everything about the child’s development from before birth until the age of six is recorded in the notebook, and it becomes a treasured memory for parents for the rest of their lives (the child abandomment part of Bunny Drop notwithstanding).
A boshi-techo is an eternal link between mother and child.