One thing I love about the Japanese people is their deep passion for their children, something I’ve observed firsthand as I watched my own kids grow up here. Whenever I drive somewhere in my city I pass many signs that have been put up by the local junior high school PTA, which basically encapsulate a lot of the joshiki (universal common sense) that Japanese seem to share on subjects like how to raise kids. The slogans are usually general statements like “overprotective parents are the cause of weak children” and “those who don’t show filial piety (respect to one’s mother and father) won’t receive it from their children.” One day I came across another interesting slogan in my city which used the four syllables of the English word “OASIS” (pronounced oh-AH-shi-su) to remind us of four phrases children should be taught to say. They are ohayo gozaimasu (“good morning,” as it’s always important to greet others cheerfully in Japanese society), arigato gozaimasu (“thank you very much,” the most formal way to express gratitude), shitsurei shimashita (“excuse me,” said when leaving a teacher’s room as a sign of respect) and sumimasen deshita (“I’m sorry,” said in apology when you’ve done something wrong). The idea is, children who can correctly say these four important phrases when needed will probably be able to grow into good adults of good character later in life.
Using the “OASIS” method to bring up children well.