Japanese Preschool: 12 Things That Stunned Chinese Mom

From Mop:

12 things about Japanese kindergarten [preschool?] that have stunned me as a Chinese mother

Before coming to Japan, Tiantian had already gone through a year of kindergarten [preschool? nursery school?] in Beijing, so you could say that we are no strangers to kindergarten. But there are some things in Japanese kindergartens that have stunned me [are really weird/strong]. Let me share them with you.

1. The Ridiculous Number of Bags.

On the first day, they explained to us that we needed to prepare a certain number of bags of various sizes:

A schoolbag, a blanket bag, a bag for eating utensils, a box for eating utensils, a bag for clothes, a bag for for changing clothes, a bag for clothes after they have been changed out of, and a bag for shoes. Then that bag A had to be of such-and-such a length, bag B had to be of such-and-such a width, bag C had to fit in bag D, and E in bag F. I just couldn’t believe it.

Some kindergartens even ask mothers to make bags themselves!

blanket bag
Blanket Bag

clothes bag
Clothes bag

book shoe bag
Book bag (left) and shoe bag

After two years we’re used to it, and the kids become very good at putting things in their right place. I often think that the reason that the people of Kyoto don’t mind sorting their rubbish might be because they’ve been taught this kind of thing from a young age.

2. All These Bags Carried by Children, While Adults Carry Nothing.

This is a sight that really shocked me: when dropping kids off or picking them up, I noticed that the other Japanese adults, be they mother, father, or grandparent, were carrying absolutely nothing, while all those bags of different sizes (at the very least two or three) mentioned above were carried by those little cuties. What’s more, they were running really fast!

But us? Maybe out of habit, maybe because of a cultural thing, but I carried the bags, and Tiantian carried nothing. A couple of days later the teacher came and had a chat with me: “Tiantian’s mother, Tina does everything herself at school…” Japanese people have a habit of saying only the beginning of a sentence, and letting you work out the rest yourself. I immediately realized that she was asking about the situation at home, but seeing me thinking it over, the teacher continued, “… carrying her schoolbag for example …” After this tactful reminder, I let Tiantian carry her own schoolbag.

When the time came for a parents’ meeting, I told everyone that in China the custom was for parents to carry everything. It was the Japanese mothers’ turn to be dumbfounded. As one, they asked: “Why?”

Why? Is it because we Chinese love our children a little more?

3. Changing Clothes Over and Over Again

Tiantian’s kindergarten has its own uniform; when she arrives she has to take it off, and change into overalls for playtime. She has to take off her shoes and put on white ballet shoes, when she goes into the exercise yard she has to change her shoes again. After their afternoon nap the kids have to change clothes again. A real pain.


When Tiantian was in Chrysanthemum Class she used to be so slow changing clothes, and I couldn’t help but give her a hand. But I soon noticed that all of the Japanese mothers were standing to one side, not helping at all. I slowly saw that this business of changing clothes educated the children in living independently.  Through things like their experiences at school, changing, sticking their daily sticker, and hanging their handkerchiefs, these kids start from when they are two or three years old to learn the habit of keeping things orderly.

4. Wearing Shorts In Winter

Children in Japanese schools wear shorts in winter, no matter how cold it is. My daughter’s grandparents in Beijing were very worried, and said that I had to talk to the teacher about it, because Chinese children can’t stand the cold.

Japanese mothers with children at school.

Wouldn’t you know it, when we had just started kindergarten, practically every day she got sick. But when I talked to the Japanese mothers about it, their answer amazed me. “Of course! The reason we send our kids to kindergarten is to get sick.”

Seeing the healthy energy of the children charging about like little rockets, greeting me, it occurred to me that we shouldn’t spoil our kids too much.

5. 0-Year-Old Infants Competing in Athletic Events

All classes are named after flowers. Tiantian was a chrysanthemum, then a lily, now she’s one of the “older sisters”, a violet. But the little babies who haven’t reached their first birthdays are all in the “Peach Blossom” class. In Japanese they’re called もも, which sounds like 毛毛 in Chinese [and ‘mo-mo’ in English]. Japanese kana all come from Chinese characters.

These mo-mo, who haven’t even reached their first birthday, have not only already started going to kindergarten, but take part in all of their major activities, like sports competitions and performances. Seeing these little mo-mo crying while crawling forward, I usually feel bad for them.

get me outta here

6. Girls Playing Soccer

When children reach their middle year of kindergarten in Japan, they start taking weekly “Jumping” lessons, similar to our Physical Exercise lessons back home; when they get to their senior year, there is a soccer competition. When they’re not practicing their drumming all day, they’re practicing soccer. And they really play too, they even have competitions with other kindergartens. Tiantian has bruises from playing but her strength and bravery have been brought out.

soccer for girls

To tell the truth, when we first came to Japan, Tiantian’s performance was really shameful. Japanese kids usually start shooting up at about three or four years old, before that they are a lot shorter than Chinese kids. In Tiantian’s class she was a giant, but was in actual fact quite weak. The Japanese kids would run about outside, but Tiantian? She’d get a grain of sand in her shoe and would have to tiptoe to walk. Once there was an excursion where they went up a mountain, and she could only come down with two short Japanese kids supporting her. These uncomplaining three-year-olds, who didn’t have the experience of allowing her to travel on foot up a mountain for an hour. She’s better now, last year at Shangrila, in that low oxygen environment she walked for four hours without any problems.

7. Mixed Education

READ  Internet Addiction: Netizen Seeks Help Finding Brother

When we were in China I saw Tiantian’s kindergarten a few times. Each class would have its classes separately, but in Japan this isn’t the case.

Before 9:30, and after 3:30, the entire school plays together. And in the yard big kids hold little kids, little kids chase big kids, they carry on like crazy. They get to really experience having “siblings”. Their feeling of growth is obvious.

For example in Tiantian’s and the other senior year’s last assembly a few days ago, after performing their taiko piece, they said something that made all the parents cry.

“In today’s assembly we’re very happy, because the children from lower years performed so successfully. This is our last assembly, and when we start junior school we’ll be sure to remember our friends and our kindergarten.”

8. Education: All “Smiles” and “Thank you”.

In this kindergarten, it seems like they don’t care at all about the children’s intellectual education. They don’t have textbooks, just a new sketchbook every month. In the school’s education plan, there aren’t any subjects like mathematics, kana, art, or music. Don’t even ask about English or the International Math Olympiad. They don’t learn roller skating or swimming.

When you ask what they teach, you’d never guess what the answer is: “We teach the children to be all smiles!”

In Japan, no matter where you are, or to who you’re talking to, “being all smiles” is most important. An girl who is “all smiles” is most beautiful.

What else do they teach? — They teach children to “say thank you”.

In everything there are things that they stress here that they don’t in China. But after three years I can see that Tiantian has improved in things like music, art and reading, and these improvements are from a comprehensive education.

9. The Number Of Activities

Looking at my calendar I can see the days when I need to make lunch for Tiantian to take to school. These are the days when she has excursions. I can’t count how many times she climbs mountains, how many lakes she’s seen, or how many animals or plants she’s gone and looked at.

Apart from that, she’s also gathered acorns, made cakes, been to sports carnivals, performed for community events, had sleepovers, celebrated festivals, been at assemblies, attended temples, exhibitions… let’s just say that there have been a lot.

A cute bento box for Japanese children.

10. All The Holidays Chinese People Don’t Celebrate — — Japanese Kindergarten Celebrate

This really floored me too. Like I mentioned above, Japanese kindergartens celebrate their own traditional holidays, Girls’ Day, Boys’ Day, Hungry Ghost Festival…. Not only this, they also celebrate Renri (held on the 7th night of the lunar new year, how many of you know about this festival?), and Qixi.

Today she came back, and said “Today, teacher asked how we celebrated these holidays in China, I said I didn’t know”. What a disgrace! Mommy doesn’t know either.


11. Teachers’ Abilities

In one Japanese class there are ten to thirty students, but only one teacher. In the beginning I had my doubts, if she was able to keep her eye on all of them she’d be pretty good. Then I found out that I had underestimated these Japanese kindergarten teachers. With just this one teacher, thirty children’s artworks, the lead for their drumming pieces (so professional), thirty children’s art, music, reading, thirty children’s birthdays, their major assemblies and sports carnivals are all organised methodically and thoroughly.

Look at the teacher, and she’s always cool and relaxed. And she’s about 50-years-old! I salute her!

Japanese preschoolers on stage. Performance or graduation?

12. Buddhist Influences

Kyoto has probably more temples than any other city in Japan, it has a kind of monastic ambiance. Tiantian has to go to temple every week for instruction. In the most important festivals she has to bow to Buddha, and there are activities on every Buddha’s Birthday and Nirvana day.

Japanese preschoolers performance or graduation ceremony.

Tiantian is graduating soon, yesterday she went to Nishi Honganji temple to make a wish. Tiantian was the class representative and gave Buddha some flowers. I asked her what she wished, and she said “To always trust in Buddha, to always treat others with a thankful heart, and to always heed others’ words.”

Comments from Mop:

READ  Taiwan Coast Guard May Open Fire if Japan Arrests Fishermen


I support this! There’s going to be someone who says Japs are all perverts and stuff, but I say look at the reality, China, Japan is better than us!


At least we can say that spoiling children is indeed wrong.
I heard that in Public Schools in England they eat black bread, sleep on hard beds, and are very strict about manners.
I don’t know when China will face up to the problems in children’s education? Loving them and spoiling them isn’t the same thing.


We can’t deny how backward our education system is, cups!


Chinese education is for exams, it’s not any use for actual knowledge, after the exam you forget everything. This is the tragedy of our future for our nationality.


Let’s not talk about what was bad about Japan in the past, let’s just say with regards to the issue of raising children, we should learn from the Japanese, not spoiling the child or pampering the child.


Let’s adopt their good points, but avoid their BT points.


I want to go to Japan to study. There are indeed some areas in which China isn’t as good as other places.


Childhood happiness is so that when you grow up you have nice memories.
After all Japan has one of the lowest happiness indexes in the world.


Education is a country’s foundation, it’s great plan.

China’s Ministry of Education, is the enemy of education.


The Japanese pay close attention to the raising of children, it seems like we Chinese pamper them too much.


This is how the Japs became a strong country in the world, as well as the reason for how they were able to rise so quickly following defeat!


Sigh… This really makes me think. How should I educate my own kids?

Everyone wishes they could have a childhood like this.


Already lost at the starting line!
Very true.

All smiles. chinaSMACK personals.

Written by maxiewawa

Native English speaker who'd like to make a living from translating some day. Until then continuing to teach English.

  • diabloer

    yes i’m first! kids in japan are lucky.

  • dim mak

    “In the school’s education plan, there aren’t any subjects like mathematics, kana, art, or music. Don’t even ask about English or the International Math Olympiad. ”

    Nobody does that in kindergarten, i’m pretty sure China is no exception. I went to preschool in Hong Kong and it was pretty much the same as the experience she just described in Japan.

    • dace

      I’ve worked in a Chinese K12 school, and yes, they have the kids learning maths and Chinese characters fromn the age of 3, as well as patriotic marching songs and chanting slogans. When I asked why, I got the usual “dumb foreigner” look and was explained that unlike in my uncivilized country, Chinese people value education for their children.

    • jack butcher

      dim mak, hongkong is very similar to mainland!!!!!!!

    • HKer

      Dim Mak – I also went to kindergarten in HK (I went to two of them) and I was doing Chinese, math and English at the age of 3. Maybe we come from a different generation? (I was born in the late 70’s)….

    • anne

      actually some do. My 4 year old cousin goes to a kindergarten in China (A private one though) that even hired some foreign teachers to teach the kids English. (Not seriously of course, but she can already speak simple greeting phrases, and it sounds pretty good) They also have exams/tests in subjects like Math, Chinese… They’re already ranking the students in kindergarten there.

  • bill rich

    This is ridiculous. No student can pass any exam in China if he/she is educated the way the Japanese does. It is very important to preserve the Chinese identity, culture and heritage of educating Chinese children the Chinese ways. Chinese students are suppose to learn how to read and write. The Japanese students only learn to be a person, to have social skills, and live independently, but not to read and write.

    • “No student can pass any exam in China if he/she is educated the way the Japanese does”

      Yes, that’s why China is one of the world’s most advanced economies, and has produced some of the world’s greatest companies . . .

      “It is very important to preserve the Chinese identity, culture and heritage of educating Chinese children the Chinese ways”

      Yeah, a pity you guys didn’t manage to do this before traditional Chinese culture was destroyed by the communists. Oh well . . .

      “The Japanese students only learn to be a person, to have social skills, and live independently, but not to read and write.”

      Yes, because Japanese people are illiterate. Really.

      • TheKalmanator

        someone obv doesn’t understand sarcasm…

        • Seems my sarcasm-o-meter failed me . . .

          • whatever

            入乡随俗dude, your fucking sarcasm -o- meter doesn’t really work

      • “Yes, that’s why China is one of the world’s most advanced economies, and has produced some of the world’s greatest companies . . .”

        well actually the Chinese economy is doing better and better, and while China may not have any great companies (what about lenovo?), some of the best Chinese universities like Qinghua and Beida rank very high in global terms, higher than any Japanese one. Maybe this is also relevant to the educational system

        “Yes, because Japanese people are illiterate. Really.”

        Supposedly the guy was talking about the preschool in particular. I would imagine he knows the Japanese can read and write.

        • Tins of Sardines

          Haha… you are a retarded dipshit.

          University of Tokyo is ranked 38th, Kyoto 56th, Keio 136th, Nagoya 161st…

          Oh, look dickhead, Qinghua is ranked only 170th in the world!

          Even the University of Ljubljana kicks Qinghuas ass… sorry what as that you asked? Where is Ljubljana?? Maybe you need a better education.

          Only the Chinese would be proud aspiring to be 170th. Thats right, let the little boys play by themselves at the kiddie table.

          • bobiscool

            Those rankings aren’t objective. Much of it is based on endowments, and obviously western universities would have a lot more of that.

            In actual student body quality,

            Qing Hua, Beida, Tokyo U and IIT are all far above that of second rate universities such as cornell, brown and dartmouth and AT LEAST on par with harvard, MIT, oxford etc.

            In terms of selectivity, I say BeiDa and IIT ranks the highest of all of them.

          • B. Prichard

            Most of the ratings are most concerned with research, more so than endowment. And second rate universities such as Cornell run circles around Bei Da and Qinghua in research.

            Chinese universities are catching up. The government has been investing a great deal in research facilities and staff. Still a long way to go, but it’s inevitable.

          • jack butcher

            yes, you should be proud of knowing ljubljana

      • mistyken

        He’s probably referring to the China in antiquity…

    • GodsHammer

      This is all ridiculous. Which Chinese traditions should we be encouraged to keep? The 5000 year old ones? Or teh 60 year old China versions.
      “Chinese students are suppose to learn how to read and write. The Japanese students only learn to be a person, to have social skills, and live independently, but not to read and write.”
      The 1st thing you need to be is a person. Your comment reflects your standing amongst your peers.

  • Yin

    “Why? Is it because we Chinese love our children a little more?”

    More like spoil them a little more, amirite?

    Seriously, though, I think much of the “weirdness” described in this post actually has to do with the routines that the Japanese (or Japanese pop psychologists) developed in order to improve the general upbringing of their children. Back in the 80s, it was said that the only good manual on raising children was from Japan, and it was basically a guidebook that specified *exactly* what you should do, from Day 1 after birth, to Day 2, Day 3, Week 2, Month 3, etc…

    The Japanese take this sort of ritualized custom quite seriously, and apparently it works for them. I mean, world opinion of Japanese people tend to be higher than, say, Chinese, not the least because of their etiquette.

    … OTOH, Japan has one of the highest instances of anti-social young men in the world. So maybe there is a cost to all this “routine.”

    • my opinion of the Japanese is not higher than of the Chinese. Yes, they may seem outwardly more polite, but in fact they are less open and friendly than the Chinese. Their etiquette and formality are carried a bit too far.
      And if it’s necessary to make children go to school in shorts in the freezing cold and make them carry their own bags to develope this etiquette, then no thank you.

    • Daphie

      To YIN: Does the world also have an higher opinion of UK than US, or west Europe than south Europe?

      It is normal to make comparisons, everyone has his/her own preference. But after you have learned how negatively your own country being compared with other countries (people will always have something to ccriticise about your country no matter which country you from, even Nordic countries), then you start learning to ignore those opionions.

    • “I mean, world opinion of Japanese people tend to be higher than, say, Chinese, not the least because of their etiquette.”

      Well, I wouldn’t quite say so. To be honest, to most westerners, all people with squinted eyes look pretty much the same. The japs (men) have a notoriety of getting real pissed (from a beer or two) and grabbing at everything that looks female-ish. The chinks don’t really have that kind of stereotype other than working hard eating rice.

      This was by no means my personal view but the, you know, general stereotype or “world opinion”. China is becoming more and more interesting, and while Japanese was hot in the 80’s (and has been taught in Scandinavian universities since), Chinese teaching has just started, and it’s even taught in some progressive high schools.

      What strikes me every now and then is how normal Chinese people still grudge over the second world war (and that japs never “apologized”… well guess what, they’re a country in the world with most pacifistic constitution; doesn’t a total surrender count as an apology?), and equally much I’m stricken by the harsh trolling tone of many Japanese-inclined internet commentaries (see Tin of Sardines above). If only they’re written by the Japanese and not Chinese government agents in propaganda purpose…

      To be proud and self-confident of one’s country is one thing and nationalistic fervor and especially anti-nationalistic hate is another. Please act nice ^__^ (and while WW2 shouldn’t be forgotten, it should already be forgiven…)

  • Yin

    “Today she came back, and said “Today, teacher asked how we celebrated these holidays in China, I said I didn’t know”. What a disgrace! Mommy doesn’t know either.”

    Oh, another gem.

    She should’ve answered, “in Communist China, we don’t celebrate these backwards holidays, because they are symbols of feudal oppression and unscientific thought. Instead, we celebrate the birthday of our Great People’s Republic, the day upon which we liberated our country from the Western imperialist dogs (oh, and the evil Japanese, but since I’m here in Japan I’ll say that under my breath.)”

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • PING

      Come on this is a story about cultural differences, not political ones. And most people believe China is more mercantilist than Communist. Do you really think Chinese people will reject a golden goose base on their race or nationality, no matter you are imperialist dogs or evil Japanese. When Chinese people are rich enough most things will Change. Just like Clint Westwood said:”Once a man has some money,[…]begins sound good to him.”

      • Nitpicking, my favourite sport ^___^

        mercantilism – an economic theory that holds that the prosperity of a nation is dependent upon its supply of capital, and that the global volume of international trade is “unchangeable”

        China is probably one of world’s most unmercantilistic countries right now…

        You probably meant economically liberal, neoliberal, commercialized or something in that vein.

    • Kai

      LoL, I’m really missing the voting buttons right now.

      • moss

        You laugh at the oddest shit.

        • Laughing at odd shit… my other favourite sport after nitpicking. And this one *was* good shit, admit it!

    • mistyken

      ooh come on, each time period has its own culture and holidays, only the very very significant ones get pass along(like lunar new year).

      i doubt any Caucasian still celebrates the roman holidays of old right?

      • Enki

        On the contrary, our holidays are very much based on Roman/Pagan ones. New Year – Roman New Year, Christmas – winter solstice, Easter is actually named after the goddess whose festival it was although this is a Saxon goddess, there are equivalents in other countries. Valentine’s Day was a Roman holiday too, anyway, this level of cultural destruction is fairly rare in history, especially from within.

        • Totally! We had our old pagan fests in winter and summer solistice, and other important proto-religious dates, that were later replaced by Christian ones. They are still celebrated in the same way, only the name is something Christian. You know, to keep those pesky inquisitors off our backs…

  • travismurphy

    i was here, chinasmack for life!

    • Dreeg

      Travis im here too- Cant think of anything intelligent or witty either

  • kimboslice

    Little children need to socialize and play with other kids. Teaching academics to very young children is a waste of time and actually stresses them and retards their ability to solve problems and think independently. But, the kids having to wear shorts all the time seems absurd.

    • Nate

      You say that now, but you wait until you see how the ladies brave through winter in short skirts! It’s definitely worth it.

  • shengguo

    I wish i went to preschool in Japanese…sooo cool, especially the lunch box, kawaii~~~But i am sure about the “wear shorts in winter” thing ~~~

    • blaeh

      Hello there, Mr. Weeaboo.

  • Nokua

    Well, people have to start to think out of the box like for example 1 + 1 = 2 may not always be like this, by thinking out of the box you can have some creative result that can change the world. 1 + 1 = Can result into a WINDOW.

    • Tins of Sardines

      Yeah in fantasy land with the little elves and leprechauns.

      Go into a bar go up to the biggest bloke you can find and tell him that his mother snorts crack and is a festy vag-pack. When he starts to respond, silence him by softly placing your forefinger tenderly over his lips, lean in close enough to allow him detect a hint of the sunflower seeds and cigarettes on your breath and, like the wind on a soft springs morn, gently impart that inspiring line you wrote above into his ear just loudly enough to arouse the interest of his buddies sitting nearby.

      Interested to know how it goes.

      • Nokua

        Wow brother, ain’t you a little gay guy? I would simply tell that guy with no problem. Contrary to what you would do (post above) it will result in a man rape in your ass. You should really be thinking into going to therapies section.

        • yeps

          I think the point was that you can make a quick get away with your window.

  • Wago

    I love a lot of things about Japan, but their educational system is not one of them. The schooling system trains the kids to be independent from parents and close to friends, and accomplishes just that. Japanese teens thus often have poor relationship with parents and put forth minimal effort in actual school work, even up to university. And these are remarks coming directly from my Japanese friends.

    At the same time, that bento box does look very cool…

    • blaeh

      The schooling system trains the kids to be independent from parents

      The supporters of the cultural revolution would sure have been happy about this.

    • LOLZ

      Well, the Japanese University entrance exam is just as brutal as the Chinese guokao. Something like half of the university freshmen actually took a year off after high school just to prepare for it. Maybe that’s why you get so many pissed off high school students.

    • Nate

      Japanese people independent from their parents? Maybe compared to eastern cultures, but not compared to western cultures.

  • bobiscool

    I hope that people can see from the comments, that chinese people infact can admit their own mistakes, and aren’t all racist asshats.

    • Tins of Sardines

      Not about this topic anyway…

  • It’s all fun and games until their disgusting Jap teacher molests them, I’d sooner send my kids to a Catholic school.

    • LOLZ

      School is a lot safer than the train in Japan. Chikan is Japanese man’s biggest fantasy. They have a special train just for women to prevent the horny japanese men who can’t help themselves lol.

    • bs called

      This is a very interesting post – now I know why Japanese People are so polite & neat.

    • Brother River Crab

      Yeah, there are no Catholic molesters.

      • You are so fucking stupid I don’t know where to begin

        • Flamesy

          If you want to refute someone’s argument, try to avoid foul language. Explain why you disagree. Otherwise you just lower the tone of the whole discussion. Try again without swearing.

        • cdn icehole

          Of course molestation isn’t restricted to the Catholics. This incident is just the latest.


    • Foreign

      Molestation happens everywhere…

    • Reader

      Catholic school or Jap teacher – doesn’t matter. There are these tentacle creatures in Japan that molest everything. I saw an animated film, it was based on a true story.

  • LOLZ

    I will be sending my kids to Japan to study for sure. It’s a lot easier to get into ivy schools in the US for foreign students because all they look at is the test score and you can easily make up things about starting charities helping poor people in 3rd world countries because it’s harder to verify.

    The funny thing is that if you read Manga you would think Japan’s education system is full of delinquents who are out to destroy other delinquents from rival schools. It’s actually true in some schools.

    • bobiscool

      LOLZ. pun intended.

      Anyway, do you really think that will get them in good schools? Do you know how many applications they get on building schools in 3rd world countries?

      Please, if you’re foreign and without international recognition, something like SHUAO (International Mathematics Olympiad) your chances of getting in are minute at best. MIT for example, has a 4% quota for internationals.

      Can’t remember the exact data, but 1/26 internationals got in, 745/2200ish women got in, 755/7700ish men got in. Go to mitadmissions.org for more stats.

      (compare that to IIT, with 1/1000 getting in)

  • warped0ne

    This is one thing that hit me the hard about China when I first got here, the way the children were pampered. Parents/grandparents not only walked them to school, but carried everything they needed; kids screamed and thru fits in the middle of a store, they got what they wanted; a mother will put her 8 year old son in a seat on a bus holding nothing while she stands and holds 4 bags of groceries. It was hard for me because me and most everyone I grew up with did all of this ourselves, were taught to stand when an elder could sit, and carry our own weight.

    Is this why all of the unmarried (and some of the married) 25 – 30 years old Chinese people I know still live with their parents and expect them to pack their lunches for work?

    • Hei_Bai

      Are you implying parents in most countries don’t pamper their children? Hah.

      • DelayNomore

        of course they dont. overseas most kid need to do everything urself. look at the average chinese adult … they are close to 30y old and yet dont feel ashame to take money from their parents …

      • Yin

        They do, but not as much as Chinese parents. I don’t really understand it either, but I guess it might have something to do with the one-child policy, especially in cities. I guess things are probably better in the countryside, where children do have to carry their own weight.

        But yeah, Chinese parents apparently think that doing everything for their kids is good and proper. No wonder the kids grow up to be Little Emperors.

        • Daphie

          CHinese parents really spoil their kids. I think it is a cultural/Chinese thing, but it is also something more of my generation. When the our parents were young life was extremely hard (let alone their parents were not there taking care of them because of the cultural revolution), so when they have kids (esp my parents), they try to compensate all they did not have on me. But they never talk much about [the old days] so we can grow up carefree and think the world is perfect.

          My grandparents dont like talk about those days, guess its difficult to think of it.

      • Patrick

        I think the implication is more that China pampers more (some would say to the point of spoiling). Personally I think there are some benefits to how the Chinese raise children. I don’t really think most are spoiled, often because of the extra attention they receive I believe the children actually have a stronger drive to succeed. Chiefly, that they don’t let down their parents.

    • as a matter of fact, I find young people in China also tend to stand up and let older people sit down in public transport, much more than in the West. Not always of course.
      Anyway, I grew up in Italy, where people have a similar attitude to the Chinese when it comes to kids. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I think children need some love and affection, and it won’t make them unable to cope with pressure later on. After all, a lot of Chinese people manage to work very hard as adults. Saying their parents pack their lunch is only half the story.

      • Tins of Sardines

        Very true. The Chinese have extremely strong work ethic and are very skilled at multi tasking.

        I have even seen some working and sleeping at the same time. Really amazing.

        They also take a lot of responsibility even if it extends above and beyond the expectations of their jobs. Such as caring about their customers needs and aiming for repeat business especially with people from Laowailand.

        If I have children I will surely enroll them into the Chinese public schooling system.

        • SD

          It’s like you hate it whenever anyone says anything that is not about how Chinese people are complete garbage. Most people naturally becomes offended and defend themselves when criticized. You seem to be offended and must add in criticism whenever Chinese people are not criticized.

          • thanks. Finally some common sense. I just don’t understand these people who just cannot stand it when China is not criticized in every possible way.

          • Daphie

            To I live in China:
            If you read this website, you will probably think this world must be eaten by the dark side of the force, haha
            I now learned to just ignore them

      • blaeh

        I find young people in China also tend to stand up and let older people sit down in public transport, much more than in the West.

        Where in the West?

        • James

          England, I have rarely seen people stand up to give up their seat; I can count it on one hand. When i was in Foshan i saw someone give up their seat every time i took the bus although I can’t say I have seen it happen too often in Beijing but then i don’t take the bus to get around.

          • Flamesy

            I always give my seat to old people. you have to be careful in England though with the 60’s generation. they don’t like to be labelled old. I think your observations are not particularly representive. Are Chinese mainlanders generally polite?

        • cdn icehole

          Canada. I notice this behaviour more prevalent in the 90’s generation.

      • bobiscool

        I agree. China just has a stronger sense of family. In western cultures, people focus on the individual, on mememe. In China, it’s more about the family unit, and how the whole family can benefit.

        Of course it’s changing now, becoming some hybrid of the two that is just as bad as the west if not worse. Sad, really.

  • Regina

    Japanese people don’t care about their children.

    There, I said it.

    • Xav

      yeah….like my wife, she doesn’t care about our son…
      like our friends too…
      Actually no one of the Japanese give a shit about their offspring!

      ( sarcasm bitch)

  • Some of the things reminded me of primary school in England growing up. We had to wear shorts too until we were old enough to be allowed to wear long trousers. Maybe that’s changed nowadays.

  • MoD

    It helps build the child’s confidence.
    We have all seen “china boot camp” for spoiled
    children. Well it starts early here!

    Think about like this , you can leave, but the JNs
    can’t , so be happy.

  • too yellow

    Yeah, schools in Japan are quite amazing. I only got a glimpse from it on the PSB show Time for School, and I’m impressed. Much better than either China’s or America’s I have experienced.

    Time for School school part 1
    Time for School school part 2

  • Zebadee

    It goes without saying that Japan has an education far more advanced than China. As a result, Japanese people live in what may seem to a casual observer to be a too ‘regulated’ society. However, it teaches politeness and respect; something that has become lost in the ‘new’ China.

    • bobiscool

      Japan’s Education is more similar to china than you think. Japan, Korea, and China all focus much more on the actual learning than America and Canada. My cousins who are 2-3 years younger know much more math than I.

      And I’m ranked top 20 in my province, and top 100-200 in Canada for mathematics competitions in highschool.

    • No doubt, China has much to learn from other cultures, but the same goes for everyone. China should be proud of so much you have to offer and how much you have influenced the rest of the world. I have no experience with the Chinese education system, but being in NYC I have met so many brilliant Chinese doctors ( nuclear physics, medicine, microbiology) working, teaching and studying at the top US institutions, Harvard, MIT, Boston Univ., etc. The few I am friends with speak highly of the Chinese education they have had and are very proud of their country. They are always bragging about it’s beauty. Everyplace in the world has it’s ugliness, but that can be fixed if desired.

  • Dirty Jap

    The original article was probably written by a Jap pretending to be Chinese. It’s a good system though. It conditions Jap men to be pussies. It makes Jap women into submissive whores. Either way, we foreigners win ^^

  • Dirty Jap

    Unemployment, inflation, negative economic growth. All aspects of the ‘new’ Japan.

  • Dirty Jap

    Did I mention high suicide rates, porn, weird fetishes and inferiority complex to all white people ^^

    • Tins of Sardines

      I thought we were talking about Japan.

    • anne

      Hmmm I have wondered though why the suicide rates in Japan are so high…

  • adamfromhungary

    lol. a chinese bashing japan is always a funny sight

    • bobiscool

      I can only hope that he is a japanese pretending to be a japanese-bashing chinese.

  • Dirty Jap

    And also strange customs, loveless marriages, infidelity, and men wanting to look like women. I could say more, but whats the point. Japs are still better tha koreans.

    • blaeh

      Some Japanese men can have beards.

      • B. Prichard

        They all turn into loveless marriages in the end.

  • adamfromhungary

    “It goes without saying that Japan has an education far more advanced than China. As a result, Japanese people live in what may seem to a casual observer to be a too ‘regulated’ society. However, it teaches politeness and respect; something that has become lost in the ‘new’ China.”

    did it ever exist? i mean it would be easy to blame it on the communists, but i’ve been to HK and those guys are just the same… i even saw one fuckr ‘cleaning his throat’ (spitting) INSIDE a subway carriage. an no one cared to notice.

    it’s in their genes, me thinks

    • Rick in China

      Probably a mainlander [in the subway] waiting for his hibernating wife to pop out their baby, me thinks

  • Dirty Jap

    Hahaha, why would Chinese bash Japanese? They produce anime, hentai, av, sushi, sony, toyota, mitsubishi and every funky candy, drink, toy, computer game that you can imagine. On the same token, the social conditioning of Japanese people is simply advantageous to all foreigners visiting Japan. Guys lack confidence and are generally socially incapable of exhibiting any form of charisma. This makes picking up Japanese girls as easy as #hit. I like the Japanese education system.

    • Chen

      Heard of Rape of Nanking?

      • yeps

        The Chinese really should have fought harder. Wimps.

      • Hongwu

        Crappy government and total caos leds to that. If we got a better situation, or a more stable country at the time, the Nanking stuff would have happened the other way.

  • Dirty Jap

    Hungary on the other hand is unknown to the majority of the world. The only thing that comes to mind when I think of it is this p$rn flick I saw a few years ago. So Adam, I’m not sure why you even care to care about other country’s gene pool. Needless to say, you’re probably too stupid to realise that all homosapiens have the same genetic code and thus the 90% of the behaviour of a general population will be attributed to environment. Anyway, I find it kind of ironic that a hungarian would even bother to care about the state of affairs of another nation. Have you guys ever achieved anything noticeable to the rest of the world? Does the existence of your country or its citizens ever affected the world? Would anyone even care if all the hungarians ceased to exist on this earth? I know that the streets of New York would certainly be cleaner with less of you fobs coming in. Hahahahahhahahahahahahahaha!

    • Reader

      Replace Hungary will America and I agree 100%.

    • blaeh

      Japanese children will incrementally improve!


  • malagebi

    Chinese, Japanese, Korean…they’re all pink on the inside.

  • stinkload

    You are a guest in their country just shit up and do what you are told. You know need to understand how or why just accept that this is the way it is done there, so shit up princess and do it.
    When foreign people come to China we arr confused by all the spitting, lying, cheating and stealing but we accept that that s how you Chinese people what your country to be, so we try to fit in, all the Japanese ask is that you do the same…s that so hard?

    • some of you people amaze me. How can you say that the Chinese lie, cheat and steal as a general rule? As a matter of fact, China is much safer than other countries, and there is surprisingly little theft considering how much poverty there is. And don’t tell me that in most other countries stealing isn’t an issue.

      Even spitting is becoming less common among young well educated urbanites.

      Some of the foreigners in China really have a chip on their shoulder and give a bad name to the rest with their negative attitude.

      • Tins of Sardines

        “How can you say that the Chinese lie, cheat and steal as a general rule?”

        Because it is true.

        ‘I live in China’, you really sound like you have only been here for 5 days or got paid 5 mao for your comments.

        Try buying something nice for yourself (Bike, Mobile Phone, scooter, Girlfriend) and see what happens. Then come back and start commenting.

        • I have not been here for 5 days, and I have not paid a thing. As for your comment on buying yourself a girlfriend, I think this has to do with the sort of Chinese girls who tend to cout foreign men in most cases.

          • bobiscool

            Hey live in China, do they still have the thing where you get fined for spitting in public? I remember when SARS was going on they fined you for spitting in public :O

    • SD

      “You are a guest in their country just shut up and do what you are told. You don’t need to understand how or why just accept that this is the way it is done there, so shut up princess and do it….but we accept that that s how you Chinese people what your country to be…”

      Ha! Are you trying to be ironic here? I could have sworn that you were yelling at all the cynical foreigners on this site (more like directly referring to Tin of Sardines), before I read the second paragraph.

  • Very interesting post. I had no idea that kindergartens were like this in Japan since I only know that the schooling system is very hard and geared to the final exam!

  • kerryglyn

    Liars? Cheats? Thieves?

    YEP !

    My feelings about the Chinese having lived amongst them for 4 years.

    Japanese people are MUCH more polite and CIVILISED.

    Even the Chinese ‘leaders’ say they must create a more ‘civilised society’.

    End of.

    • Japanese people are also much less open and friendly, as far as I can see. And when it comes to civilization, the Japanese civilization is based entirely on China’s one, and Japan was far more backward than the mainland until a few centuries ago.

      • Reader

        Japan is fucked.

        Raw fish, rape hentai, bestiality with sea creatures? Yes, all enjoyable, but that points to a nation needing some serious therapy and/or medication.

        • Xero

          They found a treatment for radiation sickness?

          • Alice S

            To answer you, no, they did not.

        • Regina

          I agree. Sigh, if only more people saw this.

        • Hongwu

          About that hentai stuff, you are somewhat correct. :X
          How different they have come from the days of Xu Fu, back in the good days of the Qin dynasty to present day heh?

        • Alice S

          This is not J-hate… Ok… Western countries are totally better than J!! :)

      • Flamesy

        utter bollocks. Maybe you had a bad time there because you are badly dressed, can’t speak the language, are without charm and lack personal hygeine. Japanese people will look down on you for these things.

      • Wait, what?

        Wait, so you’re admitting that the current government screwed China up horribly, given that Japan was able to race past them in terms of development and wealth in such a short time?

        Someone from the 10 cent party will be with you shortly…

  • Not Nate

    “Japanese kids usually start shooting up at about three or four years old”

    Heroin! That would explain a lot.

  • TypicalShiz

    “Why? Is it because we Chinese love our children a little more?”

    Um, no (you cunt) – it’s because not everyone has your ‘Chinese values.’

    Typical racist bullshit.

    • bobiscool

      Way to take things out of context.

      • TypicalShiz

        Oh, do provide the (racist) context, please. No, really: I’ll wait.

        • Tibo

          The author clearly meant it as a (critical) reflection of our Chinese values and our perceptions of showing ‘love’ to our kids. There was clearly no racist context intended.

          Read before you jump to conclusions (you douchebag)

  • faeyth

    I have 3 kids so no unless my child is tired I don’t carry their bags.don’t parents in other countries have any say about their kids.If a school teacher tried to tell me what to buy or pack for my kids or how to raise them at home,I would tell me to F-off.Some kids are spoiled others are independent.That’s because we have choices.Kids don’t wear uniforms unless they are in private school.Some kids are home school learning to read and write from the Bible some are hippies living on national parks.Some parents prepare lunches,others buy hot lunches,others throw a lunchable in a paper sack.Some kids have cute little back packs some have lazy parents and carry a grocery bag for their stuff.Parents are the ones who make the decisions about their kids education based on their personnel values.That’s why U.S. is a mixed bag when it comes to education levels.And as the parent at the end of the day it is your child not the schools or the teachers and it is your right to pass on your values not theirs.What you think is most important is what you should teach your kids whether it self reliance,family,business competition,religion,etc…

  • Kai

    Some people here are giving Japanese people a free pass on the very things that drive them up the wall about the Chinese, particularly the common “defenses” offered for things that happen in their country that foreigners (Westerners usually) find unacceptable. It’s easy to see who follows Japanese news and culture versus those who don’t but automatically assume better of the Japanese than the Chinese.

    I’m proud of the Chinese commenters behind the many of the translated comments in this post. The first step to improving is knowing where you need to improve, and identifying those who might have lessons you could learn is a good next step.

    • :The first step to improving is knowing where you need to improve, and identifying those who might have lessons you could learn is a good next step.:

      and knowing is half the battle. G.I. JOE!

    • SD

      What’s there to be proud of? Chinese people have been negative about the modern society and their government since forever. It’s only because most of the English-sphere is mostly only engaging any Chinese people in national interest issues that Chinese ever gained the reputation of not being able to admit the mistakes of their own country. Seriously can you expect anyone in the world would say “fuck my country, go foreign values!”

    • moss

      The Chinese educational system produces “fen qing” and weenies.

      This is because you see Chinese mothers carrying the book bags for their precious, “weenie” sons.

      The book, “Wolf Totem,” was correct when it described China as a nation of sheep.

      • Yin

        You do realize that “Wolf Totem” is precisely the kind of book that would’ve inspired Mao? The Chinese Communists saw themselves as “wolves” in a world of “sheep.” They believed, as the Mongols did, that political power comes from the barrels of a gun (or, in the Mongol case, the strings of a bow). If everyone in China thought as the author of “Wolf Totem” did, China would really be the new Nazi Germany. Because if you actually read the book, you’d know that fascism was one of its major themes.

  • kimboslice

    The comments here are always more interesting than the articles, keep it coming. Re: Japan v. China and honesty, etc. On a personal level, Japanese seem reliable and honest to me. They believe that they can dishonor their ancestors if they lie, cheat, etc. There once existed “honor suicide”, today the guy resigns his job. But, Japanese seem to have national amnesia about their behavior in Asia in the past. China has fine points too, but let’s be real, Chinese behavior on many levels is not admirable.

  • FYIADragoon

    Wow, I’m amused that the netizens appear to be aware that the Japs have they pretty much beat hands down in this area, and are willing to accept and learn from that…

    • SD

      I am pretty amused that people are still amused/surprised at something that they have seen THOUSANDS OF TIMES before, but still haven’t realize because their own stereotypes dominates all their senses. Have you not been around ChinaSmack long enough? Does you brain just automatically filter out all the negative things that Chinese people admit about their own country, and only pick up on the nationalistic comments?

      • Daphie

        Cant agree with SD more.
        Ppl like this FYIA are “surprised” by things they have seen a lot but still trying/pretending to be surprised. What a waste of time for me to reply!

        If idoits can fly, this website is a ****** airport, hahahah.

  • Pingback: Why we only have rude kids who know how to pass exams : miyagi.sg | My Very Own Glob {Curiosa Felicitas}()

  • I love China

    There is a song: I love China. I love China. It’s my home, it’s my home. I’ll never leave her, i’ll never leave her. It’s my home. It’s my home.
    Stealing? Cheating? Everywhere has it. Chinese parents pamper their child too much. Why? One child policy! When they grow up, you can imagine how much pressure they need to carry on their shoulder.

  • uhhyeah

    Yeah.. I don’t know why people still believe this, but being physically cold does not make you sick…

  • Pingback: Pre-school education comparison China / Japan « Blog AFFC Shanghai / 中法家庭协会博客()

  • Daphie

    People here will jump on any oppotunity to make a scene out of some [China-Japan hatred]. Even by a boring story about kindergarden. Because seeing others hate each other make them feel good.

    We dont really have any problem with Japan, after all they are quite great, esp in technology and cartoons. But I understand many people still have very mixed feelings, after all, the war where many Chinese people are brutally killed happened only less than a century ago.

    Same as Indonesia. It is very sad and stupid that many Chinese do not even know there was a genocide against Chinese in 60s, and a anti-Chinese massacre in 1998. It does not feel good to see so many countrymen being de-captivated there for nothing except that they are Chinese.

  • ken

    Look at this comment:

    “I heard that in Public Schools in England they eat black bread, sleep on hard beds, and are very strict about manners.”

    Eating black bread what a hardship. Then it is much better to eat a baozi with dirty meat and greasy vegetables made by farmer Liu who never washes he hands after pissing

  • superoo… sup?

    I worked in an international kindergarten here in China before. Mostly the students were made up of Japanese, Taiwanese and some local Chinese. And this article is right, the Japanese kids carried their own bags, whereas the Chinese kids never carried anything except a toy or some before school candy. The Japenese kids were wearing shorts while the Chinese kids were still wearing thermal underwear well past winter (thier faces were always beet red and sweaty).

    All in all, the Chinese kids were much easier to cry over nothing, while the Japanese kids would fall off the jungle gym, make a loud thud then get up and run around some more.

    You can really tell the difference between a spoilt child and an unspoilt child.

  • 白蛇
  • D

    Wow! I like the way Japan kindergarten runs!

    To be independent from parents, lots of physical activities, lots of exploring, lots of fun and excitement. and it seems they’re are learning to adapt to weather and fight illness through all the physical exercises and wear shorts in winter, to build strong and healthy bodies for the coming years! Smart!

    Though I’m surprise too at how Japanese adults let their childrens carry all the bags and do things themselves, but I understand the fact that it helps them develop independent skills. it’s TOUGH LOVE!

  • pinkbunny

    omg, the sandwich box is so cute!
    Kids need to be kids when they are in kindergarden. Screw all the other math, etc.

    I like how they are actively learning and not just memorizing math and other stuff. I also like the social events they need to learn how to interact with others when they grow up.

    But come first grade, I’m shipping my kids to China lol. All the international Chinese students are soooo smart in math and physics!!!! I envy them.

  • Blackberry

    It shows the Japs are far ahead in terms of systematic planning for their children for their journey in life.

  • Lippy Boy

    Cultural differences are so interesting! If a Japanese person had written about attending a Chinese kindergarten, they would have been appalled by the filth and how rude the children were. So give your kid her 15 bags and be done with it.

  • God Vs Devil: 1-0

    look.. you are here on earth. YOU. you are a wonderous creature. you are made in the IMAGE of the Creator: just as the Creator engineered/painted/created the physical world, YOU are able to engineer/paint/create your own world. forget “country” or “culture” or whatever. culture is how WE define ourselves right here right now. don’t be brainwashed by your surrounding. if you raise your kids according to current social standards in china, if you are so heavily influenced by the evil around you, you are only preparing your son to be part of that evil, to grow that evil, to make the surrounding more evil. instead, recognize that there is another way. the world is your enemy because it tempts you to become a traitor to your true self, a good self, a real self who loves unconditionally instead of being deviated by society, money, lust, anger, frustration, and all things that HAUNT the chinese people. so, i say to you, in this new age 2010, forget politics and injustice. forget the rich and their luxuries. resist your gravitation to the world of evil that only wastes your time and steals your life. do what you LOVE. plant the seed of true love in your son and make him hold steadfast to the principle of love uncompromisingly in all circumstances.. why? because Love is the only purpose of our creation. and when you live for love, when you do something for love, you will be a stronger better person who will surely succeed.