Thursday, July 4, 2013

(OT But Still Idio(syncra)tic Japan) "What Do You Think of the Figure Skater Who Gave Birth Without Being Married and Without Disclosing Who the Father Is?"

(UPDATE) Reaction was fast and furious, and Shukan Bunshun had to take down the poll, saying "we ended up giving an impression that we're negative on the childbirth itself, and that we are criticizing [her] for raising the child while working. For that, I am responsible as the chief editor. I apologize to everyone who felt offended by this poll." (出産そのものを否定したり、働きながら子育てをすることを批判しているような印象をあたえてしまいました。その点については、編集長の私の責任です。このアンケートに関して不快な思いを抱かれたすべての方にお詫び申し上げます。)

Well, the person most offended by him and his magazine must be the skater herself.


asks one of the leading weekly magazines in Japan Shukan Bunshun.

The answer should be "It's none of anyone's business", but Shukan Bunshun has set up a webpage to poll readers.

You would think people in Japan will cheer for a birth of a baby, considering the severe decline of the birth rate of the country. But no. Many of them would rather criticize the skater for her "irresponsibility".

25-year-old Miki Ando is one of the top figure skaters in Japan, having won the World Figure Skate Championship in 2007 and 2011.

From Shukan Bunshun (7/4/2013; emphasis is mine):


Urgent poll!
Do you support Miki Ando's having given birth to a baby?


Figure skater Miki Ando disclosed on "Hodo Station" TV on July 1 that she has given birth to a baby girl in April. She also said she is returning to competition, and hoping to participate in Sochi Winter Olympics next year.


Reactions to this sudden confession have been varied. Some congratulate her for the birth, but others are not happy that she is not married and she doesn't disclose who the father is. Yet others criticize that raising the child and being in competition at the same time will do no justice to either. Please let us hear your opinion by answering the questions below.



1) Do you support Miki Ando's having given birth?
2) Are you in favor of her aiming for the Olympics while she raises her child?

Please answer each question, and give us your reasons.

As a reward for expressing the opinion, readers will have a chance to win 10,000 yen gift cards. Shukan Bunshun plans to give out 10 of them.

Congratulations, Ms. Ando. You and your baby have my best wishes. And whoever the father is, he has my best wishes, too.


Scott said...

I'm glad there was a backlash. That was rude even for prying Japanese media standards. Honestly who gives a shit? (Directed to the media not the blog writer.)

Why waste time getting married when they will most likely break up shortly after. She's a talented athlete and can financially support her offspring so good on her. While it's a shame the kid may never know it's father it's not the end of the world. There are plenty of successful single parent children. ... Or is that stretching it in Japan? I know in the US it's the case in my experience.

Pre-marital sex is a fact of adult life. In this case the kid is lucky. It's stupid to try to shame a woman for that in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

Please avoid using a word such as "idiosyncratic: to describe Japan. The only thing idiosyncratic about Japan is that Japan thinks it is idiosyncratic.

Anonymous said...

Idosyncratic cum grano salis.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if those people that may have a problem with her being an unmarried mother extend similar concerns to those women who work in die Japanese sex industry.

Anonymous said...

I have seen the interview; she was saying that in her environment (in Japan) athlets are frown upon if they "waste time" dating when they could use that time to practice. She pointed out that American athlets can take FULL TWO WEEK HOLIDAYS (wow) and she thinks they live a more balanced life.

I tend to agree with her... is sacrificing yourself is more important than getting good results? or is getting good results without sacrificing everything just not good enough?

Anyways, warmest congratulations to Miki Ando. She looked very happy about her new child and one can only wish all the best to both of them.


Anonymous said...

>The only thing idiosyncratic about Japan is that Japan thinks it is idiosyncratic.

Yes? Isn't that good enough to use the word as in the title?

Darth 3.11 said...

As long as she can support the child raising (which I imagine she can, very easily), why not?

Hope the father will be around for said kid, but let's just wish them well and leave them in peace.

One can only be a competitive ice skater for so long, but if she wanted to be a parent, may as well get started now. Her choice and best of luck and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Media trying to distract with oversensationalising non-issues as usual.

"Radiation? NO! LOOK HERE! BABIES!"

If they didn't make such a big deal about this kind of thing, probably nobody would care.

Anonymous said...

Anon above, radiation is a non-issue in Japan right now. Everything else is an issue.

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show the banality of evil.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Miki Ando on her new baby. All other speculation, by English standards, is damned rude. Or if you must, speculate all you want in private.

Japan---where people as so polite they are's that Yin-Yang thing again.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese are too much into other people's private lives. Phew....

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