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Plunket Book A Hit With Mums In Japan

Caption story

19 April 2004

Plunket Book A Hit With Mums In Japan

A booklet given to all new parents in New Zealand has been translated into Japanese and is now a hot-seller among mums at the Tokyo-Bethal family centre.

Comparing the New Zealand and Japanese editions of Plunket's Thriving Under Five are from left: Yoshie Moriki-Durand, translator; Misako Moriki, her mother and owner of the Tokyo Bethal family centre; and Jacquie Harrison, a Plunket Volunteer Services Leader.

Thriving Under Five is a self-help book for parents which provides advice about children from newborns through to age five. The information is written in a user-friendly manner and provides and a variety of options parents can use to help with child-rearing issues.

Misako Moriki said the book's appeal is the way it is written and the growing interest Japanese mums have in broadening their approach to child-rearing.

A grandmother, trained social worker and kindergarten teacher, Misako began her family centre in response to a huge need for mothers to discuss parenting issues and take time out with their children and other women in the same situation. The centre has close similarities with Plunket's family centres and coffee groups.

"As nuclear families increase and community connections weaken, parents in Japan are finding it difficult to raise children in what is increasingly an isolated environment. They need support in the way that Plunket supports families in New Zealand.

"Low birth rates and one-child families are a key factor in government recognition of childrearing support programmes, but the attention to the need for family support is welcomed," said Misako Moriki.

Her Tokyo Bethal family centre is frequently visited by officials and she is a regular conference speaker on the need for parenting support.

Misako Moriki says a Japanese mum who had used Plunket services while living in New Zealand took Thriving Under Five back with her to Japan. She attended the Tokyo Bethal family centre and suggested the book be translated into Japanese. Misako's English-speaking daughter, Yoshie, contacted Plunket to gain permission, translated the book and printed the first thousand copies.


Information from: Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc

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