i usually don't have a lot to say about japanese society, mainly because i don't know what's going on. i can get some news in english, but all too often it seems like i'll hear a story and then never a follow-up. i should check news on japan more often, but i didn't have it in my bookmarks and i forget about it. recently a little boy was murdered in akita about a week and a half ago; and while a murder is nothing to dismiss, what is worse is that his neighbor (i heard she lived only two doors down) died about a month before he did, she was only a year or two older. the police thought it was an accident and didn't really investigate more, though her family and family friends said it just didn't seem right. now, it may be easy to blame police, and i always find that there's so may conflicting stories, but in light of the little boy's death, it just seems like the police dropped the ball. and now a community and a school are in mourning, and they are also living in fear, and that's so sad.

the other day (thursday? friday?) three children died in a fire in their apartment. i cannot find this story online, so you'll have to go with what i heard on the news last night. i believe it was a seven-year-old, a three-year-old and a one-year-old who died, alone, in the apartment. i have two questions: one, where were the parents? answer: at work. why oh why was a seven-year-old home alone with two younger siblings? is it because of rising child care costs? is it because the parents worked odd hours and there wasn't any place to take the kids? i don't know. i'm not sure if the blame lies with the parents or with the difficulty (or expense) of raising children in japan. my second question: how did the children get a hold of disposable lighters? (found by the police) answer: most likely, because both parents smoked, they were just in the apartment. lying around or put away, i don't know. but does it matter? it would appear that the children (most likely one, the oldest) started the fire. oh, that is so sad. and how do the parents feel? if it were me, i'd feel guilty as hell. oh, trying to keep myself from judging and blaming, but it is hard.

when i was looking up articles for these two stories, i found this one. this just pisses me off! a baby alone, in a car for about six hours. shame on them!! no excuse, absolutely no excuse. i am not perfect myself, but two parents, c'mon!

japan is not perfect. i'm not trying to place blame on japan. and it may be that i notice more stories like this because i am a mother. and also because i'm pregnant. this story was live on TV as i was in labor with hiroyuki (not quite the same kind of story, but an emotional one). i feel that i am just as cautious here in japan as i was back home. and nothing bad happened to me back home, just as nothing bad has happened to me here. i hope that i can be attentive enough as a parent that nothing happens to my children, too.