Japan is a country I love very much, having spent a great deal of time there throughout the 1980s–going so far as to get a PhD in Japanese literature! It is my long-held plan to travel there to study the orphan problem–the tens of thousands of social orphans who grow up in orphanages, disregarded by most of the rest of the world. I had hoped to do this in the near future–I will continue to hope for the chance to go fairly soon, and will pray that the Japanese people overcome this latest set of disasters. One cannot help but admire their patience in the face of adversity.
It seems that in Japan, child abuse and family breakdown are contributing to a rise in the population of social orphans. As with other parts of the world, but more surprisingly given the great wealth of Japan, we know little of a systematic nature about the numbers, the life conditions or the outcomes. It is well documented that there are few foster homes, and very few domestic adoptions. The latest national crisis makes me all the more determined to go and study this vexing phenomenon.
But in the meantime, Nihon no katatachi yo–gambatte!!