Already With the Yakkuin Stress.

It has started.
Not so much with me here and now, but it will come, but already almost every conversation I have with anyone ends up on the topic of Yakkuin, and what that person will do if they their name comes up.

I have mentioned this before, probably around the same time last year. ‘ Yakkuin’ is like a committee member, and every single thing has it’s own committee, and parents, by which of course I mean MOTHERS, are required to do at least a year in each while their child is involved.

Maybe I will leave the utter pointlessness, the total powerlessness of these committees to another post, but suffice to say, people, women, mothers, who are already maxed out on things to do, are already worried that their name will come out of the hat, to do their yakkuin duty for the coming new school year.

So one woman I teach was late for the lesson yesterday. She apologised and said the meeting ran on because they had to find 6 incoming members to replace the 6 outgoing ones. If no replacements can be found the incumbent member will be ‘asked’ to do another year.
The irony is that Japanese translate this into ‘volunteer’.
So my student, goes on to say that the meeting, to which she had to take her 2 daughters, age 2 and 4, started at 10a.m. Her lesson was at 4pm?
She said they had to ‘select’ new ‘volunteers’ and call them up on the phone. She said most people refused.
By lunchtime they had 2 new lambs to the slaughter ‘volunteers’,
so, after someone was despatched to the bakery to buy sandwiches for lunch for everyone, they got out a map and went around to peoples’ houses on the theory it is harder to refuse in person than on the phone.
seems the theory holds water, they got 3 more ‘volunteers’.

The schools, the nursery schools, daycares all require this.
Then there is the GAKKUDO, which is the after school
care system, where kids go because their parents work outside of regular school hours.
Then there is KODOMOKAI, which are kids groups set up in each area. It is nigh on impossible to refuse to put your kids in these groups and they then require the mother’s minimum one year yakkuin duties.
The thing is, most women work these days, so to do the school yakkuin which has it’s meetings weekdays, requires taking unpaid time off work.
To do the gakkudo yakkuin, which is specifically designed to help working women, you have to give up Saturday evenings for meetings and many Sundays for events, the only time they actually get with their families when they are not working.
The same goes for Kodomokai. So if you have more than one child you could quite easily find yourself doing two yakkuins in one year for consecutive years.

And they wonder why the birthrate is so low.

There is so little time left to raise and enjoy being with your kids while you are ‘volunteering’ to be involved on all these committees.

Doris starts Junior High School in April. They choose names out of a hat in the big hall, on the day, at the entrance ceremony. I’ll start stressing that one soon.

5 thoughts on “Already With the Yakkuin Stress.

  1. They can select me for whatever duty they like, I will never do it. The funny thing is, that if we were in the US I’d be volunteering all the time. I just can’t stand the way they do things here. I think the fact that I can’t communicate well, can read only about 100 kanji and can’t write at all should clue them in and stop making me head of the safety patrol. (I see my name on the paper as leader of the group, I don’t show up, I don’t phone)
    At the kindergarten, whenever there was a meeting they always let me go home early. LOL

  2. I’m the same if it was in England I would be all over it bossing people around. LOL.
    But there is just SOOOO much pointless crap going on here.
    It takes 12 people 18 meetings a year to organise the PTA race for undoukai and they do they same damn thing every year!! It’s the roll the huge ball race.
    What could there possibly be to discuss, though lasy year they shook up the line up a bit. previously it had been white, blue, red, yellow, but after 12 meetings they came up with yellow, white, blue, red.
    And would anyone miss it? If the PTA god forbid, did not have a race scheduled into the already 7 hour programme would the kids be running around asking what happened? Would the participants be crying for the free roll of saran wrap??

  3. I’m with DItoh on this. Pick away but that doesn’t mean I am going to do anything.

    At home in the US I would be the freakin’ president of the PTA and dare God himself to dethrone me. Here….well, not so much, huh? We are two years into Kindy with the first and I have gotten out of it. I happily do my one required volunteer activity a year and pay through the @ss for them to indoctrinate my child on a daily basis. My duty is done. If I do get stuck with it I will not do any of it or just show up once and do it all in English to piss them all off. I mean what are they going to do – stare at me? Ignore me? Exclude me from their silly little mommy groups? Talk about me while I am standing there in front of them? What?

    Been there, done that, up the game!

  4. This frightens me. If they seriously think I am taking time off work to do pointless shit, when I could be getting paid for pointless shit, they are sadly mistaken.

    On the other hand, I might just join to sabotage any plans of making 4 billion paper flowers every year to decorate sports day and then just chuck them all the next day. Bwahahaha

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