Shima and Jenny live in Tokyo with their two young daughters, Velvet Jean and Birdie Moon. Shima was born and raised in Japan, while Jenny grew up near Chicago and moved to Japan 10 years ago. I spent a day with the family to learn about all that is wonderful and challenging about raising kids in the city.
We talked about bathing culture (Jenny’s favourite thing about living in Japan), how Japanese parents foster independence (many young kids take the train to school all by themselves) and the importance of letting children take risks.
Check out the video to hear the conversation — and to see an amazing living room performance by four-year-old Velvet Jean.