We can be sure that the idea that this selfish bitchmother (Yoshida's wife) would have to pay child-support never even entered her head when she took off with another man.

Single fathers emerge from the shadows

Overlooked by society for years, more men are raising kids alone

by Mami Maruko

Hiroki Yoshida, a father of three children aged 6, 8 and 11, suddenly became a single father four years ago, when his wife walked out without warning.

He was so shocked he cried for two weeks straight.

“I couldn’t get her off my mind for the next two weeks, but then I thought to myself I had to face reality for the sake of the children,” said Yoshida, 37, in an interview with The Japan Times at his four-bedroom apartment in Konosu, Saitama Prefecture. Yoshida did not move his family after his wife left.

Although it took him a while to get his feelings sorted out and file for divorce, he now feels he can move forward with his new life with his children, especially since becoming officially single again last year.

Yoshida says he bears his ex-wife no ill will in spite of everything. Her parents both died when she was in elementary school, he says, and she had a tendency to fall into depression. She got deeply involved in a questionable “self-discovery” group awareness training seminar and then in a pyramid scheme, he says, and ended up running off with a man she met at one of the seminars.

Although he tried desperately to pull her back in to the family, his ex-wife’s feelings never returned, he said. But after intensive negotiations, the children now see their mother on a regular basis.

The number of single-parent families is on the rise in Japan, along with the growing number of divorces.

According to the internal affairs ministry, 204,000 families were headed by a single father in 2010, up sharply from 166,000 in 2005.

But there were only 90,000 cases in which the children were living exclusively with their father, in a household with no other relatives such as grandparents.

Single fathers fly under the radar compared to single mothers, who are still more common.

Single fathers also, on average, earn more than single mothers, who tend to struggle more financially as a result. A traditionally patriarchal society also discourages fathers from opening up about their problems, and getting help.


Niigata-based Katayama is a single father of two children. He says he was a workaholic until his ex-wife left 10 years ago.

After changing jobs several times, he quit his office job and became a freelance consultant a few years ago, offering support to single-parent families and couples with problems.

Katayama, 42, says although not all the problems fathers face are the same, most of the ones he knows complain of not having enough time or money.

“There’s a limit to how much a single father can do, juggling housework, child rearing and career. As a result, some single fathers get depressed, and even have to quit their jobs,” he said.

Yoshida, the father of three, was an editor at a publishing company when his wife left him. He had feature stories to handle every month, and the heavy workload made it difficult for him to juggle child rearing and the job.

Yoshida, like Katayama, recently became a freelancer.



Comment banned from Japan Times:

I seriously doubt that this is true:

'Single fathers also, on average, earn more than single mothers, who tend to struggle more financially as a result'

Saying single fathers 'earn' more than single mothers (if that is even true) means they have higher wage/salary incomes, but does not mean that they have higher incomes.

Single fathers get much less support from their children's mothers than single mothers get from their children's fathers. I am sure most men get nothing. I bet the guy in this article gets nothing.

Single fathers also get much less from any government benefits programs, even if they are legally entitled to such benefits.

I am sure they also get much less support from friends and family. Single mothers are much more likely to get gifts, get taken out for meals, have friends offer to babysit, and numerous other similar support.

Yoshida-san and Ktayama-san (in this article) had to work less, quit work, work freelance, in order to get by. Most single mothers of young children don't have to work. If they do, it is by choice, and they still get various kinds of support.

Saying that single fathers 'earn' more than single mothers is just another way of saying that they have to work more. I am sure that single fathers struggle financially much more than single mothers do.

It's the same with claims that in general men in the West and Japan have higher incomes than women do, without counting:

(a) the fact that tax payments, supporting numerous social programs, are in general transferred from the male population to the female population
(b) the fact that a couple's assets are generally jointly-owned, no matter who pays more for them, and women get more in divorce (including, often, complete ownership of the family home)
(c) the fact that women outlive men (in Japan female life-expectancy is on average 6.3 years more than for males) , and so usually inherit everything
(d) the fact that, in spite of their constant bitching about getting 'cheted!', women get much, much, much more in alimony and child support payments than men do.

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