Even parents can't predict how their young children will behave.

In addition to their limited physical abilities, their poor judgment makes it more likely that they can place themselves in danger at a moment's notice.

To protect children from accidents and trouble, kid leashes are becoming increasingly popular in Japan.

The leashes are attached to harnesses worn by the child, and parents, legal guardians, or caretakers can hold the leash to prevent the child from straying away, running into the road, or putting themselves in harm's way.

On the opinion that "leashes make kids look like pets"

On Children's Day, May 5th, 2022, manga artist 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken) posted an episode from his manga 『反逆コメンテーターエンドウさん』 hangyaku komentētā endōsan (Rebellious Commentator Mr. Endo), in which the titular character appeared in a news program discussing the issue of kid leashes.

His co-host had a negative view...

Our English translation follows below each panel.

Reproduced with permission from 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken)

TITLE: Commentator Mr. Endo and the kid leash debate. | FRAME 1: (Co-host) The other day, I saw a mother who had a leash on her kid... I couldn't help but think to myself: 'Aw, come on now...'" FRAME 2: "...Just like a pet, don't you think?... Tied up like that, it made me feel sorry for the kid." (audience laughs)" FRAME 3: (Mr. Endo) "If it were me, I'd gladly use a leash to protect my kid from accidents. You're the one I feel sorry for since you're 'tied up'..." FRAME 4: "...by old values and notions of common sense."

Reproduced with permission from 洋介犬 Yohsuke Ken (@yohsuken)

TITLE: Commentator Mr. Endo and the limits of endurance. | FRAME 1: (Co-host) "But...but is it really a good idea to try to take the easy way out when it comes to parenting?" (Mr. Endo) "Hold on, now. What's wrong with trying to take it easy?" FRAME 2: "Do you think 'You have to work hard to raise a good child'? Based on what evidence? People should take it easy more often when it comes to things that are OK to go easy on." FRAME 3: "Elders force the younger generation to go through unnecessary hardships, telling them that 'hardship is a virtue.' Why do we need to rationalize the perpetuation of hazing and toxic work culture from one generation to the next?!" FRAME 4: "Society shouldn't be an endurance contest!"

The manga went viral and drew a steady stream of responses from people who shared Mr. Endo's opinion, such as:

  • "I'm so glad to hear you say that! Really, society isn't an endurance contest!"
  • "I will use a leash on my kids because it's truly a lifeline, no matter what other people say."
  • "This is so true. We should rid ourselves of unnecessary hardships as we continue to make improvements."

In Japan, it's true that some people look at kid leashes and say that such parents are treating their kids like "taking their dogs for a walk" or are "trying to take the easy way out" when it comes to parenting.

However, such complainers probably wouldn't take responsibility if their own children got in harm's way.

If we become a society that values kindness and consideration for others, it's only natural that we'll free ourselves of the self-imposed hardships we endure.

Yohsuke Ken's manga is now on sale!

The first volume of Yohsuke Ken's manga 『反逆コメンテーターエンドウさん』 hangyaku komentētā endōsan (Rebellious Commentator Mr. Endo) is now on sale.

This perceptive and entertaining manga series imagines Mr. Endo as "a commentator who is able to cut through the distorted world of (Japanese) news reporting like a bolt of lightning." If you can read Japanese and are interested, please check it out at the following links:

By - Ben K.