A COUNTRY IN WHICH FAMILIES ARE RENTED
The Prolife Struggle in Japan

March 1997By John Nariai

The Rev. John Nariai is Pastor of Tarumizu Catholic Church in Tarumizu, Japan.

Japan has the fastest growing aging population in the world and in its own history. Some wealthy old couples rent a family, that is, a son, his wife, and a child, all from different families, playing family for the day, paying $1,200, in order to delude themselves into believing they are not alone and lonely. Love is obviously something not to be bought, but they try to buy it. Yes, many are lonely and unhappy. The reason for this calamity is obvious. Many have chosen not to bear enough children, so support, visits, and phone calls are too sparse. They may have one or two children. But what happened to the rest of their potential children? They have been either contracepted or aborted.

More than 25 years ago, I heard a father, pointing his finger at his seven-year-old daughter, say that he had not wanted her. I was then trying to convince this man to allow his sixth baby to be born. His wife was my catechumen. The sixth baby was eventually born, was adopted by a Catholic couple, and is now a bright and good-natured graduate student. Recently this boy rescued his adopted father — took him to the hospital and saved his life when he had a stroke. Do you think the natural father of this boy deserves to expect a visit from the daughter he had not wanted? Let's hope he has repented and she has forgotten what had been said to her, or has forgiven her father.

Readers are surely aware of Mizugo-jizos, little statues representing aborted babies. In many Buddhist temples, you can see rows and rows of them. A mother was shown on television visiting her statue with two of her children, one boy and one girl, both in their 20s. What insensitivity on her part! She told the interviewer that she "visited" her baby there on the anniversary of the abortion. What about those two surviving children? If they have thinking heads, it would be very easy for them to conclude that they are abortion-survivors, that their mother is the murderer of their sibling and that they are the son and daughter of a murderer. If they realized it, would it be easy for them to forgive and love their mother, support and visit her in her old age?

There are many old couples in Japan with no one to depend on and nowhere to go but makeshift houses offered by the government. They are victims of the contraception-abortion mentality. During one of my lectures to a group of college coeds, one girl cried because what I said reminded her of the abortion of her sibling by her mother. She told me that her mother had murdered her baby brother or sister.


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



Back to March 1997 Issue

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this story!