Monday 8 June 2009

The tale of the turtle and the tooth fairy

No biffs on Sunday, definite tension and ignoring but no out right screaming matches. Shame really.

The usual Japanese family story goes like this; ancestors are 'pure blooded' Japanese and likely to be related to some great samurai warrior. Great granny and grandpa were probably first cousins who got married to keep the blood extra pure. Granny and grandpa may not be cousins but lived in the same neighbourhood, had their marriage arranged for them and went by the usual model of grandpa works his whole life while granny stays home and cooks. Mum and dad may be slightly unconventional in that they may have come from different prefectures and shock horror, mum might have juggled a job while making the bento and picking up after the rest of her family.
Ok, I'm obviously making ridiculous sweeping generalisations but I'm going to say a lot of families are pretty 'normal' compared to the western standard and the divorce rate is on the rise but still quite low.

Ryota's family is definitely not typical in Japan and it's complicated and difficult to explain but I'll give it a crack.

I'll start with his mum's side, his grandfather (who died about 5 years ago) was married and had two daughters, (Ryota's aunties) however these were with his secret first wife who is a mystery and Ryota's sister and brother still don't know about.

He then married Ryota's grandma and had another baby with her (Ryota's mum). His first wife may have died, but then why the mystery? I'll try and get it out of someone one day. Grandparents on his dad's side were pretty normal (both died) except that his grandfather was an abusive alcoholic who nobody liked very much...

Next is Ryota's mum and dad (Yuki and Sadaji). His dad has a twin brother and also a younger brother. Yuki and Sadaji got married young and had Ryota the same age as I was when I had Ash, (25) 3 years later came Uru and 2 years after that came Junpei. Sadaji was known as a bit of a bad boy riding a motorbike and it was suspected he had cheated probably more than once but was swept under the carpet for a long time.

Yuki is not a typical quiet, polite Japanese lady. She's very outspoken and, not feisty but... hmmm, crazy, but in a good way. A lot of people think she is Chinese or Thai as she doesn't act in a typically Japanese way.

When Junpei was about 8 years old he got Leukemia and, as expected, this put a strain on the whole family. He was very close to dying and was in hospital for about a year, thankfully he made a miracle recovery. It was then that Yuki and Sadaji's marriage started to go downhill and Yuki suspected that he was cheating on her. So one day she made him a bento before work but he said he didn't need it, she was upset and thought it was too early for him to be going to work, so, she followed him. hehe, I told you she wasn't typically Japanese!

She followed him to an apartment and as it was obvious it had lied about going to work, followed him in to the apartment building. It then turned out that it was his girlfriend's apartment, and just like in the TV shows, she confronted him as he came out the door... and here comes the clincher...holding the bento that his girlfriend had made!!! A script writer couldn't have done a better job eh!

Yuki had a tanty, got over it, and then divorced his arse, much respect for my MIL for that move. Yuki now has a boyfriend who we all love but they rarely see each other because he lives so far away, that's a whooollleee different story for another day.

Pretty dramatic hey! I'm sure there are a lot more dirty little family secrets that I will discover in the future though.

Ooops, I almost forgot about the title of the post! Sadaji married the girlfriend and they live quite close to us in the same city. We call them 'turtle and tooth fairy'. Turtle is Ryota's dad and tooth fairy is his Dad's new wife. The kids aren't keen on the tooth fairy, obviously there are 'you took my father away' issues, she isn't that bad but it isn't the same for me.

As for the names... I'm ashamed to say that turtle was my creation, just because he looks like a turtle hehe. And I can't remember who came up with the tooth fairy title but it's not very nice, tooth fairy has extremely scary jutting out front teeth which Ryota says are going to spear Ashton every time she hugs him. It's horrible they take the piss out of her so much but I guess it's just natural for them.

Here's a picture of me with Ryota's dad, slightly turtlesque don't you think??!!

Ryota hates cheating because of his dad, so I guess something good did come out of the whole situation...

On the Ashron front, he has taken to shoving his feet in his mouth, here are a couple of cute picies. Apologies for my boob shot in the background!

How the hell does he get his whole toe in there to suck!?
He's definitely Japanese, loves bath time!
Hope everyone is having a great week!


  1. Wow- definitely an unconventional Japanese family. Isnt it funny though that in Australia I would be like "oh yeah"and not think that much of it. Shun`s family is fairly conventional and his parents were not an arranged marriage and were from different prefectures but I think before that it was an arranged married (have no idea if they were related though? LOL, should ask Shun- I doubt it though- I do know that grandma`s family was super super rich though and that is where they got the money from and not grandfather`s side of the family)

    He kind of does look like a turtle! So your hub is the oldest then?

    Love the pic of Ash trying to eat his feet! Cute!

  2. Love the pics of Ashton. He is so cute! Raiden is also very Japanese and loves baths though he has gotten too big to bath with me in our tiny tub so he is now on his own.

    Seiyan has a very unconventional family too. His parents are divorced, his sister is divorced and his brother is on the way. We are not headed that way though thank goodness! It is interesting to hear the back srories to the in-laws makes me understand them more.

  3. Lulu~ I know, it would be totally normal in Aussie, I'd say about 60% of my friends parents back home are divorced and have some crazy family situation going on.
    Turtle right!?
    Yup Ryota is the oldest of the 3, not sure if he's the wisest though... :)

    Beamies~ Japanese baths are usually so deep and tiny eh, we're lucky ours is more western style in length and deep too. The owners just got it installed before we moved in.
    Yeh I thought a bit of a back story was needed, I talk about them a fair bit!
    Wow, that's a lot of divorcing going on! Happy to hear you guys are going against the norm of the family and sticking together!

  4. What a classic about Ryota saying the tooth fairy will spear Ash! I think you might be right about the turtle thou!!! Interesting to hear about others families. You may have inspired me with a post topic here girl!!! Thanks! BTW, your boy is adorable! Love the "i must shove feet in mouth" one!!!

  5. Nooh~ Hmmm I don't have any photos of the tooth fairy but I may need to sneakily take one next time so everyone can judge the spearability... hehe. Looking forward to your family story!

  6. The little bubs is adorable!!!! I could not laughing about the tooth fairy... "giggles" OMG don't hate me.. I thought that photos was your Husband...

  7. I like Ash's smile in the last pic. I never got to hear this story before so it was really amusing. Always interesting to hear some of the more "non-traditional" family stories in Japan. Your MIL sounds like she could submit a memoir to be turned into a drama serial. Heck the last episode could show her new Gaijin DIL coming to meet here... make room for a sequel LOL

    Glad to hear that Ryota is totally agaisnt cheating because of this. It seems so "common" here, its quite sad...

  8. Girl Japan~ I won't hate you, but if Ryota heard that he might! hehe. I think if his dad had hair he wouldn't be that bad looking. Eww I don't wanna think about it though!

    Sara~ She so could turn it into a drama, maybe I should steal her life story and make my million...Oooo the gaijin addition and little 'halfie' baby would get great ratings.

    hehe, by the way, did you see Ryohei's comment about my bento photos on facebook!?

  9. Wow, that is one very interesting story, lol!! Naoki's family would be considered so very convention compared to Ryota's. But then again, I would probably enjoy your family better, lol!!

    I love the photo of Ash in the bath!! He really does look like he loves bath time. I guess that makes bathing him a whole lot easier for you :)

    You're right actually your FIL does kind of look like a turtle!! LOL