“Send the beloved child on a journey” -A Japanese Proverb.
By Western standards, Japanese culture emphasizes independence from a very young age. One of Japan’s most loved and longest-running TV shows is called “My First Errand.” The program is filmed secretly when young children are given a nearby job to complete all independently. It is fascinating because all Japanese had experienced this independence, which reminds them of their time when they were given a chore to achieve alone.
The world feels that this odd culture of letting kids experience things themselves is revolutionary because if they fall or get lost, they know they are by themselves and will have to reach home by figuring it out themselves. Many kids in Tokyo Metro are commuting alone, changing trains, walking boldly on the streets without anyone’s help. This adds to their social growth. Children learn how to differentiate between good and bad things; they know a lot from their surroundings, they start managing their finances soon, which boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Most children by the age of 10 in japan start commuting on their own. This is predominant because they see many children of their age doing so, making them feel confident. They learn how to plan, how to use the map and the trains by themselves. They also know how to be careful, as they cannot always use their parents to excuse everything. When they get used to doing things by themselves, they become conscious of their responsibility.
Furthermore, this is what Japanese children master at a very young age. They learn not only independence but also civic-mindedness and being a part of a community. Even parents feel less burdened. They get relieved from the daily chore of dropping and picking their kids from schools or markets.
While in the western world, children are very much dependent on their parents for almost everything. Parents tend to drop off and pick up their kids from schools which for parents get highly hectic. A school trip or a similar outing; they do not let their kids travel alone, which gets them scared and anxious. Now there are several reasons behind this. Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. So, parents feel safe sending their kids alone. However, when we compare child’s safety in the US, UK, Australia, Japan is six times, twelve times and four times safer than the respective countries. (Source- Nation Master)