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Taking Leave

An American on Paternity Leave in Japan


by Matthew T. Apple

A5; 168 pp

ISBN: 9784939130434

Taking Leave: An American on Paternity Leave in Japan is more than just a simple description of how an American in Japan adapted to his role as a stay-at-home father for a year. The book delves into social issues such as gender roles and responsibilities within the family and the challenges of raising children of mixed parentage to be bilingual and bicultural in what is mistakenly perceived as an homogeneous society. Along the way, the author examines Japanese holidays and festivals, takes a critical view of Japanese health care, questions the gendering of children’s clothing and toys, and suggests that “womenomics” will be ineffective without an accompanying increase in men participating in childcare at home.

“Matthew Apple’s memoir of his year-long childcare leave in Japan provides interesting insight into a culture where mothers often raise their children singlehandedly and where fathers are generally absent from the day-to-day care of their children.”
Diane Hawley Nagatomo, Associate Professor of English, Ochanomizu Women’s University

“Taking childcare leave, despite being a struggle, is a great treasure to both American and Japanese men. You can also learn how unique Japanese culture is through knowing this author’s experience of childcare. I strongly recommend this book to all fathers and fathers-to-be.”
Masato Yamada, Former Vice Governor of Yokohama








 About the author

Matthew T. Apple (MFA, MEd, EdD) teaches critical thinking, global issues, and English as a Foreign Language at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. A resident of Japan since 1999, Matt took a year of paternity leave from April 2010 to March 2011 to care for his daughter. He is a frequent presenter at language education events across Japan.


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