The Yomiuri Shimbun Young fathers in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, have begun publishing a free magazine to help parents avoid isolation by providing local information and feature stories, written specifically for fathers. It is available in limited areas for now, but they have a goal of distributing the publication to all households in the ward in the future.
The eight-page zine, Ufufu, will be published four times a year. The spring edition was the debut issue, featuring stories on places such as cafes where parents and children will receive a warm welcome.
Yosuke Takayama, 35, who runs a tutoring school in the ward, took the lead in establishing the periodical. He is the father of a 3-year-old boy. Among Ufufu’s staff writers are many fathers of the same generation who are interested in child-rearing, known as “ikumen.” Ikumen have a big presence on the zine’s staff, but mothers also help them out.
Ufufu is characterized by its abundance of stories to catch fathers’ attention. One example is “Papa-dojo,” which details conversations between fathers about their parental awareness. Also included is a childcare diary from a fathers’ viewpoint. They also plan to carry out a survey about husbands’ and wives’ attitudes towards child-rearing. In this way, this paper places importance on supporting and informing fathers who take care of children.
Takayama’s own experience gave him the impetus to create the booklet. While he shared child care duties with his wife who was busy with her own work, he had a strong feeling that there was a dearth of information about childcare and interaction with the local community.
Once he encountered some difficulties when his child was hurt. He didn’t know which hospital he should take him to. He was also aware that there were few fathers who were accompanying their children.
“It’s important for there to be many fellow fathers taking care of their children in their local community,” Takayama said. “And it’s natural that fathers share the housework and childcare duties as an increasing number of mothers are working. I want fathers to enjoy doing their part.”
He also expected to be connected with local people through the creation of the zine. High school students in the area will help out by designing the front cover from the next issue.
Takayama also said, “I hope that the publication creates an atmosphere where the whole community helps to take care of local children.”
One thousand copies of the booklet were published and the contents were also posted on Facebook. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.