Kizunaya Share House has started an international exchange type family share house in August 2019.
＜Read more about Kizunaya Share House for family from here
Since we started the project, we have received a variety of feedback. “I’m glad I couldn’t find one for families.” “I’m interested. I’d like to live here, but how is it actually going to work?” We have been introduced in various media such as the Nikkei newspaper and JapanTV NEWS, and we have created opportunities for many people to experience this lifestyle through events in August where we invited some families to experience the life.
“We want our children to experience various values. “”We want them to form their own values in a world full of different nationalities, professions, and values.”
I was reminded that diversity and connection are very much in demand in this day and age.
But it’s also true that in order for a family to actually live in a share house, we need to think about many things.
What kind of people will be living with and how will they live? In this article, we asked the Shimada family who actually moved into the Kizunaya Share House #HASH196 with their family to share their experience of living here. This article is for everyone who is thinking about living in a share house with your family.
Pictured here is the Shimada family in a very friendly interview.
The Shimacchi (left) and Chiro-chan (right), who travel around the world as Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) coordinators, lived in Fiji for 3 years before coming to the share house. They are a family of 4: their oldest son Waku (6), who is very friendly and kind-hearted, and their younger daughter Chigusa (4), who is mischievous and cute.
They are a very unique and warm-hearted family who have lived abroad for a long time, including a 3 month trip across the continental United States from Alaska with their family.
Why did you decide to live in a share house with your family? .
CHIRO – Before I came here, I originally worked in Fiji for three years as a coordinator for JICA’s Japan International Cooperation Agency. Six months later I was going to Brazil, on the other side of Japan for two years, and I was looking for a place to live for a few months in Japan. And I had a chance to read an article in the Nikkei newspaper about Kizunaya share houses, and I knew about “family share houses”. At the time, I thought it would be a bit difficult to live a share house in Chiba, especially in terms of location. I thought that convenience was more important than the lifestyle of a share house.
However, when I came to check out the house, I found it to be a perfect place to live. The kitchen is spacious, the common areas are well stocked, and the kid’s room is large enough for the kids to play freely even inside the house. When we came to view the house, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the residents said to us, ” I’ d love to live here with you.
I liked the hardware of the environment, but I also liked the atmosphere of the residents, so I talked to my husband, Shimacchi (SHIMA) about it.
SHIMA-Chiro-chan was about to make a decision right away, but I said, “Let’s think about it once and see what we can do. On the way back to the car, I said, “This’s a good idea. “Ou kids had a look around the house with me, and they said, “We want to live here,” so I said, “Let’s do it.
(Everyone loves this kid’s room! (The reason we have such a large play space in my own home is because we can “share”)
(This is the Shimada family’s welcome party, WELCOME KIZUNAYA!
CHIRO- We were living at a friend’s house in the US for 2 months, and we also lived in Setagaya before, but even then we lived in a very community-oriented place where we organized our own festivals with our neighbors. So I wasn’t really opposed to the idea of living in a shared house.
The points we decided is such as “plenty of places for the kids to play,” “space to have friends over,” and “space to store our luggage,” and
We were able to hear what the vibe was like when several families came to experience it the summer we just previewed it.
We rented two rooms, one private room and one dormitory room. At first we were planning to rent only the dormitory room, but as we were a family of 4, it was not enough space for amount of luggage we had. The private room was for our luggage and the 4 beds in the dormitory were used by a family of 4.
(The dormitory is an original custom-built bed with four beds and a private space well divided! (Each has separate storage, so I recommend it for families with children old enough to sleep alone.
(The private room is 6 tatami mats plus a large storage space)
– What was your experience of living in a share house with your family? I’d also like to know the real advantages and disadvantages.
CHIRO – One of the advantages of living here is the diversity of the people who live here.I said earlier that I decided to move into the house because of the quality and charm of the hardware, but I think the biggest advantage of living here is the fact that people from different countries, ages, professions, and backgrounds are all in the same house.
For example, when we tell our children the same thing, there are people who say “this is good” and people who say “this is not good”, so there are different voices. In a parent-only environment, the parent’s opinion is absolute, but I think it is an opportunity to learn about different values and to think about things from different people.
It’s not because they are children that they are allowed to do so, but because it’s an environment where parents alone can’t provide them with a sense of their own values. A house is a small society for children, but when it’s just a family of a few people, they may become entrenched, but here at the share house, there are 100 different ways of thinking about things, and they can experience diversity and many different values in the big society of a house. This was a big advantage for us.
SHIMA- I think it’s good that there is a relationship in the house, like a neighborhood relationship. Like, “Can I borrow your soy sauce?” or “I got your mail. That’s the kind of social support and connection that exists in the house.
– I’m from Gifu, and I did have that. When my mother came home late, the lady next door would feed me. That kind of thing doesn’t exist anymore.
Nowadays, people say it’s dangerous to play with children alone at the park, and I’m actually a little afraid of letting my children play alone. Actually it is bit sad for me, though.
SHIMA – I totally sympathize with you. One time, a friend of mine in America was running a vegetable garden in his own yard and there was a child looking at the garden.And he said to the child, “You can come in and pick cucumbers. “But an old man next to me told him, “You can’t let child in the garden without permission,” and “If anything happens, you’re the one who will be sued. “That’s what happened.
That incident made me think that it’s not right to try to block out good behavior from a negative perspective. I thought it wasn’t very human.
CHIRO: Humans are social creatures, and that’s why we can’t live without communicating with others. Nowadays we live in an internet society, so all we can get is information from the internet. But it makes our brains feel trapped, I guess.
That’s why I think direct communication is so important.
That’s why I like the idea of direct communication, because it’s something that happens every day here.
SHIMA- Our kids are still in preschool, but I’m sure there are times when their friends come over to the share house to play with them when he’s in elementary school, for example. “What! You live in a shared house?Let me go next time. “like…
Even for children who come to play like that, they will learn about a new society. I think the concept of home will break down in a good way.
I think this new society will be a place of salvation for children.
I’m glad that we have such a place.
(Chigusa hiding in a garbage can during hide-and-seek.)
– It’s true that the environment of HASH196 is good for children of elementary school age. It would be nice to have friends over for a visit. I’m sure they’ll have a future like that.
By the way, are there any disadvantages to living in a share house with your family? .
CHIRO: In terms of disadvantages… Well.., it’s not so easy to say “this is what I want to do” in my family. For example, if you say, “Let’s stop playing games until this time,” or “Let’s stop eating sweets at this time,The kids would play games and get sweets because of their older brothers and sisters.The kids would play games and get sweets because of their older brothers and sisters give them. If you want to follow the rules in the family, I think it’s important for couples to make a decision together before moving in and make a promise to their children before they start living here.
– The HASH family loves the Shimada family too much… I’m sorry for playing games and having too much fun at night! As much as I would like to share those rules with single house families, we all value them as well. (Voice of the Management Team)
CHIRO – but for us, the advantages greatly outweighed the disadvantages.
Both Waku and Chigusa are very happy to have an environment where they can play freely and have many older brothers and sisters to play with. The other day, when I was having some trouble and needed a little supervision, one of the family boys took care of my kids, and I felt that this is something that can only happen at a share house.
– I think it’s partly because the Shimada family always gives the family a lot of energy. When you’re in good communication with the Shimada family, there’s a sense of mutual respect when you’re in trouble. Both Chirochan and Ochchi are very sociable. One thing I’m impressed with is that Waku always calls them by their names, like “Good morning, Yocchan” or “Let’s play, Masashi! (laughs) The living room is always full of laughter, and we, and everyone else, have grown to love the Shimada family. We’re really glad to have met them. .
It was my first time living in a share house, and I thought that people who lived in a share house were by nature a bunch of people with great communication skills.
But when I came here, I found out that many of the people I talked to said they were just lonely.
There are a lot of people who are aware of this and try to communicate with people. I thought that was really great, that they understood human instincts.
There are people who don’t want to admit or hide their own weaknesses and loneliness, who can’t show empathy to others and express their loneliness in a different way, but the strength of being able to admit yourself and be interested in others.
I think one of the things that made me happy to have come here was knowing that.
Meeting the Shimada family has made us realize how glad we are to have started a family share house. The Shimada family is a perfect family. We love the Shimada family. When you come back to Japan, let’s live together again. Thank you so much. .
(From everyone’s memory album.)
(Pictured here is the house thread and everyone’s comments after the Shimada family left for Brazil.)
For us at Kizunaya Share House, this was the first time the Shimada family had ever moved in. Although we were confident that it would be a great environment for the family, we were honestly very worried about the first time they moved in.
However, looking at the Shimada family and seeing their children playing, eating, and talking with the single family without any barriers, and seeing the Shimada couple talking to the single family on their own and communicating with them, it made us realize that the title “because you are kids, you are dad, or you are mom” is not necessary at all, and that one-on-one communication and relationships between one person is the most important thing.
As we receive many inquiries about our family share house, we are sometimes asked, “I understand the benefits of shared living for families, but what are the benefits of having a family in a place to live for a single person?
What are the benefits for single person?We have thought about it, but when we look at the Shimada family, it seems to us that the advantages and disadvantages of having people of many generations living together are an afterthought.
People of different generations are not connected by merit, but by mutual interest, help, and laughter in everyday life. I felt that this is the nature of Japan’s society and a natural way of life.
At least, it is not a “child” or “adult” relationship, nor a “family” or “single person” relationship, but rather the Shimada family has built up a trusting relationship with each other as one person with the house family, and I have realized what is important.
Thank you, Shimada Family, for meeting us. Keep it up in Brazil! We will always be a family.
For those families who are thinking of moving into a family share house. Please come visit the house with your children. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to raise a child with a variety of values? We are looking for a family to join us in our family share house.