Ichinennkazoku: Communication space for parents

Terada Kosaku

A woman holding a baby of about one year old is sitting and enjoying her conversation with the other women sitting next to her. They are having healthy and tasty lunch. The lunch is cooked by the volunteer stuffs for free. Even it seems that they are in different generations, they all are smiling. The home has upstairs, and it is enough large that children can play there. There is everything that is needed for the lives.  

The Ichinennkazoku had started its project since April in 2021. Every Sunday, from 11 am to 3 pm, some families like three or four come there to make some conversations and meals for their children and the relief of the parents facing like stresses, unhealthy, and depression. This project was set to resolve these issues in Kochi prefecture.  

Ichinennkazoku is set for the parents who are suffering from the rearing their children to solve the issues for one year. Moreover, the project tries to make the community that makes the connection in local area closer. That means you can help with neighborhoods to live comfortably. Especially, the parents who cares their children by oneself are difficult to make themselves be relax, and the chairman, Yamane said that “we want to help solving that kind of parent’ suffers and make it normal to help each other in local area”. Participants can use that place as their home and those families look like real family. Up to five families can participate in each session. Each family will be satisfied with the project and one said “I’m delighted to talk with others about my worries.”. This describes that this project is helping the parents who are suffering in this situation a lot. 

They can use that place as their home and those families look like real family. Up to five families can participate in each session. Shikoku children’s support group grants donates to this project and the participants can join for free. In this project, there are volunteer stuffs, some get guarantee and the others do not. Volunteers are usually university students. 

Now, the world is facing the difficulties caused by corona virus. Many companies are suffering from the decrease of the customers which leads them to decide to fire their workers. This can be the reason of the families being facing the troubles in various ways like stresses, unhealthy, and depression. In the results, the amount of the DV (domestic violence) had increased drastically. Actually, the amount reaches to 17 thousand that is 1.5 times of last year. The reason is that the partner is in the house and that made them irritated. Moreover, the amount of suicide people reaches to about 2 thousand. The amount of the women who suicide was 1.3 times of last year. Ichinennkazoku is one of the answers of thinking how they can help the parents who are suffering.  

Board chairman, Kumon and chairman Yamane said “we grew up in the environment that people living neighbor help each other and that used to be common sense (there is the proverb that describes this kind of situation in Japan and that is 「向こう三軒両隣」) there and it must be the way how we live today too.”. And they want to make their project help to create such society again. Moreover, they said “we want to extend the concept of the family from inside the house to the local.”. 

This project is supported by Shikoku children’s support group grants. Shikoku children’s support group grants donates to this project and the participants can join for free. Moreover, in this project, there are volunteer stuffs, some get guarantee and the others do not.

Various kinds of families come to the house, therefore the supporters have to cope with all of the families and fix the project to make more comfortable place for the participants. One said “There are many difficulties in this corona-situation, however, when I get some appreciation words from the participants and see the smile on children’s face, I’m made to be glad.”

Nobody gets uncomfortable in the project, because the participants are the people who are suffered by same difficulties and problems. That’s why they can understand each other and help with kindness. Human have been faced to a lot of difficulties and overcome one by one by helping each other. Even the project ends, you can live with neighbors by helping each other. One supporter said, “I made, and they made their place or community to be.” This is how they want you to live in local area.  


  1. I think Ichinenkazoku is a nice place for parents to share their feelings and thoughts and exchange their opinions. I hope parents suffering from this difficult situation will be saved through this community.


  2. I have never gone through, but I know raising children is pretty tough stuff without supports by others. Japanese society has a trend of the nuclearization of the family, but systems like “Ichinennkazoku” would be a resolution of the issue.


  3. This project makes the environment for both parents and children to have more connections with neighbors. We are thankful to have this project to support people in Kochi.


  4. I thought it was very important to have a place where I could get together with people with the same worries. I wish this kind of place would continue to exist.


  5. I thought the “Ichinenn Kazoku” activity is very important for parents of children. I hope they can refresh their minds by eating a delicious meal and talking together.


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