More and more Japanese men now are aiming to join the ranks of the "Cool Dads" like Jonny Depp and Brad Pitt, in sharp contrast to their own fathers who were known for their "work-till-you-drop" and "leave the kids to the wife" lifestyles.
Japanese men aim to be cool dads
Magazines have sprung up to guide them on everything from "Child-rearing, the Male Way" to "How to Become a Beloved Dad", reflecting the trendiness of being a hands-on parent.
"We're no longer living in an era when it's expected that men go out and women stay home," said Tomohiro Shimizu, publisher of FQ Japan, which stands for Father's Quarterly.
"Fathers in their 30s and 40s still feel a bit ashamed of being adotingparent. We want to change that," added Shimizu, 39, who has a 3-year-old son.
FQ Japan debuted in December and the maiden issue featured Depp and the words: "Be a Cool Dad" on the cover. The magazine also ran interviews with celebrity fathers and had plenty of information on parenting products, such as "stylish" buggies.
FQ was first published in Britain in 2003. Shimizu said that when he raised the idea at the time of making a Japanese edition, colleagues said it wouldn't sell.
Perceptions gradually changed, and several parenting magazines aimed at the male reader have now hit newstands, some focusing on education, others on fashion tips for the stylish father.
"Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, David Beckham the cool guys, all have children," said Kiyohiko Okubo, publisher of Oceans, anup-marketfashion magazine.
"Some playboy-types may have thought it was cool to go out secretly with a woman," said Okubo. "But more and more men are starting to feel that it is really cool to spend time with their family."