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The Energy & Hyperactivity of Youth (Yotsuba&!)

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Post #440149
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7:40 pm, Jan 15 2011
Posts: 55

Hey everyone, I just wanted to share an entry I wrote on Yotsuba&! and its awesomeness. I think the series has some hidden meanings beneath all that adorableness.

You can read what I wrote at: otsuba


Manga Therapy - Where Psychology & Manga Meet
Post #440683
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2:34 pm, Jan 17 2011
Posts: 197

I read this yesterday but was just too tired to reply. Btw you changed the topic didn't you?
Anyway, as a former philosophy student i think you are just overanalyzing the work. (i'm assuming you're talking about your perspective, if not then my bad but this will still be my view on the manga.)
These days there are many "ilnesses or disorders" that didn't exist 10 years ago for example. Yotsuba doesn't have any of those things and i'll tell you my perspective on the work.
I think it's about the greatness of youth and the amazing things we come up with when we are kids. I wasn't like Yotsuba, but i was always imagining situations, going on "adventures" in the woods, exploring things, and obviously i was amazed wihen i discovered something new, either that or scared i think lol.
She is a kid, what do you expect? It's better than sitting in the house watching TV. Because she is sometimes bored she wants some attention. I think it's fairly common. I don't believe it has anything to do with mental illness.
What it shows you is how you behave towards a child, notice that everybody is quite patient and accepts her how she is, they don't over impose their will towards Yotsuba but calmly explain her the stuff she wonders about. She isn't a spoilt brat or anything.
I'm trying to remember one method of teaching, but i can't remember the name, where parents let their kids do things how they want and then explain the situations to the kids. If anything this work duelves on that and on the fact that Yotsuba has a different type of education that made her who she is right now, that's also a big part of why i love this manga.
Anyway this is it for now, i look foward to your opinion on this take.

Post #441712
user avatar

7:41 pm, Jan 21 2011
Posts: 55

Yeah, I do think Yotsuba can be a BIT TOO curious. But, I do agree as you said that children have to be addressed in a certain way. With responsible parenting dying, parents need some reminders on how to act towards them.

Kids are usually hyper anyway, but society sometimes mislabels hyperactive kids as kids who have ADD/ADHD, which is ridiculous.

I think that method of teaching works and is pretty practical. Why can't schools implement that style more often?

Thank you for the comment.

Manga Therapy - Where Psychology & Manga Meet
Post #441735
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9:42 pm, Jan 21 2011
Posts: 298

This is something I've been noticing for a while now (signs that I'm getting old bigrazz). Todays youth, at least in the country/place I live in, are generally way smarter and more 'mature' than the people of my generation in our youths... And I'm only talking about ±20 years ago.
I've heard from people working in daycare centers that education today is more focused on performance and everything and every exercise the children do must have a point.
These days I can have a proper conversation with a child of about 10 years old, and sometimes even feel inferior to their knowledge of what's happening in the world around us... Honestly, I pity them.

Now I'm not saying this is bad or better, it's just society today, these children will probably fit much better into the modern more technology orientated society and are often very quick in understanding how something works... though I do fear for the creative arts.

I do think it's better to let a child find his/her own way, than to 'force' one on them. Yotsuba is allowed to find her own way, sure there must be guidance, but it's how the guidance is given that's important.... And that, is of course the ultimate issue. Everyone is different and trying to make a system that works for all is destined to fail all.

In my youth we were still 'allowed' to have fun and do stupid/silly/pointless things. We spent little time indoors and could be found playing on the street/or in forest all day long. It's another way of learning and living. (though I admit, if children acted like we did in today's society they would probably all be heavily medicated bigrazz).
The way I see yotsubato is most likely different from many of the other (I'm assuming younger) readers. I don't see a hyperactive child that has an overactive imagination. I simply see a child having fun and doing the things children that age should be doing.... Like I did, like most did before things like the internet changed society.
And maybe that's why Yotsubato is such a delight to read, besides it being fun it also takes me back to my own youth and makes me envy those days when I could still be simple, naive and have fun without much constraint.

Strange that in an age of information and knowledge, people tend to forget the most simple of things... Why do they think it's necessary to medicate children, did they forget their own youths and do they really think it's helping the children? Live should not be about performance, what's the point if you can't have fun (or no longer know how to) on the way.

Maybe stop putting handheld consoles in their hands an simply telling to go out and have some fun would help... Children seem hyperactive because the energy has no place to go and just builds up.
Sure we had gameboys and such, but they were expensive and only the kids with well-off parents had those... Besides, playing outside was more interesting. Nowadays pretty much everyone has a PSP and some fancy very expensive cellular phone.
Yeah so, It might be a little obvious I don't really like some aspects of todays society...

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Post #441879
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11:15 am, Jan 22 2011
Posts: 197

Ah i completely agree with you Joentjuh even though i'm only in my 20's. I remember riding my bike everywhere, getting hurt, not having many games and all that, those were the days...
Today's disorders are nothing but an excuse. Parents just don't know how to properly educate their kids, leaving them on the computer all day, not getting exercise, not teaching them manners nor basic rules, honestly i think it's a disgrace.
On a side note i just remembered the method of teaching i was mentioning, i learnt it while i was in college, this page may not be much, but it's still something.

Post #441887
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Normal Person

1:04 pm, Jan 22 2011
Posts: 189

Two things why I don't think Yotsuba has ADHD.
1.)I remember doing things Yotsuba does when I was a child. I am 18, by the way, and still overly enthusiastic about things. 2.) Also I have a 3 year old little sister and she is super active, curious and sometimes inattentive to the point where we thought she has ADHD or any similar illness but she doesn't. She's a master at gibberish (talking and singing, you'll be amazed at how she can sing the alphabet song in gibberish) I guess the same goes for Yotsuba. At least she can sing Ra ra ramen! Its really really long and really really gooooood!. I guess that's why they're kids.

I really think it's good to combine manga and psychology to an extent where It can educate certain people like the Japanese about ADHD. If that is Kiyohiko Azuma-san's aim by making Yotsuba&!, the I give kudos to him.

Being with kids all through my life, i can safely tell you that some kids are just too cute smile

Post #441939
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Crazy Cat Lady

6:39 pm, Jan 22 2011
Posts: 1850

I've never thought of Yotsuba as being "hyperactive" at all, just a normal kid who lives in a place where it's safe enough that she can have a lot of freedom. A lot of the stuff she does reminds me of when I was a kid, when my older kids were her age, or what my youngest does now (he's 3.5).

Let kids be kids, without labeling them with some disorder/illness when they're not quiet or compliant enough for the convenience of the adults! Yeah, ADD and ADHD are real, but I don't think they're as common as the media would have it - as someone else said, kids have energy, and if they don't have an outlet for it, they won't be able to sit quietly.

"[English] not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary."
-James Nicoll, can.general, March 21, 1992
Post #443155
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5:22 pm, Jan 27 2011
Posts: 55

Thank you guys! I do think the media tends to criticize a lot of kids for being hyper. It's just crazy and not needed.

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