Omoiyari(Altruistic Sensitivity) A core Japanese Cultural Value
For Japanese parents, enabling their children to develop the fundamental cultural value of Omoiyari (altruistic sensitivity)
is important since it is regarded as the cornerstone of empathy and moral development in children. Mothers repeatedly emphasized this cultural value in children’s interactions and relationship with their companion animals. Mothers believed that children attending to the non-verbalized needs of their companion animals helped them to develop appropriate prosocial behavior. this is consistent with interpersonal communication between Japanese who tend to rely more heavily on indirect non-verbal cues.
One mother explained her 6yo son KENTA Omoiyari Based prosocial behavior toward Nano:When it seemed like Nano was cold, Kenta would bring a blanket over for him. and if Nano looked cold then he lets him in immediately. In and out, in and out….The mother continues to speak about her two younger children’s interactions with Nano
And If Nano is hanging around in front of the door, the younger two are more likely to pick up on that.They would open the door for Nano immediately. so, helping others without expecting anything… you know, to be able to really empathize purely for the “sake” of others and do it because you. yourself want to. That would be desirable.
Prosocial behaviors described above are highly valued personal qualities in children because the needs of another are anticipated and met even before verbalizations are made.
Animal Assisted Therapy 5版 Foundations and Guidelines for Animal-Assisted Interventions Aubret H. Fine著 p45より