In Japan, the legal age of adulthood is 20 as opposed to 18, so when Yuma Hasegawa reached his 20th birthday, he probably expected a birthday card from his parents on this milestone occasion. He got one, all right, but it probably wasn’t quite what he hoped it would be.
Yuma received the festively wrapped card with cheerful congratulations and well wishes on his birthday, but when he opened it, he found a “Notice of Expiration of Child-rearing Services” from his parents, Yoshikazu and Chiaki, and the “birthday present” might just be the most parent-y thing any parent has actually parented.
Yuma posted the complete note in two tweets, first showing the outside of the festively decorated card:
@haru28mi @gggxsss ただウケ狙っただけですよ笑
— 長谷川雄麻 (@zamayuma1004) October 6, 2015
And then the inside:
— 長谷川雄麻 (@zamayuma1004) October 4, 2015
Translated from Japanese, the note provides salutations and a list of specific expectations they have for their son on this very important day.
Here’s what it says:
Happy 20th Birthday!
Notice of Expiration of Child-Rearing Services
As of October 4, 2015, your father, Yoshikazu Hasegawa, and mother, Chiaki Hasegawa, have completed their duties of raising their child: you, Yuma Hasegawa.
Going forward, please become a proper and responsible member of society, like your father and mother. In addition, should you continue living in the Hasegawa family home, please make a monthly payment of 20,000 yen [US$168] for rent, utility, and grocery expenses. Also, please be aware that should you ask for a loan from your parents, interest will be charged.
Points to note upon reaching the age of 20
You must make compulsory national pension payments. If you put this off it will cause problems, so make the payments.
Should you commit a crime, your face and name can now be shown on television and in newspapers. You will also have a permanent criminal record.
You can now buy alcohol and tobacco products. Do not drive while intoxicated.
You can get married without your parents’ permission. However, they may not emotionally accept your wife as their daughter-in-law if you don’t discuss the situation without them beforehand.
Think responsibly about the future and set aside an adequate amount of savings from the money you earn.
Please enjoy your life as an adult.
The transition to adulthood is a pretty big deal, and this lighthearted note about what Yuma will be expected to demonstrate as an adult isn’t just a gift to their son — it’s a gift to the entire world. Parents today are often accused of parenting for the short term, and there’s definitely a small grain huge boulder of truth in that, so this notice of expiration is a huge breath of fresh air.
After all, the goal of a parent is to one day make themselves obsolete, right? What better way to do that than be completely explicit in what your child can expect when they flap their little wings and explore the world outside of the nest?
The advice is exactly that — advice. With the exception of the rent rule (which Yuma says he has already been paying), nothing in the note is a directive, just a suggestion.
It ranges from solid financial advice, “You must make compulsory national pension payments. If you put this off it will cause problems, so make the payments,” to the sweet and caring, “You can now buy alcohol and tobacco products. Do not drive while intoxicated,” and the tongue-in-cheek, perhaps too honest, “You can get married without your parents’ permission. However, they may not emotionally accept your wife as their daughter-in-law if you don’t discuss the situation without them beforehand.”
Every parent knows that the job is never truly done and that adulthood isn’t really a set of items to check off a list.
But we can all appreciate that the Hasegawas have given both their son and the rest of the world a wonderful gift by preparing Yuma to live among the rest of the humans.