Based around the fictional Yamamura Family, this fun loving television series is a hit in any family. It is a widely comical rendition of the American equivalent, “Mr. Mom” but has much more to offer as far as societal obstacles brought forth by the popular Japanese separation of sexes among careers. Not only does it encourage reaching beyond societal structure but also gives a great impression to Westerners of the life that the Japanese lead.
I first came across this movie a few weeks ago when I was searching for some new Japanese dramas to watch along with my family. “At Home Dad” came to my attention from one of my friends since it has just been released with English subtitles available by DVD box set. My first thought was that this television series that came out in 2004 must be a remake of Hollywood’s’ “Mr. Mom” starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr. But, I purchased the box set anyways mostly because my friend from Japan suggested it and partially because it was based in a modern Japanese neighborhood unlike many other Japanese dramas available on the market. My husband who has never been to Japan has acquired an odd image of Japan from old Japanese films, so I thought this would be the perfect film set to show him what life is really like in Japan today.
This television did not disappoint me or my husband at all. It was similar to “Mr. Mom” in the fact that the father Yamamura Kazuyuki played by Abe Hiroshi, a Marketing Director of a large commercial company that has recently lost his job, that switches places with his housewife Yamamura Miki played by Shinohara Ryoko. More similarities arise such as having to deal with washing the laundry, cooking and taking care of the children but that is where the similarities stop.
Kazuyuki is afraid of what men and women will perceive when he becomes a house-husband. He is torn between getting a new job that earns more than half the amount of his previous job and his role as a breadwinner of the family. In addition, Miki is torn between the want to work as a professional magazine editor and the more traditional role as a caretaker of their young five-year old daughter.
To twist the story even more, the Yamamura family now lives in a large house next door to a family with the same working structure. Nakajima Tomoko plays the role of Sugio Shoko, the next door wife that owns and runs her own successful business leaving her husband Sugio Yusuke played by Miyasako Hiroyuki at home to raise their son and run the household. The two families are brought together and learn from each other on how to live in a country that frowns upon men staying home instead of the women.
All in all, everyone in my family loved this television series. It is fun to watch and is clean for all ages to enjoy. It is now available with English subtitles at select locations in America. I encourage everyone to purchase this television series and enjoy! You can purchase this at Yesasia.com (picture is from this site).