Japanese dads share their parenting journey

Through their popular social media accounts, two dads proudly show the world their daily life as a family and provide a joyful insight into their quiet forest existence in rural Japan.

Married couple Shiba and Koji and their son live a peaceful life in the forest, and bring a new perspective on tradition and what it means to raise a loving family to their fans.

Winning hearts and minds due to their authenticity, love and power to engage audiences on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, Shiba and Koji are defiant in the face of the stigma that LGBTQ+ people continue to face in Japan.

A large part of their content involves educating their followers on Japanese culture in their mother tongue and wearing traditional Japanese clothes.

The pair are also artists, having vlogged their life in Japan through the series “Dad’s Life in Japan”. Now, they have over 31,000 followers on TikTok.

“We will never forget the day that we became a family,” the pair share in one video in which their son is wearing a kimono handed down through the generations.

“Wearing papa’s blue kimono that papa wore over 30 years ago.”

In Japan, LGBTQ+ people have fewer rights than in other developed nations. In June 2023, a court in the Fukuoka district ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional.

In the two years prior, five rulings on same-sex marriage were heard in Japan – two concluding that the ban was unconstitutional, one ruling that it was constitutional, and two upholding the ban.

Opinion polls demonstrate that approximately 70 per cent of the public are supportive of same-sex marriage, though current prime minister Fumio Kishida opposes it.