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Christmas Season in Europe

Japanese Chinese

For about ten days from the end of November, I visited several Japanese schools in Europe where I attended consultations on child development.

The Japan Overseas Medical Fund holds consultation sessions to provide medical advice for Japanese children living abroad, and in the past, these consultations primarily concerned physical problems, but in recent years, they have increasingly become consultations for children with development disorders that are difficult for local medical facilities to accommodate. About ten years ago, I was approached about participating in the consultations and agreed to go if it could be at the end of the year when I could also enjoy the Christmas market, and having had this rather unrighteous request accepted, I am still taking part in these consultations.

Despite the dreary winter weather, Christmas markets in cold northern Europe are held outside in the town square, which is decorated with beautiful Christmas lights, and where everyone, young and old, can enjoy mulled wine called Glühwein and sweets in open-air stalls.

Every year for the past ten years, I have visited Christmas markets in several cities in Germany and have practically memorized the locations of some of the stalls that are set up every year. As I always do, I drank some Glühwein and bought a wreath scented with cinnamon. Everyone was enjoying themselves, but the Foreign Ministry of Japan issued a travel warning urging travelers to be careful when visiting places swarmed with crowds because of the danger of terrorism. Next year, I hope that this sort of warning will no longer be necessary. This marks my last blog post for this year. Best wishes for the coming year!



sakakihara_2013.jpg Yoichi Sakakihara
M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ochanomizu University; Director of Child Research Net, Executive Advisor of Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute (BERD), President of Japanese Society of Child Science. Specializes in pediatric neurology, developmental neurology, in particular, treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Asperger's syndrome and other developmental disorders, and neuroscience. Born in 1951. Graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo in 1976 and taught as an instructor in the Department of the Pediatrics before working with Ochanomizu University.
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