日本可愛米寶寶遠距送幸福 宣布新生兒喜訊奇葩方式曝|Japanese parents send ‘rice babies’ to share joy of newborns amid pandemic

Rice babies have been on the rise in Japan as the pandemic deters family from visiting newborn children. (Photos courtesy of PR/http://www.yosimiya.com/Website)

【看CP學英文】許多父母因為受到COVID-19(新冠肺炎)疫情影響,無法讓家中親戚探訪剛出生的孩子,但日本卻有父母突發異想,將米粒放在布袋中寄送給親戚,不僅可以分享喜悅,也盡到防疫的責任。

Many parents have been unable to allow relatives to visit their newborn children because of the COVID-19 epidemic in recent years, but some parents in Japan have come up with an alternative. They are sending “rice babies” to relatives.

In this way, they are not only able to share their joy but also adhere to the lockdown rules set forth by the government.

這些袋子有各式各樣的設計,有些袋子的形狀像裹在毛毯裡的嬰兒,布袋的表面也會貼上孩子的臉部相片,親戚感受到擁抱孩子的感覺的同時也可以看著新生兒的臉孔。

These bags have a variety of designs, with some shaped like a baby wrapped in a blanket; the package also features a photo of the newborn.

By picking up the sack of rice, relatives can mimic the feeling of hugging the child while also looking at him or her.

布袋裡的米數量也會與新生兒的出生體重相同,價格則隨著嬰兒的大小而增加,有些公司設定每公克收費1日圓,3.5公斤的米袋價格為3500日圓(約新台幣881元)。

The amount of rice in the bag is also measured to be the same as the birth weight of the newborn, and the price increases with the size of the baby.

The pricing for some companies see 1 gram of rice at 1 yen, with a 3.5 kg bag costing around 3,500 yen (around NT$881).

Kome no Zoto Yoshimiya 米店的老闆小野鳴雄說,「我在14年前就有這個想法,當時自己的兒子剛出生,某些住在很遠的親戚沒辦法到家裡看小孩,所以我在想我可以為他們做些什麼,後來就決定製作跟嬰兒相同重量、形狀的米袋,可以讓他們感受到喜悅」。

Naruo Ono (小野鳴雄), owner of the Kome no Zoto Yoshimiya Rice Shop, said, “I had this idea 14 years ago when my son was born and some relatives who lived far away couldn’t come home to see the baby.”

“So I thought about what I could do for them and decided to make rice bags of the same weight and shape as the baby so that they could feel joy.”

一位顧客在他們的公司(位於福岡附近的北九州市)看到了小野鳴雄孩子的照片後說,這個想法非常的創新與甜蜜。當下,小野也認為市場上或許也有相同需求,於是開始為客戶生產造型米袋,在日本形成新的潮流。

A customer who saw the picture of Ono’s child at their company (located in Kitakyushu, near Fukuoka) said that the idea was very innovative and sweet.

Ono then thought that there could be a market demand for this type of creation, so he started to produce “rice babies” for his customers, launching a new trend in Japan.

Ono then thought that there could be a market demand for this type of creation, so he started to produce “rice babies” for his customers, forming a new trend in Japan. (Photo courtesy of PR/http://www.yosimiya.com/Website)

近期小野鳴雄已經擴大產品範圍,包括以婚慶為主題的慶祝米袋。

Ono has now expanded the company’s products to include wedding-themed celebration rice bags.

小野鳴雄表示,「在婚慶送禮物品方面,新娘與新郎將米袋送給各自的父母,上面印有自己的相片,以感謝父母的養育之恩」。

Ono also pointed out, “In terms of wedding gifts, the bride and groom will give the rice bags to their respective parents with their photos on them to thank for raising them.

後來,婚慶米袋反而比新生兒米袋還更受歡迎。

Later, the wedding rice bags became even more popular than the newborn rice bags.

小野也表示,「在疫情期間,因為不能參加別人的婚禮,所以對米袋的需求逐漸提升」。

Ono also said, “During the epidemic, the demand for rice bags gradually increased because we could not attend other people’s weddings.”

衛報所述,儘管每年結婚的人數正在減少,但婚禮方面的業務增長有助於降低日本出生率下降的影響。

According to The Guardian, although the number of people getting married each year is decreasing, the growth of business in weddings is helping to reduce the impact of the declining birth rate in Japan.

去年日本的人口數量減少了48萬,來到了1.2665億人口,嚴格的國外旅遊限制減少了赴海外移居的人數,加劇了長期人口趨勢造成的下降。

Last year, Japan’s population dropped by 480,000 to 126.5 million people. Strict foreign travel restrictions have reduced the number of people migrating overseas, exacerbating the long-term demographic trend of decline.

同時,結婚人數從1970年代初超過100萬的高峰下降到2011年最低的525490人。

Similarly, the number of marriages fell from a peak of over 1 million in the early 1970s to a post-war low of 525,490 in 2011.

從1989年來有將近125萬名嬰兒出生,到2020年新生兒數量降至843,321人創下歷史新低,並且還在持續下降。

From nearly 1.25 million births in 1989, the number of newborns dropped to a record low of 843,321 in 2020 and is expected to continue declining.

在日本47個縣市當中,只有東京及其周邊三個地區、南部的沖繩在去年達到人口增長。

Of the 47 prefectures and cities in Japan, only Tokyo and its three surrounding areas, and Okinawa in the south, achieved population growth last year.