Japan on the decline

Like I said before, growing numbers of Japanese youths (and their peers in similar first world countries) are choosing to become childless for whatever reason. The biggest problem has to do with socioeconomic conditions not easily supportive of families to begin with. Women can’t always stay at home and remain sheltered.

They should do more than that. This gets complicated by men having long working hours which prevents them from truly interacting with their families. That the expectations of starting families can be too high for some people. Sweden isn’t any better in some regards but at least provides parental leave for both parents.

There’s a reason why growing numbers of people work at home. They need that balance between work and family life. Moreso if they have children. I haven’t been to Japan but it seems the circumstances are making it real hard for people to start families, let alone date.

It’s now impractical to be a housewife unless if you’re upper class or work in some child-friendly occupation. For both genders, it’s just easier to focus on creature comforts that to deal with familial responsibilities, even spousal ones at that. (And people wonder why their marriages fail.)

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Let’s not jump into conclusions

Like I said, if somebody writes about dogs getting killed despite proclaiming to like them it could possibly indicate weird mixed feelings and unresolved emotions of sorts. Part of it could be projection in that I did fear somebody else’s dogs before and I admit to obsessing over abused dogs before due to anger issues and stuff.

So in reality that author’s attitudes to dogs might be more ambivalent than it’d realise if you study psychology somewhat. The person could be wary of dogs, including its own, if sufficiently angered. Likewise somebody who has a habit of mutilating arms could be really stressed out from drawing them especially if it draws comics for a living.

Or that it can get real hard to get them right. So sometimes people who write violent, gory stories aren’t necessarily misanthropic but could possibly be seriously irritated at times. Especially if severely stressed out. Now one understands why HxH’s author takes hiatuses. It gets too stressful and I know this from experience in some manner so.

Inaccuracy

I guess even the most well-researched story could have inaccuracies by accident, especially if the authors not only misremember things but also get distracted by something else. You could get historical and scientific inaccuracies of sorts, moreso if the writers didn’t have time to correct any further or gets distracted. With the former it gets compounded by inavailability of sources needed.

Even online these will get taken away, sometimes without mirrored copies at all! With Google Books, you’re left with mostly samples and snippets. Usually public domain works get to be downloaded more fully often with respect to copyright and the like. Sometimes it can apply to stereotypes. Even somebody who’s been to Italy could fall back on nasty stereotypes rather unconsciously so.

Ad infinitum and even I myself have done mistakes in my research.

Google Books on lonely women and their dogs

Though much of it is in German, it’s valuable:

Hagestolz und Alte Jungfer – Page 120

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Katrin Baumgarten – Preview
Max Bartels attestiert und suggeriert dem Leser an dieser Stelle zugleich, man könne eine Frau anhand bestimmter körperlicher und charakterlicher Mängel zuverlässig als Alte Jungfer ausmachen. … mitunter geradezu penetranter Bemühungen um die Männer nicht zum Ziel kommt, kompensiert sie ihr Liebesverlangen durch übertriebene Zuwendung zu einem Haustier, dem berühmt-berüchtigten Schoßhund, der ihr, so mutmaßt Bartels, sogar unzüchtigen Ersatz174 leisten muß.
Die Gegenwart – Page 43

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1888 – ‎Read – ‎More editions
Das antike Liebespaar Barbara Petrowna und Stephan Trofimowitfch — sie lieben sich wirklich, eben wie nur eine alte Jungfer und ihr Schoßhund — erfreut sich je eines aus einer früheren Ehe hervorgegangenen Sprossen. Nicolaus Wßewolodowitsch und Peter “Stephanowitsch sind regelrechte Potenzirungen der Eigenfchaften der Barbara Petrowna und des Stephan Trofimowitfch. Der Sohn der Generalswittwe erscheint als der Repräsentant des indolenten russischen Adels.
Wana – Page 58

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Willy Pastor – 2017 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
»Ihre Maschinen, lieber Herr Krauts, gut, das lässt sich hören. Wenn man nun aber sich in dem andern Menschen zu sehr geliebt hat, wenn die Maschinen nicht alles aufnehmen können – was dann?« »Dann gibt es noch eine Menge anderer Blitzableiter. Schaffen Sie sich ein Segelboot an, oder ein Pferd, oder machen Sie’s wie ich, ein Aquarium.« Mit einem Ruck war Hardanger wieder er selbst. Das Bild einer alten Jungfer mit ihrem Schoßhund fiel ihm ein. Der gute Krauts kam ihm …
Erinnerungen an merkwürdige Gegenstände und Begebenheiten, verbunden …

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1855 – ‎Read – ‎More editions
Isidor, mit allen Vollmachten von Lottchen versehen, nahm gegen Aushändigung der Verzichtsurkunde an den alten Grafen und im Beisein der beiden angeblichen Brüder, die sich darauf als Zeugen unterfertigen mußten, das Geld in Empfang, und versprach … alte Jungfer, ob sie ledig bleiben will; eine alte Aktrice, ob sie ins ältere Fach übertreten will; einen Preußen, ob er ein Deutscher sein will; den Schoßhund einer Stiftsdame, ob er ein Mann sein will; einen Sterblichen, ob er ein …
Heimgarten – Volume 3 – Page 376

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1879 – ‎Read – ‎More editions
Welch anderes Bild zeigt uns hingegen die alte Jungfer! In neunundneunzig von hundert Fällen … Der Hagestolz hätte heiraten können, er wollte aber nicht ; die alte Jungfer wollte heiraten, aber es war ihr versagt. Nun mögen allerdings auch die alten … Wie wohlfeil ist doch unser Spott über die Zärtlichkeit, mit welcher alte Jungfern an einem kleinen Schoßhund, einer Lieblingskatze, einem Papagei oder einem Canarienvogel zu hängen pflegen! Diese Liebe zum Thiere ist doch …
Bd. Literarische Herzenssachen – Page 487

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Ferdinand Kürnberger, ‎Otto Erich Deutsch – 1911 – ‎Snippet view
as eine alte Jungfer oder Wittib für einen Schoßhund zu tun imstande ist, gehört zu jenen Grenzbeziehungen zwischen Menschheit und Tierreich, wo der intime Verkehr zweier Nachbarvölker die Grenze schon aufhebt. Ist aber der Schoßhund – ein Dichter, so gehört es in die Literaturgeschichte; wenigstens glauben es Deutsche! So las ich demnach in einer deutschen Literaturgeschichte, daß sich eine überaus gemütliche Freundschaft, Platoliebe, Geschwisterzärtlichkeit und …
Die Wittwe – Volumes 3-5 – Page 27

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Frances Milton Trollope – 1841 – ‎Read – ‎More editions
Mehrere Stunden dieses langweiligen Morgens mußte Oberst Hubert in dem quälendsten Zustande der Ungewißheit verharren, weil die Abwesenheit der alten Lady aus dem Gesellschaftszimmer sich so sehr in die Länge zog. Endlich aber, nachdem Sir Edward und seine Gemahlin ohne seine Begleitung zu ihrem zweiten Morgenspaziergange aufgebrochen waren, wurde er durch den Eintritt der alten Jungfer, seiner Tante Kammerfrau, erfreut, die ihren Schoßhund nebst seinem …
Das Tierreich: in zwei Bänden – Volume 2 – Page 1224

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1897 – ‎Read – ‎More editions
… aber durchaus nicht etwa winziger und gebrechlicher, sondern stämmiger und untersetzter Bursche, ist der Mops allerdings kaum mehr als Schoßhund zu betrachten; wenigstens muß der Schoß schon recht geräumig sein, auf dem er mit seinen sieben oder gar zehn Kilogramm bequem Platz hat, und noch weniger dürfte, wie dies doch aus früheren Zeiten geschildert wird, eine alte Jungfer von heutzutage im stande sein, ihren vielgeliebten und noch dazu sprichwörtlich fetten Mops …
Sexualethik: – Page 289

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Aurél Kolnai – 1930 – ‎Snippet view
… (alte Jungfer und Schoßhund, bizarre Liebhabereien, die offenbar die fehlenden Liebeswerte ersetzen sollen), und auch nicht die angebliche Deserotisierung durch Arbeit und Sport. Abtötung allein hat etwas Widermenschliches, Barbarisches1; man vergesse nie, daß etwa die Mönchsaskese, wiewohl sie einen kunstvollen psychophysiologischen Training der Enthaltsamkeit ausgebildet hat, vor allem die geistig erfüllte jungfräuliche Hingabe an Gott und einzelne religiöse Werte …
Wort und Wahrheit: Monatsschrift für Religion und Kultur

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1962 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
Die alte Jungfer mit dem Schoßhund, den sie wie ein Kind behandelt, ist keine lächerliche, sondern eine tragische Figur. Wer wollte ihr dieses armselige Surrogat eines menschlichen Du mißgönnen oder gar wegnehmen? Daß es so etwas geben muß, ist am Ende eine Anklage gegen unsere eigene Herzenshärte und Gleichgültigkeit — und gegen eine Gesellschaft, die es zuläßt, daß Menschen ausweglos und für immer in eine grausame Vereinzelung verbannt werden. Aber es gibt …

Hagestolz and Alte Jungfer – Page 120

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Katrin Baumgarten – Preview
Max Bartels attests and suggests to the reader at this point at the same time, one can reliably make a woman based on certain physical and character defects as Old Maid . … sometimes with almost painstaking efforts for the men does not come to the goal, she compensates for her desire for love by exaggerated attention to a pet, the infamous lap dog , which, it surmises Bartels, must even pay for it lewd.
The present – Page 43

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1888 – Read – More editions
The antique lovers Barbara Petrovna and Stephan Trofimowitfch – they really love each other, just like an old maid and their pet dog – each enjoys a sprouts from a previous marriage. Nicolaus Wodewolodowitsch and Peter “Stephanowitsch are veritable potencies of the characteristics of Barbara Petrovna and Stephan Trofimowitfch.” The son of the general widow appears as the representative of the indolent Russian nobility.
Wana – Page 58

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Willy Pastor – 2017 – Preview – More editions
“Your machines, dear Mr. Krauts, all right, that’s easy to hear. But if one loved oneself too much in the other, if the machines can not absorb everything, what then? “” Then there are a lot of other lightning rods. Get yourself a sailboat, or a horse, or do an aquarium like me. “With a jolt, Hardanger was himself again. He remembered the picture of an old maid with her pet dog . The good Krauts came to him …
Memories of strange objects and events, connected …

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1855 – Read – More editions
Isidore, with all the powers of Lottchen, received the money in exchange for a certificate of surrender to the old count, and in the presence of the two alleged brothers, who had to testify as witnesses, and promised … old maids if they were single wants to stay; an old actress, if she wants to transfer to the older subject; a Prussian, whether he wants to be a German; the lap dog of a collegiate, whether he wants to be a man; a mortal, whether he is a …
Heimgarten – Volume 3 – Page 376

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1879 – Read – More editions
What other picture shows us, however, the old maid ! In ninety-nine of a hundred cases … Hagestolz could have married, but he did not want to; the old maiden wanted to marry, but she had failed. But how old are we? How cheap is our ridicule about the tenderness with which old maidens tend to hang on a little pet dog , a favorite cat, a parrot, or a canary bird!* This love for animals is …
Bd. Literary Heart – Page 487

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Ferdinand Kürnberger , Otto Erich German – 1911 – Snippet view
What an old maid or Wittib is capable of doing for a pet dog belongs to those border relations between humanity and the animal kingdom, where the intimate intercourse of two neighboring peoples already abolishes the frontier. But if the pet dog is a poet, then it belongs in the history of literature; At least Germans believe it! So I read in a German literary history , that a very friendly friendship, Platoliebe, sibling tenderness and …
The widow volumes 3-5 – Page 27

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Frances Milton Trollope – 1841 – Read – More editions
For several hours of this boring morning Colonel Hubert had to remain in the most torturous state of uncertainty, because the absence of the old lady from the drawing-room dragged on so much. Finally, however, after Sir Edward and his wife left for their second morning walk without his companionship, he was delighted by the arrival of the old maid , his aunt, chambermaid, who had her pet dog along with his …
The Animal Kingdom: in two volumes – Volume 2 – Page 1224

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1897 – Read – More editions
… but by no means tiny and frail but burly and stocky fellow, the pug, however, is little more than a pet dog to look at; at least the lap must already be quite spacious, on which he can comfortably sit with his seven or even ten kilograms, and still less, as has been described from earlier times, an old maiden of today should be in her, her beloved, and still to this literally fat pug …
Sexual Ethics: – Page 289

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Aurél Kolnai – 1930 – Snippet view
… ( old maiden and pet dog , bizarre hobbies, apparently to replace the missing love values), and also not the alleged deserotization through work and sport. Killing alone has something inhumane, barbaric1; It is never to be forgotten that the monkish sect, for instance, although she has cultivated an elaborate psycho-physiological training in abstinence, above all the spiritually fulfilled virgin devotion to God and individual religious values ​​…
Word and truth: monthly for religion and culture

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1962 – Snippet view – More editions
The old maid with the lap dog , whom she treats like a child, is not a ridiculous figure, but a tragic figure. Who would you begrudge or even take away this paltry surrogate of a human you? That there must be such a thing is, in the end, an indictment of our own hardness of heart and indifference – and of a society that allows people to be routinely and forever banished into cruel isolation. But there are …

*Looney Tunes’s Granny, Sylvester and Tweety Bird.

Nigerians and their pets

Nigeria’s got to have an interesting trajectory, though not unique to other African countries with a substantial Muslim minority (such as Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and possibly Ethiopia) and even its immediate neighbours like Ghana and Cameroon one could say that it’s composed of historically two or three different regions. The Northern part includes Sokoto and there was a Sokoto empire before.

As expected given Islam’s apparent tolerance for cats, cat ownership’s considerably higher in the North among Hausa and Fulani people. This might not always be the case for whatever reason though pet ownership rates differ in the south due to superstitions. Then again the same can’t be said of other countries like Uganda even if cat ownership is similarly low given Uganda has lots of cattle and goats dogs would be preferred for herding them.

I could be wrong about it in Uganda though. Conversely speaking Nigeria’s closest neighbour Cameroon has a relatively higher rate of cat ownership as do Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (with Akan majority population) despite certain superstitions*. I guess Ugandans, Cameroonians, Ivorians and Ghanaians are likelier to keep cats around for pest control. Among Ugandans they’ve been doing this since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

At least as I far as I can remember though still wrong about it.

*Because they’re milder too.

Ghana then and now

I think I remember reading reports taken in the early to mid-2000s where Ghana had a higher rate of cat ownership back then. As the majority ethnicity is Akan, there’s a psycholinguistic aspect to it: in some Akan dialects the word for cat is the same one for soul (okra). I remember reading an 18th century French report on the Gold Coast (Ghana) where cats were allegedly said to be venerated.

This validates such claims though others may beg to differ. Given Ghanaians are relatively more tolerant of cats than Nigerians are, one would suspect that Nigerian influence (and globalisation) may have affected Ghanaians considerably in pet ownership. Especially when it comes to rising affluence comes a preference for pedigree dogs and a 1970s report on Democratic Republic of Congo may be similar.

That was before the latter’s economy worsened real badly. One argues that DRC might eventually recover (and so will Cameroon) though who knows at this point. Strangely enough I recall reading a Francophone report in Yaounde (and another one but in another place) where cat ownership reportedly edged out dog ownership by a margin.

Cameroon’s colonisers coincidentally France and Germany also have high rates of cat ownership though it may not exactly apply elsewhere to that degree.

I suspect

I suspect that the Kenyan attitude to dogs changed over time, which one could attribute it to colonisation and Westernisation, even globalisation moreso as Kenya’s economy grew (and its fertility rate declined) which accounts for a lot. As I noted before, a 1910s report on British East Africa mentions Kikuyus being afraid of dogs and that there are other relatively more recent reports of dog being involved in or associated with witchcraft in some form.

Some Kenyan men don’t seem fond of cats for certain reasons but historically a good number of them tolerated these for as long as they catch rodents. That still is the case with some rural communities, as expected for their occupations and niches. That’s still the case with some Ghanaians, Ivorians, Cameroonians, Ugandans and Congolese especially among private owners, farmers and shopkeepers albeit for better or worse.

While the growth of Pentecostalism (a side-effect of Western missionary efforts) would be enough to have some Cameroonians, Ugandans and Ghanaians soured on dogs especially when the Bible could be used to justify cynophobia in tandem with local superstitions, who knows if the same can be said of Kenyans especially at some point or another shortly after Christianity’s rise in Kenya.