The number of problems caused by “poison siblings,” as opposed to “poison parents,” who want to break off ties with their parents but cannot. They are not financially independent,” “cannot consult with their parents about their old age,” “ask for money,” “bring trouble,” and so on. Ushio Yoshida’s book, “Fugai na nai Kyoudai ni Mottoeteru,” a compilation of 13 such cases and interviews with experts, has been attracting much attention.
Here are just a few of the “disappointing siblings” who appear in the book…
A young man with a mental illness who has quit his job and lives at home. A fussy younger brother who repeatedly overdoses and has his parents take on a debt of 2 million yen because he spends too much money for his means.
The second brother, who could not read a business plan and never came to the office but was paid 1.2 million a month, and the third brother, who married various people and pretended they were dead to get money to pay expenses.
When I met them again after several years, they were covered in tattoos, even though they were not anti-company. When he found out at the funeral that his siblings and his father were not the same, he went berserk and ran away with the incense money. The younger brother, who is now in his twenties and has rebelled against his father.
The author, Ushio Yoshida, himself is a good friend of the family, and he is a good friend of the family. The author, Ushio Yoshida, says that his own frustration with his “disappointing older sister” was the impetus for writing the book.
My sister had been living abroad for many years and I thought she would never come back to Japan, but she came back to Japan in 2008 with her two cats. My sister is very good at manga and illustration and can do it at a professional level. She is definitely a person who can make a lot of money if she works hard and creates her artwork. At first, I introduced her to work and it was supposed to be smooth sailing. But before I knew it, I was told that he had apparently become a recluse in a log cabin-like shack that his parents had built in the countryside of Chiba.
Then one day, he suddenly called me and asked me to lend him some money. I thought he must be in a lot of trouble, since he is a person who does not talk about his problems very often, so I transferred the money from my savings. After that, there were several more such calls, totaling 2.3 million yen. My sister said she would pay me back, but she has not returned a single yen. I haven’t paid my parents the rent for the log house, and they are responsible for the utilities as well. I am just worried about what will happen if my parents pass away. I thought that there must be other siblings like this all over Japan, and that there must be others besides me who are worried about their future as both their parents and themselves grow older.”
When Mr. Yoshida told people around him that he wanted to produce such a book at a drinking party or other such gathering, his acquaintances’ acquaintances and their acquaintances, and so on, came to him, and the project began to take shape. However, few people were willing to talk about their family’s situation, and in many cases, they were turned down. In particular, many men were reluctant to talk, and as a result, only women were willing to be interviewed.
I think there are men who are in trouble, too,” he said. “I think there are men who are in trouble, but maybe they don’t want to be seen as being in trouble. They may also shun and insulate themselves from others. But I’m sure there are men who have their own words, too, and I regret that I wanted to cover a wider range of people. I spent a lot of time on it.
Mr. Yoshida recalls that another difficult thing was the lengthy and voluminous amount of time spent listening to each person’s story. The sessions were usually three to four hours long, and in some cases, the longest session lasted five hours twice.
In order to hear a sibling’s story, you have to hear the family’s story,” he said. It is a story about siblings, but in the background, there is often a story about their relationship with their parents, such as how their parents spoiled them. It’s like a family history. I thought the mother’s love for her eldest son was particularly strong. But I had to hear about it to understand the background. That is why the episodes for each person are so huge. I had to cut a lot. I also rounded off the edges of the words quite a bit. The words would be too much if they were left as they are. We are brothers, after all, so we don’t hold back.
In particular, many of the people we interviewed this time are women who have their own words, and they spoke with a rich vocabulary of abusive language and psychological descriptions of themselves, and their words were quite edgy. The text includes a passage in which, while talking to one person, she said 30 times that her brother was “stupid.
He said, “Yes, that, you know, that was something worse than that. Nowadays, things are a lot tougher, aren’t they? And also, there are times when putting things in writing can cause a halation. There were a lot of ‘I wish he would die,’ and so on, but we have rounded off those kinds of words.”
In some cases, the conversations with the victims revealed stories that had been locked away in the back of their minds.
In one case, the person had dug up a story about being sexually abused by her brother, which she had never been able to tell her family. I wondered why he kept talking about his parents when he was listening to his siblings. I wondered why, and eventually that happened, so I unconsciously avoided talking about my brother.
When I started this interview, I was expecting a more relaxed story, but unexpectedly some heavy topics came up, so I felt like I had to take it seriously. In my sister’s case, it’s still pop. Everyone’s stories were heavy, and the amount of money that came up was huge.”
Mr. Yoshida explains the background behind the recent increase in the number of troubles surrounding siblings.
I was born in 1972 and am 51 years old, so I am of a generation where there are many siblings with two or three children. The generation before that had six or seven siblings, so even if there was one troublesome person, they would just leave him or her alone. But now that there are two or three people in the generation, it is no longer possible to spread the risk. This generation is also the generation in which parents are caring for their children and preparing for old age. When I was young, I didn’t have any problems even if we didn’t get along. But when they reach 40 or 50 and their parents are in trouble, they have to get on their knees and talk about money and procedures. But I think they saw how bad they were, asking for money, not working, and so on.
So, how should those who are actually struggling with a disappointing sibling deal with them? Mr. Yoshida says, “You have to draw the line somewhere.
In the book, lawyer Miki Tamiki talks about bread, and it really hit home. The law says that there is a duty of support, but that’s the extent of the interpretation. That is the extent of the relationship between siblings. I think there are people who can be comforted by that statement alone, that they don’t have to be responsible for their siblings.
Since they are the closest strangers to you, you should just tell them to do it on their own and kick them to the curb. But people who help others still do so, and it is okay to let them go a little further. This book is not basically about getting along with your siblings. It is also a story about how it is okay to cut ties. If you still want to do something about it, just do what you can.