Takeh, my son, has started climbing on a jungle gym in the shape of two columns.
He has recently developed arm strength, leg strength, and a sense of balance, and his parents can now watch him take on these challenges with relative ease.
For him, the desire to conquer is: “If I’m going to climb, I might as well climb to the top! He has not yet developed the desire to reach the top of the mountain. When he reaches the second step and is at the same level as me, his father, he is satisfied and goes back down. Or he is afraid to go down and asks me to save him.
This monkey bars can only move almost vertically. Where’s the fun in that? As an adult, I wonder what the fun is, but Takeh sometimes wants to climb up.
When I watch other children playing in the park, I see that they often climb on the jungle gym, but then quickly get off and go to another piece of playground equipment.
When I was a kid, there were a lot of jungle gyms in parks. They were usually large rectangular structures that looked like buildings. We used to play tag on these monkey bars, using them in all directions.
But now, as I look around the parks, at least around our house, there seem to be very few places where the old-fashioned big jungle gyms are set up. Perhaps they were removed because some children were slipping and falling and getting hurt.
As park managers, the local government does not want to get involved in as much trouble as possible. No matter how much playing on the jungle gym by moving quickly around is conducive to intellectual growth and physical fitness, it is a matter for the school board to consider and not directly relevant to the department that manages the park. More troubling are lawsuits filed by parents of children injured on park equipment.
While there is an opinion in the world that “many Japanese people are frivolous and appeal to self-responsibility”, Japanese people often question government administrators for their inaction. To those of you who work in government, thank you for your hard work.