This week we have Sakaki claiming he isn’t cold because he is a kaze no ko – a ”child of the wind”. While Io felt obliged to take things literally and announce that he himself is a child of man (hopefully no religious subtext intended there), the words are part of a longer phrase – kaze no ko, genki na ko, or ”children of the wind are healthy children” – which is commonly used in Japanese to describe a popular approach to raising children.
The general idea is to avoid being overprotective and let children face the world around them, particularly its ever-changing weather conditions, and make them toughen up as a result. Boys playing soccer mid-winter in nothing but shorts and T-shirts is not that uncommon in Japan. Some seemingly inadequate ‘winter’ school uniforms are probably influenced by this way of thinking. (Female university students in Japan also tend to wear short skirts even in winter, though that should probably be considered a sacrifice they make in the name of fashion more than anything else.)
As always, there’s a grain of truth in the old saying. Scientists agree that the increase in the number of people suffering from e.g. allergies is partly caused by an overly sterile environment. Our bodies can’t really learn how to defend themselves without taking an attack or two first, too. Still, where I live, no mother lets her child go out without a muffler on when it’s snowing outside.