I often write about Japan's falling birth rate since it's one of the more visible challenges the country is facing now. Signs of shoshika -- the social problem of fewer and fewer children each year -- are everywhere, from the unneeded elementary schools that are decomissioned and turned into community centers to the shock I received when a toy store in our neighborhood went out of business and was replaced by a shop selling Buddhist altars and gravestones. Most families have one or two children, though Yasu, the J-List employee who stocks our site with manga and Japanese study books, has three charming daughters, and we congratulate him for doing his part to repopulate Japan. Having a really large family is a rare enough thing to get you on TV, as I saw the other day when I happened to catch a show about a husband and wife that had 13 children living in my own city of Isesaki. The family operates a soba noodle restaurant that isn't very successful, and the show was full of feel-good images of the kids trying to think of ways to get more customers into the shop. So if you've got a large family, move to Japan and you might find yourself on TV!
Having lots of kids will make you famous in Japan.