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VERY OFTEN the serviceman sees a very young baby, not more than two months old, strapped to his mother's back. He wonders: Is he all right back there? Isn't he uncomfortable, afraid? Then he sees mama-san turn her head to the infant, smile reassuringly, and he knows that everything is dai-jobu. If he should cry, mama-san merely sways to and fro, and her body movement does a far better lullaby job than any rocking chair or swaying cradle. About ninety per cent of the Japanese mothers follow the "on back" custom. When making an exceptionally long trip, mama-san transports baby-san by buggy. But for the short trips, she finds it easier and speedier to carry him Indian fashion. It is an occasional treat for American youngsters to win a piggy-back ride aboard their dad. But in Japan the piggy-back ride is an everyday occurrence for the youngsters and they aren't very much impressed. 66
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