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 Once upon a time, a hare and a tortoise had a race.  The hare lost the race because he was so confident of his running ability then took a nap along the way.  But while he slept, the tortoise passed him and won the race.  This is a famous story, which tells the overconfidence and a little bit of neglect can bring one's downfall, and slow and steady pace will bring success.
 A kindergarten teacher once showed me a report on childcare she had written.  In her report, she referred to an interesting experience she had had.  After reading this story about the Hare and the Tortoise with some children, she asked them, "When the tortoise saw the hare, his opponent, sleeping, don't you think he should have woken him up?"

 Children unanimously replied, "No!"  They insisted that if the tortoise had woken the hare, he would have definitely lost the race, and the tortoise could not be blamed for overtaking the hare noticing him.
 Here is another story.  A woman traveled to Russia. While there, she had an opportunity to visit an elementary school and told the same fable about the Hare and the Tortoise to children there.  After the story, she was quickly asked questions by them, such as "Why didn't the tortoise wake the hare?" and "Because the tortoise won the race in a dishonest manner, can you really call him a winner?"
 We can see a definite difference in response between Japanese children and those of Russian.  Generally speaking, the way children form their ideas is influenced by the adult world.  Can it be that Japanese adults' attitudes are reflected in the hard forgiving answers of those children?
 Does this show that we Japanese are "economical animals" as we have been rather critically labeled by some?
If so, then we should feel responsible and ashamed of ourselves for having made our children into replicas of us grown-ups.