Thursday, February 01, 2007

Husbands breaks taboo – say, 'I love you'

With three little words, Shigeru Shibata broke a taboo that had dogged his marriage for 30 years.

Saying "I love you" may not be a big undertaking for most men married for three decades, but it was a huge breakthrough for the 56-year-old civil servant from the village of Tsumagoi, north of Tokyo.

Encouraged by fellow members of the Japan Doting Husbands' Association, Mr Shibata had been praticising his line for three days, according to Motoyoshi Hashizume, who organised yesterday's Beloved Wives Day.

"When he said 'I love you' to his wife Midori it was a very moving moment for us all," said Mr Hashizume. "It's just not something that Japanese men tell their wives. It's embarrassing to say that but when Mr Shibata managed to say those words, we were all proud of him," said Mr Hashizume, one of around 60 members of the association and their wives gathered for the second anniversary of a day they hope will become a national institution.

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