Vietnamese Wife Shares Secret to Build Great Relationship with Japanese In-Laws

Overcoming differences in lifestyle and culture, a Vietnamese girl has become an important figure in the company of her husband's family in Japan.
June 28, 2023 | 22:11
Vietnamese Wife Shares Secret to Build Great Relationship with Japanese In-Laws
Bui Ngoc Thuy at her family's crop field. Photo provided by Thuy

Many overseas Vietnamese living in Japan know Bui Ngoc Thuy, 34 from the southern province of Dong Nai, through million-viewed clips about the daily life of her farming family. The simple, close and friendly images taken by Thuy make many people can't wait to see her next update.

Followed husband to Japan to become farmer

Thuy is the beautiful owner of the beauty salon system in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai province. Being good at Japanese, she was asked by her partner to lead a Japanese group to visit HCM City. There she met 50-year-old Murakami Kazuyuki who would become her husband.

The fateful meeting in 2016 brought two people from two foreign countries together. "When we met, it was like we were struck by Cupid. When he returned home, we still kept in touch with each other," Thuy said.

Through research, she only knew that Murakami had studied abroad in the US, working in an agricultural company with his family. His whole family had to work diligently to rebuild their company after the devastating tsunami in 2012.

More than a year after the fateful meeting, Thuy got married in Japan. She did not expect that her husband's family has an agricultural farm of up to 50 hectares, of which 40 hectares specialize in rice cultivation.

In the winter of 2017, Thuy decided to sell the shop in her hometown and then moved to Japan to live with her husband. Thuy and her husband are compatible partner, both at home and work. He always supported, encouraging and helped and agreed with Thuy's suggestions.

"When I first arrived, I had to try a lot to adapt to the environment and culture of my husband's family. I was stressed even though I always had my husband by my side to support me. Disagreements about language, culture and generation gap with my husband's parents were a challenge that made me always nervous and strained in the first year of being a bride," recalls Thuy.

Thuy's husband, because of the pressure of the family business, has a nervous and physical breakdown. Loving her husband, Thuy would like to follow him to work, both to encourage him every day and to learn how to do agriculture.

From a girl who never knew how to work in agriculture, now Thuy has become a real farmer in Japan, reputable by her family and many people. All thanks to the love, energy as well as ingenuity in dealing with the husband's family of 8X Dong Nai.

Overcoming challenges, conquering mother-in-law

The biggest difficulty that Thuy faces is the difference in thinking, way of life and methods of work of her mother-in-law.

Murakami Atsuko is 77 years old this year. When she was young, she was an active woman, rowing with her husband and children, running the family company's agricultural production. However, her way of thinking and working style is no longer the same as that of the younger generation.

Vietnamese Wife Shares Secret to Build Great Relationship with Japanese In-Laws
Thuy and her mother-in-law harvesting sweet potatoes. Photo provided by Thuy

When starting to work, Thuy realized that people only focused on production but did not pay attention to the sales stage, there were many shortcomings that needed to be adjusted accordingly. That changed her mother-in-law's operating habits, so she was not happy.

"My mother-in-law is healthy, talented, and very dedicated to taking care of her family. But she often follows the same path, always thinks that she is right and wants to guide young people to do as she pleases. Therefore, in order to change prejudices, change the ancient agricultural 'kingdom' of my mother-in-law, I had to be very energetic and persistent," recalls Thuy.

At first, it was very difficult for Thuy to win out over her mother-in-law. But when she thought about the strengths of each person, not looking at each other's faults but only looking at the positive side, things fought changed.

"Of course, a daughter-in-law came from nowhere to ask her to change her ways of doing things, disagree with her, surely she would be very uncomfortable. So I was very gentle, avoiding collisions with her. When she talked a lot, I kept quiet. I just focused on doing, as long as I achieved the highest work efficiency. Then my mother-in-law realized that I was right, she was enlightened and took the initiative to apologize," Thuy confided.

Her parents-in-law agreed to step back, ceding the right to run the company to Thuy and her husband. Overcoming the difference in lifestyle and culture, the petite Vietnamese girl has become an important figure in the company of her husband's family.

Vietnamese Wife Shares Secret to Build Great Relationship with Japanese In-Laws
Thuy and her husband are busy with seasonal agricultural work, her son has to rely on her mother-in-law. Photo provided by Thuy

At the end of 2018, Thuy gave birth to their first son. The disagreements between Thuy and her mother-in-law were fighting resolved.

“Living with the elderly you must have love and put yourself in their place. My husband and I are allowed to go here and there, and my husband's parents have been engaged in agriculture all their lives and do not go anywhere, so their thinking is different. When I accept to live there, I have to find the middle ground," Thuy shared.

Thuy's mother-in-law is a traditional Japanese woman, wholeheartedly serving her husband, children and family. Different in generations, lifestyles, and ways of working, Thuy has always been loved by her mother-in-law as a daughter. Now, Ms. Thuy has a senior effective assistant in daily life.

As a bride living in the new country, Thuy was still confused about culture, her mother-in-law became a consultant for her. She did not hesitate to teach her daughter-in-law about traditional Kimono and Yukata.

“Looking at my mother-in-law getting old and sleepy, but still having to drive to carry my daughter-in-law, still crouching to put on Kimono for me, I am always grateful to her for that", Thuy said.

Vietnamese Wife Shares Secret to Build Great Relationship with Japanese In-Laws
Photo provided by Thuy

Thuy does not know how to drive, her mother-in-law comes in to help her. Many times she drove to sell vegetables and fruits, took her children to play and drove Thuy to work.

Every month, Thuy and her husband pay salaries and social insurance contributions to their mother-in-law's "employees". She also does not depend on her children because of that, always working with her hands and feet to affirm that she is not dependent on her children and depends.

Thuy understands their mother-in-law, talks a lot but is carefree and never stays angry for long.

“My mother-in-law talks a lot but is very carefree and never takes it for granted, stays angry for a long time. She is always happy to help her children. I always feel love and gratitude to my mother-in-law. If I had given up the early day under pressure, we wouldn't be where we are today. Now I have a peaceful and joyful home, nothing is better than that," Thuy shared.

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