More older men are now taking classes on how to cook, clean, and perform other types of housework in Japan. Many of them had signed up after their spouses expressed the desire to share household duties after the men retired. Others found themselves in need of learning the basics of housework after becoming widowed or divorced. Community centers and home economics schools are now offering classes for older Japanese men who want to learn household skills, a new concept in a country where women have traditionally shouldered most of the household and child care responsibilities. For Takashi Kaneko, 74, these classes also helped him make friends with other men in his neighborhood after his wife passed away four years ago. What’s more, Kaneko is now able to host his adult children. He said, "When my kids come to visit, it's usually after they're tired from work, and they want to relax. If their mother were alive, she would surely have cooked for them and made them feel at home, so I want to do the same." Kikuo Yano, 80, has been taking home economics classes to surprise his wife of 43 years. "All this time my wife has done everything," the retired architect said. "I haven't done anything around the house. If I don't know how to, I guess there's nothing I can do. But if I learn how to do it, then it's time I help." Yano now gets up early every morning to press his own clothes and takes great pride in doing so.

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