Book of The Century





Masaru Ibuka (1977).  Kindergarten Is Too Late! .  Simon and Schuster, NY.  A prescient book written by the co-founder of SONY is a Book of Our Times and is relevant today as it was in 1977. In his Introduction, Masaru Ibuka states: “In contrast, a newborn baby brought up in an environment essentially hostile to his or her needs has no chance later in life of developing fully”; and “It Is Environment That Counts, Not Genes” (p.47); and “Holding the Baby Should Be Encouraged” (p.68)


Additional Commentary.


In “Part V. Some Things to Avoid and A Glance at the Future”, Masaru Ibuka cites some central themes of his book. There are:


1.     Parents Without Vision for the Future Are Incapable of Educating Their Children

2.     Parent Education Precedes Early Development

3.     The Parent Should Never Forget to Learn from the Child

4.     The Sense in Which the Mother, Rather Than the Father, Helps the Child to Be a Fine Human Being

5.     Mothers Should Not Force Their Children in Early Development

6.     Avoid the Abortion of Infant Education

7.     Infant’s Are Not Their Parents’ Possessions

8.     A Mother’s Lack of Confidence Is Harmful

9.     Vanity In the Mother Implants False Values in a Child

10.  In Order to Improve Your Child, You as Parent Must First Change and Improve Yourself

11.  Rearing the Child to Excel the Parent Is True Education

12.  Men and Women Capable of Trusting Others Will Build the Twenty-first Century

13.  Today’s Young Children Alone Will be Capable of Eradicating Wars and Racial Prejudices


“An abnormal genius may be reared by a father; but a human being well balanced in both mind and body needs the nurturing that traditionally comes form the mother. That is why I keep insisting on mothering as essential to early development” (p.170). Note that the word “caretaker” nowhere appears in Masaru Ibuka’s book.


I am reminded of Ashley Montagu’s quote in the Natural Superiority of Women (1951):


"Women are the mothers of humanity; do not let us ever forget that or underemphasize its importance. What mothers are to their children, so will man be to man" (pp. 247-248).


Masaru Ibuka sums up: “However convenient and affluent our lives may be, we cannot possibly live in peace and happiness in a society that is lacking in trust” (p.180). “That is why it is all the more important to implant a firm basis of trust n a child before kindergarten and school age, so that he may grow up to trust others” (P.181); and “Children below the age of three have no ideas of racial prejudice and hatred for other races” (p.182); and “True world peace no longer depends on us, the adults of the present, but on the generation who are at present infants” P.182).


Every educator of infants and children should read, “Kindergarten Is Too Late!”