Mizuko

I have written already about the semantics of loss–in short, our culture lacks the right words for talking about miscarriage and really about death of all kinds. Today, I read an article on the UK Miscarriage Association website called “Water Baby” that discusses that Japan is the only culture that has a special word to refer to babies lost during pregnancy–“mizuko,” which means “water baby.” The author of the article goes on to say, “Miscarriage describes the process, but not what has actually died. In the West we rely heavily on euphemism to describe death and miscarriage is no exception; we get around the absence of a word like mizuko by adding the word ‘lost’ to various nouns, as in: lost baby. But the nouns we use tend to be subjective and fraught with controversy.”

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3 responses to “Mizuko

  1. As someone whom is in the midst of a miscarriage, thankyou 😦

  2. Oh, I love it. What a sweet term. Much more meaningful than miscarriage, which implies our body failed to carry the baby to term. And, with that term, making the mother feel as if she somehow has failed.

  3. Pingback: Mizuko « Midwives, Doulas, Home Birth, OH MY!

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