Inspired by his own father, new BYUH father says he seeks to instill love for reading in his son

Photo by Yui Leung

After giving birth to his first baby in December 2021, Naoshi Murata, a junior majoring in information systems from Nara, Japan, said he could see how difficult it is to raise a child and felt more grateful to his parents who raised him. He said he appreciates his father, who cares for him, if not always through words but through his father’s actions.

Murata, who played baseball when he was young, said his father did not play sports but enjoyed reading and studying books. “After I started playing baseball, he [Murata’s father] bought some books [about it]and started learning about baseball,” he said.

When his older brother was in junior high training in kendo, a style of Japanese martial arts, Murata said they saw a book about it on their father’s bookshelf. “So every time his kids start doing different things, he learns something new,” he explained.

Because of this experience, he wants to pass his love of learning from his father to his son. In their house, Murata said, they had books on hand. He would like to have a good bookshelf in her house so her son can read a lot of books, Murata shared.

“Books teach many things that cannot be learned from living every day, and they give many different perspectives and insights [and] knowledge,” he added.

A couple are holding a baby while sitting on grass with palm trees in the background.

Photo by Yui Leung

Life changes

Murata said his life changed when he got married. When he became a father, his life changed again. He explained that he now has a wife who needs him and a little human who is relying on her as a parent.

Being married is like always having a best friend in your life, he said. As a couple, they do things together like walks and picnics, discuss life and get feedback on how they can get better, he explained.

“Before I get married I could do anything. [For example], I could watch basketball all the time.” He said he has less time for himself and is more focused on caring for her baby, such as taking care of her baby. B. Feeding and bathing.

Murata said being a parent can be difficult at times and admitted he could be more of a help in looking after her baby. He said he learned from the experience that he had more time than he thought he had.

A closeup of a baby sitting on his father's lap with grass in the background and the son has a while and a yellow plumeria flower behind one ear

Photo by Yui Leung

A father, a student and a husband

Murata’s wife, Akari Murata, who is from Okayama, Japan, said her husband is taking care of their son while he is studying. She said he is holding the baby and working on the computer at the same time. “He wouldn’t say no to looking after our son, whether it’s feeding him or bathing him. He is always willing to take care of our baby.”

She said she appreciates her spouse for being willing to take care of her son. She added that there is something she likes about her husband that he doesn’t have an ideal or typical type that he expects from her son. “He’s so tolerant and only wants what’s best for our baby. And whatever he [their son] wants to do and what will be in the future, he would respect that,” she shared.

Akari Murata said her spouse is kind as a husband and always respects her opinion. “He’s open to what I like to do and what I don’t want to do. It’s really easy to be with him,” she said. For example, she shared that he is willing to work from home so she can get outside and do whatever work she enjoys doing in the future.

Teach by example

Masaki Iwasa, a good friend of Naoshi Murata, said he joined BYU-Hawaii at the same time as him in 2017, when they were 18 years old. He said they both lived in the same house at the time.

Iwasa, a junior from Tottori, Japan, majoring in accounting, said he served with Naoshi Murata in the Japan Fukuoka Mission. He was an excellent leader in this area and became an assistant to the mission president, where he trained other missionaries, Iwasa said.

At one point in their mission, Iwasa said he had the opportunity to serve with Naoshi Murata in the same district. “He [Naoshi Murata] did not force missionaries to work hard [but] showed his example and inspired us.”

Iwasa also said that he had served in a church where Naoshi Murata had previously served and that he discovered that all members of the church loved him and spoke well of him. “Members said he [Naoshi Murata] is fun, good at building relationships with members and has a [great] humor,” he recalls.

After his mission, Naoshi Murata quickly married, Iwasa said. “I knew he would get married soon because he is kind and really good at showing love to others.” He said Naoshi Murata is selfless and always puts others before himself first. Iwasa saw him as a student at the BYUH and said Naoshi Murata has not changed; he is selfless to this day.

Iwasa, who now knows him as a father here at BYUH, said whenever he goes to his friend’s house he can see that Naoshi Murata is “always ready to help his wife take care of her baby”. Whenever they have dinner together, Naoshi Murata always takes care of her son so that his spouse can have dinner unhindered, Iwasa shared.

Naoshi Murata said his goal as a father is to see his son grow up and be a good influence on those around him and be an instrument to bring people closer to Christ. With that said, he shared that he’s learned the importance of setting a good example first before he can effectively teach these things to his son.

Naoshi Murata advises fathers-to-be to focus their time on their spouses and children. He also encouraged them to see their children as the people God has given them to raise. He added that he doesn’t worry too much about the issues of everyday life.

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