By Gail Lee Bernstein
In Japan as within the usa, kin farming is at the wane, more and more rejected via the more youthful new release in want of extra promising monetary ambitions and extra subtle comforts. but for hundreds of years earlier, the village and the kin farm have constituted the realm of the majority of jap girls, as of eastern males. The dramatic fiscal and demographic advancements of the earlier 20 years have orced broad adjustments within the lives of eastern farm ladies, lots of hwom were left nearly in command of their kin farms.This e-book is a examine of eastern farm women’s lives within the current period: its imperative determine is 42-year-old Haruko, a posh, brilliant girl who either exemplifies and makes a mockery of the stereotype of eastern girls. via Haruko we examine the paintings regimen, relatives relationships, and social lifetime of the ladies who're the mainstay of jap agriculture. different girls from Haruko’s village additionally determine within the tale, and the author’s observations of them, dependent principally on a six-month stick with Haruko and her kinfolk in 1974-75, are supplemented with facts from questionnaires and private interviews.An epilogue recounts the author’s go back to Haruko’s village in 1982 and describes the adjustments that experience happened given that 1975 within the lives of Haruko’s family members and different village ladies. The ebook is illustrated with images.
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Extra info for Haruko's world: a Japanese farm woman and her community
Soggy toothbrushes, a tiny round mirror, and damp hand towels hung on the wall over the sink, and an overhead aluminum rack held more towels, headgear, gloves, a large box of soa pflakes, a red plastic glass-all further evidence of the cramped quarters and inadequate space in this drafty and dark house. Peering around the corner, I noticed a room just off the entryway that was allocated to the U tsunomiyas' son, whose desk and guitar, along vvith a carton of tangerines, filled the entire space.
The other man pumped my hand again. Finally, I followed Haruko into the kitchen and pleaded with her to get rid of the men or allow me to excuse myself and go to bed. " Experiences such as these were balanced by the unfailing gener0sity and promptness with which other people, some of whom 1 had ENTERING THE COMMUNITY 35 never met, might respond to my needs and interests. The drivers who magically appeared in the entryway to take me to other hamlets, the families who gave me lodging overnight and bought instant coffee for my breakfast the next morning, the couple who allowed me to attend their wedding and photograph them-it was impossible to keep track of all these strangers who, as friends or acquaintances of Sho-ichi's, put themselves at my disposal.
Their doubts centered on the young man's iegara, his family's status-the most important consideration in arranging marriages in Japan. A woman ideally married into a family whose social and economic position was slightly better than her own. Although Haruko's family were not rich, they owned two and one-half acres of paddy land-more than Sho-ichi's family-and thirty acres of forest land, making them one of the four or five most prosperous households in the hamlet. Yet it was not the prospect of being a farmer's wife or even a poor farmer's wife that made Haruko hesitate: from an early age, she had been expected to help farm her family's land.