Mother – daughter-in-law

By littlesweetfish No comments

My father was the fifth born child of six and the elder of the two boys, so the tradition of primogeniture determined he remained to live with his parents. My mother moved in with my father, my grandparents, and my great-grandmother. 

In a Japanese household, the wife who marries the son of the house has the lowest status in the family. In the old times, when families in Japan bathed in the hot tub, they often used the same water, and there was an implicit custom that the daughter-in-law took the last bath, “shimai-yu.” This meant the daughter-in-law would have to soak in the lukewarm and dirty water not only because there was an order of rank in the family, but also she was supposed to work later than other family members. There was also a saying in Japanese, “秋茄子は嫁に食わすな,” meaning, “don’t let your daughter-in-law eat autumn eggplants.” In Japan, eggplants are particularly delicious in the autumn, and the daughter-in-law doesn’t deserve such feast. 

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