Good Example Of Japanese Studies Argumentative Essay
The book of the soil focuses on ordinary people and not political or intellectual elite. Main characters of this book are members of a tenant family with a wife named Oshina and a husband, Kanji. The story mentions Oshina to have died due to a self-induced abortion, but she still dominates in the story. The series of flashbacks that Kanji remembers his wife and their past life makes the late Oshina be as present in the book. Otsugi, who is a daughter of the family, was fifteen years of age when her mother passed on, and her father recognizes her as the mother. In this book of “The Soil”, Otsugi makes her father remember the mother because she is resourceful, determined and resilient. Besides, this daughter acts as a surrogate mother for her younger brother, Yokichi. This paper aims at explaining that Kanji was a good son, husband, and father even though he did not treat his family ideally. Further, it will apply the story of Kanji’s family to prove the thesis statement.
Kanji is strong but again a little weak thus he provides his daughter with ample opportunities. Otsugi is made to rescue her father from trouble by stealing food. The story also tells that the actions Otsugi is made to take were those of her mother when she was still alive. The book encounters the larger community when it comes to relationship of Kanji with his dead wife” stepfather and the means of his trouble. The community around is sophisticated and very sensitive. The issues affecting this family of Kanji are also very sensitive and to some extent, a thought of lack of food comes. Kanji should be said to have been a good father to his family by caring about what his children would eat. This is the duty of a widower, and the children should not go hungry or lack because their mother is not around. On the contrary, Kanji uses his daughter to steal and to save him from the agony of straining just to ensure they feed. Besides, Kanji is an adult and should act as both the father and mother of his children. He neglects this by ensuring the daughter takes all the roles of her mother when she was still alive and even acts as the surrogate parent for his brother. The confusion in this family would thus give information that Kanji could be caring and not caring at the same time.
Kanji has no land in this story. Thus, he must pay rent to the owners of the fields that he cultivates. After paying the rent, Kanji is said to remain with less food that would take them until the next harvest. The insufficiency would justify why Kanji would send his daughter to steal and the fact that he cared for his children. The novel thus provides more information about wealth ownership and child rearing. Kanji must have been poor and the way he rears his children could be different from how other people would. Kanji, the father of two, and a widower is seen to be unstable economically and at times has to go around seeking paid employment. He does this during the months of winter and depends greatly on his labor. Kanji confuses at a point because he is in a position to work for food by seeking paid employment. Besides, he goes out farming on land that he pays rent but funnily enough still sends his daughter to steal.
The major economic activity of this family of Kanji is farming, and this is evidenced by Kanji’s activities of farming. During the days when Oshina was still alive also, she added to the family’s income through farming and trade. Because Kanji is a farmer, more information is given that his fields are scattered throughout the village, and this tells that he has no specific place of his own. Food consumed by the family included rice, barley, and gruel, and most of the products were harvested from Kanji’s farm and this evidences that the family is just farmers. Cultural practices for families are put in the form of a flashback to the story. The parents must have been responsible for their children and Oshina during her present days demonstrates that. Oshina is seen to be feeding his son, Yokichi, and when the food is hot, she cools it for her. Kanji could have also been responsible, but it is just that he does not treat his family the way he should. Kanji cares indirectly and expects other to help him handle his roles. Besides, Kanji’s economic status does not allow him to give the luxuries for his family but cares still. A flashback at a point in the story tells how Otsugi and her mother worked together in the fields and kitchen. This shows collective responsibility and maybe that is why Kanji continues to work collectively with his daughter after their mother is gone.
Otsugi, the daughter of Kanji, is seen to be hardworking and responsible even for the days when her mother was still alive. In circumstances when Otsugi’s mother would tell her to stop working, she would continue. Kanji could have been used to the hard work of his daughter and maybe that was why he felt no pain giving her the chores of a wife. Further, Kanji is not rich and may not be in a position to hire a maid for his children thus would just work together with his daughter. Employees mentioned in the novel were making rope, and they were just around the neighborhood of Oshina and Kanji. The employees also bring the issue of poverty because they are said to be sitting on wooden floors and made so much rope in order to reach their targets. A tree that was brought down also gave the family of Kanji firewood that makes them happy. The family is then poor and uses firewood for its consumption with no other sources of energy mentioned. The rivers used for bath were shared, and this is just awesome because of the serenity of the rivers. This family of Kanji has its setting in the village, and the rivers are expected to exist. Whatever shows that the family of Kanji was still poor is the lack of buckets and soaps not being mentioned when it comes to showering. The people would just go the natural way and shower in the rivers. Oshina also had to be waiting for other people to shower, that is when she could have her bath, and this is more poverty because both men and women would shower in the same tubs.
The family members of Kanji all seem to be caring except the small boy who is only mentioned to receive and not to give. When a flashback of Oshina’s illness comes, everybody seems to be caring. To be more specific, Otsugi cares a lot in the absence of her father and keeps on checking the status of her mother and making her gruel severally. The house was so cold, and Otsugi would have warmed the mother if possible but it was just that there were no sources of warmth. Besides, there was no even light, and the house was dark with only a stove that is mentioned to be at the corner of the house. In the cold house, Yokichi is put to stay warm, and everyone is caring about him. Just like Oshina cares about her daughter and her endeavors to make her mother feel good, the whole family seems to be responsible for each other. Courtship, marriage, and healthcare come when Oshina gets unwell. Although the couple is already married, the courtship part may not be exhausted because their family is what matters most in their lives. The portrait of the marriage between Kanji and Oshina is good, and they both strain together to bring up their family until the death takes the wife. Health of Oshina is also seen to be important, and when she becomes sick the husband and daughter really cares for her. Later in the novel, a doctor is made to treat Oshina, and this is good because diseases and feeling unwell come with treatments and that is necessary.
Kanji was a good son. This statement can be disputed because Kanji is as well a son to Uhei whether real or in law. Kanji is mentioned to have a strained relationship with Uhei, who is the stepfather of his dead wife. It is through the relationship of Kanji and Uhei that Kanji encounters the larger community in this novel. Otherwise, the story mainly focuses on the family of Kanji that is humble background. The bad relationship between Kanji and an old man he should mention, as his father does not make him a good son. The novel suggests that the strained relationship between Kanji and his stepfather in law comes because Kanji is not able to provide sufficient food. This trouble of insufficient food makes Kanji send his daughter to steal food. The wife also used to steal food, but this stealing is mentioned not to be exclusive. The stealing of food by members of Knaji’s family is wrong, and troubles come from this. Uhei’s strained relationship with Kanji could be because of food stealing. The novel further suggests that the food could be stolen from Ihei although Kanji could not involve himself physically in the stealing. Besides, the novel also suggests that a strained relationship between Kanji and Uhei could be because of borrowing and to avoid this he would involve his daughter in stealing. In that way, the relationship would not be strained because the father in law would not know that the family of Kanji is stealing.
Kanji was a good father, and this is evident both before and after the death of his wife, Oshina. During the days when Oshina was alive, Kanji could ensure that the family meets their needs, however, little. He had his two children loved, sheltered, clothed and fed with the little he could afford. Kanji ensured the mother of the children took good care of them in his absence. He was also involved in affairs of his children and had the family run smooth. When provision for his children became straining, Kanji would allow his wife to participate too by selling some farm products and attending to the fields. Kanji was thus a good father to his children.
After the death of Oshina, Kanji remained that good father to his children but it is just that Otsugi was involved in upbringing of the family afterward. Kanji ensured he cultivated so that his children would not lack and had the best provision for his children. Despite the little lands available for cultivating, Kanji still ensured he rented some land for cultivation. Also, Kanji had some paid employment in order to take care of his daughter and son. However much stealing was bad, and Kanji often sent his daughter to steal food, his interest was that the children would not lack. Despite having strained relationships with external people like Uhei, Kanji maintained a good one with his children. For his younger son, Kanji wanted to give him the best love but since he was not in a position to handle both financial issues and taking care of him, Kanji left that for Otsugi. The care and love for his children were why Kanji provided Otsugi with ample opportunities so that she would assist in the prosperity of the family. The unity, prosperity and satisfaction of Kanji’s family were what were most important for him, and he worked towards that even if not directly at all times. Kanji was thus a good father to his children.
In concluding, Kanji was a good husband to Oshina, ensured she was happy, and provided for. Kanji loved Oshina so much and wanted her to be responsible also in taking care of their children. That is why Kanji gave Oshina opportunities that would care for their children and she had to participate in provisions by trading and farming. When Kanji could be away, Oshina would miss him greatly, and the novel reveals scenes where Oshina confesses that she felt lonely in the absence of Kanji. Besides, Kanji could be of companion to his wife in the activities undertaken within the homestead. When Oshina was unwell, Kanji ensured that she was well taken care of and had a doctor for her. In the welfare of the couple, Kanji made Oshina a good mother to her children and that is even why the daughter reminded him of Oshina. This argumentative essay thus argues that Kanji was a good father and husband even though he did not treat his family ideally but lived in the reality. O the issue of being a good son, Kanji is not that good, but the circumstances of surviving could have led to him not being the ideally good son.
Miller, J S, and J S. Miller. The a to Z of Modern Japanese Literature and Theater. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2010. Internet resource.
McDonald, Keiko I. From Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe, 2000. Print.
Minohara, Toshihiro, and Tze-Ki Hon. The Decade of the Great War: Japan and the Wider World in the 1910s. , 2014. Internet resource.
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