I had a mishap with my host family over a barbecue I was going to at my university. At first the okaasan in the Ogata family (who was also hosting a homestay student) was going to pick up my host sister and me to take us to the barbecue. However, for various reasons, my okaasan called the Ogata san okaasan and refused the offer. After my okaasan left to run errands, my host sister and I received a phone call from the Ogata okaasan asking if we were sure we didn't want a ride to the barbecue.

I took the phone call. Because I needed time to study and it was raining so that from my interests taking the bus was going to be a hassle, I said okay, and offered my arigato gozaimashita (thank you) for the ride. However, when the okaasan came home and found out that Ogata san was picking us up she was furious.

At first, I did not in the least understand why she was so furious. After all, it was easier for me and my host sister, and Ogata san had to pass our house anyway to get to the barbecue. But from her point of view, by accepting the ride I had sided with the wrong uchi . Instead of joining the collective decision of my family (which was not to accept the ride), I had sided with the other group which put me on the soto side of my family.

As my okaasan put this to me: ďAre you a Sakaki or an Ogata? You're a Sakaki, so why don't you act like it? As she yelled at me she removed deference in her treatment towards me. I apologized to the best of my ability for making such a terrible mistake (over which I had no clue of course). But in fact, I could see that this incident was a great break-through for me, because in getting mad at me, the okaasan treated me like an uchi person. In fact, things haven't been the same since.

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