Module 10.3

Headed Home, But Still in the Family

Once you manage to grow up in your family, you are in for another series of realizations. Your situation is now in many ways the inverse of your initial entry into the family. Where you were once faced with tatemae, having now come this much inside the family, you can be privy to honne and ura scenarios that are appropriate to reveal only to insiders. Where once you were wrapped, now you find yourself with uchi obligations, which include helping the family to wrap others. But even though you’ve assumed new obligations, there’s a pay-off. Once let into honne, you can get off the slippery rocks of tatemae, and be secure in knowing when your family is sincere in what they say.

Just at this point, another reality becomes apparent. This is not something you consciously decide to bring about; it is automatic. For those of you who’ve come into the family’s uchi this much, (usually around the end of your homestay), the homestay isn’t going to end in the way you probably thought. Instead of ending, you’re at the beginning of something new—you’ve now become a member of your family’s universe of relationships. What happens after this depends entirely on what you (and your family) make of your relationship. We’ve included several examples below.

1. The first three cases below show three homestay guests who have come into the family, and become privy to honne. The cases show a progression from Molly, who is just being let into honne, to Stuart and Janine, who are involved in what happens to their relationships after the homestay.

  • Can Molly trust the direct response she was given when she asks about why the family hosted a homestay? Why, or why not? What do you think allowed Stuart to judge that his family truly meant their invitation for him to stay on after his semester ended?

  • What does frank and direct speech (revealing honne and ura) have to do with one’s position in the family (or group)?

  • Compare Yuji and Ginko’s experiences in the U.S. with homestay guests in Japan.  In what ways did they manage to grow-up? What was Janine’s role in these visits, and how do you think this affected her relationships with her family network?

2. What happens if you don’t manage to grow up, create a close relationship, and become privy to honne before your homestay ends? The next cases depict two different possibilities. Some homestay guests continue the growing process (and even grow up) after they leave their families. It is also possible not to grow up at all.   

  • How does Theo improve his relationship with his family, after the homestay ends? Can you relate this to growing up?

  • Both Mark and Theo write of gift-giving in their continuing relationships with their homestay families. But how do their descriptions about this differ?

  • Why do you think Mark’s host mother (and father) were speechless when he suddenly reappeared at their restaurant? Why can’t this relationship be continued?

3. Putting things together . . . Homestay endings—and beginnings

  • In the ten modules of Part 3 a series of hurdles have been laid out which depict a cultural learning process that moves from cultural child to adult. Not everyone in a homestay is going to manage a shift from soto to uchi, at least to the degree described in Module 10 (or even Module 9). This may be through no fault of yours, but reflect other circumstances of your homestay, such as its length. However, even if you haven’t experienced the entire trajectory of getting to uchi and may only have been a wrapped guest it’s still useful—and necessary—to understand the entire trajectory.

  • After you leave your homestay, it’s crucial to thank your hosts for the efforts they made on your behalf. This is a gesture of a child who’s grown up, and remembers and appreciates the homestay afterwards. This response means a lot to a host family; yet some guests never bother to communicate after they leave. You can continue to build your relationship, as Theo did, even after the homestay; but this won’t happen if they never hear from you.

  • If, in spite of your best efforts, you feel that something is not right with your homestay, don’t hesitate to check out Module 14.2: “It Sometimes Happens. . . Stay or Go?” and 14.3 “If All Else Fails. . . How to Bail”. This information may be crucial to your well-being.

Main Takeaway:

Although most foreigners’ experiences in Japan will be in the context of distant soto relationships, in order to understand distant relationships one must understand the other side of the communication coin: the inversion that takes place in communication within uchi, as well as the trajectory along which (all) relationships are defined.

Molly 9: I Am the Saitos' First—and Last—Homestay Guest

Even long after I had begun to accept my share of responsibilities in the Saito household, I was still unaware and unsure of my actual position within the family. I knew how I felt, but what I really wanted to know was how they felt. Masako’s newly-acquired interest in the materials on Japan I had been learning in class presented me with the perfect forum to gain some insight into these answers. I told her that while I understood the meanings of uchi/sotohonne/tatemae, and ura/omote, I occasionally had difficulty distinguishing between when to use the polite form versus the plain form and other such cultural intricacies. In addition, I often wondered if everybody always knows not just who is in their uchi, but exactly whose uchi they belong to as well.   Masako responded by asking if I felt as if I were a part of the Saito uchi. I told her that while I definitely felt more uchi than soto, I was aware that the family members occasionally paid me certain types of deference. Masako agreed, saying that while they did occasionally pay me some deference, the Saitos definitely considered me “part of the family”, and had accepted me into their uchi.

Masako’s example of the Satos paying me deference was allowing me to watch the TV programs I wanted to, which they always did, even if there was something else they would rather be watching. But about two weeks after this conversation something interesting happened. Sitting around the kotatsu I told otoosan and Masako there was a movie I wanted to watch later that evening on TV. “What time?” Masako asked, and when I told her 9:00 p.m., I saw her and otoosan sneak a look at each other. “Oh 9:00 is no good,” she said. “Otoosan and I have a date.” She and otoosan had been looking forward to a Chinese program which would be starting at 9:10. “Sorry,” was all she murmured. While I was somewhat shocked, I was also relieved to hear this, for it was the first time in the two months I had been living with the Satos that someone had dared to deny me anything. It also marked the first time that they had not just told me,butshowed mehow I was considered a family member who must not only receive from, but sacrifice for the family unit.

But I still wondered why a couple in their mid-fifties would want to host a student from the U.S. They had just moved into this house a few months earlier. Was I taken in merely because they had an extra room? I found this explanation rather doubtful. Masako had just recently returned from the U.S. where she had lived with two homestay families. Was my homestay the Saitos’ way of reciprocating? Possibly. On the other hand, Kenichi, the Saitos’ 27-year old son had just moved out of the house and into a Tokyo apartment. Was I serving as his substitute in the family, providing okaasan with some company on the days when both Masako and I returned home late? Yes, this has got to be the answer, I figured.

Less than two weeks before the end of my homestay I decided to stop thinking in circles and find out the real answer. “Okaasan,” I asked. “Am I the first homestay student that you’ve ever had?” Her reply was short and to the point, “Yes, the first . . . and the last” (Hai, hajimete . . . to saigo). All of a sudden my heart began to pound. “Why, don’t you like me?” Okaasan started to laugh. “Of course we do,” she told me. “How could you ask such a thing?”

So I asked her, if I was the first student they had ever hosted, why did they decide to do it this year? She explained that after returning from the U.S. Masako wanted to be able to give an American student the same great experiences she had been given while living in Maryland and Indiana. But the plan backfired, okaasan told me, when Masako accepted a new job requiring her to work very late three nights a week and usually on Saturdays as well. They felt guilty that Masako was never around to spend time with me, and said, for that reason; they would not take on another student. I explained to okaasan that while I certainly had fun spending time with Masako, I never felt lonely when she wasn’t home, mostly because I really enjoyed my time spent alone with okaasan and otoosan. She was very relieved to hear this.

Okaasan then explained that they would not host another student unless, of course, Chatto-san (my younger brother Chad) should ever decide to study abroad in Japan. In that case, they would be more than happy to have him live with them for the year. My interpretation of this statement was that I was, at this moment, viewed as being a member of two uchi, the Saitos and my own family. Because he is part of my family’s uchi my brother would be given the same entrée as I had to the Saito family’s uchi. (Even if I was the “only one” who was able to have a homestay with the Saitos, my sibling members of uchi were also going to be included!)

But as much as I consider myself a part of the Saitos and as much as they consider me a part of the family, it was also obvious to me that I had not yet attained anything like complete uchi hood. I continue to wonder, had I been able to stay longer with the family, how close I could have come to being “part of” the Saito family. Perhaps over the years, as I continue my relationship with the Saito family, I will have the opportunity to find out.

Stuart 2: Not Just a "Host Family"

The last part of my homestay seemed like the culmination of everything that had happened before. I felt very comfortable with having my own role and duties in the family. Throughout this time the discussions that we had started early on continued, but became much deeper. I had been planning to stay on in Japan after the semester ended to try to get a business internship. During the last month my family invited me to stay on with them after my semester ended. I felt that they truly meant this invitation, so I accepted.

In finally being able to explain to my family all my feelings about my Japanese background, (Japanese American) “identity” and thought processes, and other questions, my host family has started to help me out in my questioning. In doing so, they (the parents) have enjoyed learning how unique their culture really is in the world and its good and negative aspects. They have also learned to appreciate my upbringing—and are thinking of ideas of how to raise their children to be a little more “worldly”.

It’s difficult to explain in a couple paragraphs; however, I can honestly say that I am becoming a close friend with my host parents. Our conversations have been getting deeper, more personal, and sometimes emotional. The net effect has been an incredible bridging of cultures. Before coming here, my family (in the States) went through a lot of turmoil for various reasons. Well, during that time, I really learned the value of my family and we all became closer. However, just as I came upon this realization, I had to come to Japan. So after sharing with my host family my “re-awakening” into the value of family, they seem to have reached out to really be my family in Japan, not just a “host family”.

Janine 7: Unplanned Parenthood: They're Coming to Visit Me!

After my breakthrough with the stove incident, I couldn’t believe how different things were with my family. Being there felt really comfortable, and I felt I had a close—and genuine—relationship with the family. In fact things were so comfortable that I wanted to delay going back to graduate school.

But I had to finish my degree. So, after lots of farewell parties, I went back to Boston, found a place in a place to live in a cooperative house, and caught up with my classmates in my graduate program. I was just settled in after a few months, when I got a letter from Katsuko’s husband’s younger brother Yuji in Nagano. He wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of running the Boston Marathon—this year. Not knowing any English, he was at a loss as to how to register. I agreed to do it, and found that registering him wasn’t all that hard. I did have to fill in his previous marathon race-times, and not knowing these, I inadvertently made him into a champion runner, with an extremely low starting number. Of course I also invited Yuji to stay at my house, and explained the situation to my housemates.

My housemates and my other friends quickly rose to the occasion and helped create an organization to motivate Yuji as he went along the race route. People were spaced at crucial points along the route, who were to hold up banners spelling out: “Gambare!” (the ubiquitous Japanese phrase which meant “Keep Going!”). They were also to hand him a banana or some water. The day of the marathon was cloudy and chilly when we delivered Yuji to the starting line. But as we madly ferried people from points Yuji had passed to points further ahead along his route, we realized it was worth it to him when we all finally saw him cross the finish line. The joke was that his real marathon times were so much slower than I had written into the form, that he started at the front of the race and had to watch everyone pass him by. But it didn’t matter— finishing was all that mattered to him—and we all celebrated that with a huge turkey dinner.

Yuji had helped me enormously with my research and was an extremely astute observer of social situations. Even though he had not attended university, and wasn’t good at foreign languages, he nonetheless had intuited the issues of unspoken meaning, and could quite accurately grasp what was involved in intercultural communication. While he was visiting me, I decided to take him to my graduate department. When I introduced Yuji as a key native informant, my professors treated him very cordially—even though he couldn’t communicate directly in English—because this a respected category in anthropological research. Yuji also wanted to see a class, so I took him to a small lecture class that I was attending. Not understanding the content, he focused totally on the non-verbal communiction that was going on in the class, and when it was over, narrated his insights to me.

He had three. The first was that he had somehow realized that what was going on was not completely beyond him. His second, and the crux of what he had gotten out of the class was the possibility that he too, might be able to do this kind of thing. This wasn’t out of the ballpark, considering his natural abilities. But his third assessment took him around the bend: He had decided that Harvard University was a piece of cake! (Ha-ba-do daigaku wa taishita tokoro jya nai!) This observation had to be understood as a substitute for Tokyo University, regarded as the apex of the Japanese education system, which puts it completely beyond the reach of most people, especially those from the countryside like Yuji. But his insight had to do with realizing he did have intellectual abilities, even though his educational system had never given him any inkling of this. Yuji’s insights, combined with his finishing the marathon, turned the visit into a great success for him. Interestingly, my housemates and friends felt the same way. Even though he hadn’t been able to communicate through language, everyone had enjoyed him, and felt fortunate to have met him. Somehow I found that my new role, which involved considerable “wrapping” of Yuji, was a great experience as well.

After that, for several years I was preoccupied with finishing my degree, finding a teaching job, and getting tenure. When I could finally take the time to reconnect with the Shinodas in a short summer visit, I realized that Katsuko’s daughter Ginko, whom I was very fond of, was not having a good experience in high school. I had known Ginko since she was a baby, so I began to wonder if Katsuko might let her come to visit me in North Carolina where I was now working, during her next summer vacation.

Getting Katsuko’s approval turned out to be harder than I thought. Eventually she did agree, but just then Ginko’s teachers started actively discouraging her, telling her that she was too low-level a student with too little English aptitude to even think about going to the U.S. Ginko then decided that she was going, no matter what anyone said. When she arrived, I immediately enrolled her in a free English school in a church right next to my campus. There her conversation classes in turned out to be largely role-playing, and Ginko who loved theatrics, was right in her element. In fact, her teachers were encouraging about her progress, and regarded her as quite talented.

After a few weeks at English school we flew to Florida and stayed at my parents’ house, where Ginko met most of my relatives. Then we went to Disney World. To me, nothing captured the ambivolence of Ginko’s precarious hold on adulthood as well as her reaction to Mickey Mouse. “There’s Mickey Mouse!!” she screamed, tears streaming down her face, as she ran up to the mouse figure and hugged him.

When we returned to North Carolina, it was time for Ginko to leave. She wanted to have a farewell party, to which she invited all the new friends she had made. She created a number of Japanese dishes for the party, and I could see that she was able to converse with everyone throughout the party in English. I couldn’t believe the progress she had made in six weeks, and I hoped the feedback she had gotten on her talent in communication would carry her through the rest of her high school English classes (where communication unfortunately was not the focus).

I went to Japan again the New Year’s after Ginko had come to visit, and Katsuko’s family invited me to spend New Year’s Eve there. As we sat down to a delicious dinner, to be followed by a large cake Ginko had baked, the family made it clear that they were very glad she had made the trip. They could see the confidence she had gained, and everyone thought this was just what she needed, as she was planning on working in Tokyo after she graduated. At the start of the dinner Katsuko’s husband proposed a toast to the unforgettable thing they had learned from me. Wondering what this was, I raised my glass and was greeted by a loud chorus from the entire family in unison: “Harvard University is a piece of cake!” (Ha-ba-do daigaku wa taishita koto jya nai!) After that, this chorus became a regular punch-line for all our get-togethers.

For both Yuji and Ginko, being able to make a trip to the US that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make, seemed to open up big doors. Neither were good exam takers, and in an education system that focused largely on entrance examinations, their talents went unrecognized, and they ended up believing they didn’t have talents.

Of course, both Yuji and Ginko were “cultural children” in the U.S. But they were both able to “grow-up” considerably, even though their stays abroad were much shorter than mine in Japan. Because they were able to realize talents that they hadn’t even been aware they had, they were both able to see themselves in very different ways than they had before. Although I didn’t realize this until later, it felt like the tables had turned, and I had now become the host “parent”, caring and facilitating for the “cultural children”. In any case, I felt like I did as much “growing” as they did over the course of their stays, and their visits were unforgettable experiences to me.  

Module 10.3
Heading Home
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These three cases also show a gradual progression in terms of “growing up” and entering uchi. Molly has reached the stage in her homestay where she is curious about how her family came to host a student. The way her okaasan tells her this, and Molly’s misinterpretation that her family doesn’t like her, triggers off a round of honne communication on both sides: okaasan revealing that they do like Molly, and Molly revealing essentially the same thing about okaasan and otoosan. In fact, finding out the behind-the-scenes aspects of one’s own hosting is a common way in which host families begin to reveal honne to their guests, usually toward the end of the stay. Okaasan’s revelation that Molly will be their last guest also contains an interesting exception–Molly’s brother Chad, could also stay with them for a year, if he should ever come to Japan. This is really a honne statement about their trust for Molly, because they assume someone else in her family will be an equally good homestay guest. While Molly knows she hasn’t truly reached uchi, her notebook entries show a progression of “steps”, in which she and the family feel comfortable, like each other, and increasingly reveal their honne feelings. It is a good bet that Molly and the Saitos will continue their relationship.

The amazing turn-around created by Stuart’s meal for his hosts, seems to have then opened the door for an equally rapid opening up of honne communication on both sides. The chief avenue for this was a series of conversations that Stuart had with his host family in which he explored his Japanese-American identity, and they reached out for ways of raising their children–both seemed to be trying to find ways to incorporate more of each other’s cultures here. These appear to have been very honest and open conversations, and these, combined with Stuart’s new role, which involved him much more in cooking, going to pick up family members at the station, and other “big brother” roles, created a real “bridging”. Stuart found his family to be more than just a “host family”. It had begun to be like a “family”.

Janine’s case continues where Stuart’s leaves off. After two longterm stays, and following the stove incident, her family becomes more than a “host” family as well. And in her case, her host family involves her in an expanding network of relationships as her host siblings marry, gain new relatives and have children. All these ties become part of Janine’s network as well. When she returns home, two of her close ties, both through Katsuko, (her husband’s younger brother Kinya, and her oldest child, Ginko), come to visit Janine. These are more than tourist visits; each comes to accomplish something: Kinya wants to run the Boston Marathon, and Ginko wants to learn English, even though she has a terrible record in this subject in school.   The accomplishments involve overcoming major hurdles for each. Janine’s new role seems to be helping to facilitate their “growing” process, during the visit. This reversal of the role process is very rewarding to her.

Theo 3: Getting into Gear afterthe Homestay Ends

I kept in touch with the Ueharas, initially more out of common courtesy than any long-term plan. They had been very generous to me while I was there, and I could not help thinking that the impression I had left was not the best I might have. As I saw it, it was like they were much better at being hosts than I was at being a guest. So I sent something for each of the family members at Christmas, and occasionally updated them on developments in my life, such as when Mika and I got married, and the birth of my son.

The trouble was that whatever I did they would send back in spades. If we sent gifts at Christmas, what we received in reply was much more precious. Out of the blue okaasan sent cash when she heard we had married, expensive vitamins for Mika when she was pregnant, and volumes of carefully-chosen children’s books for Tyler after he was born. It was like some bizarre competition, and I was woefully ill-equipped to compete. And it wasn’t just my comparative poverty . . . Part of the problem was that while I freely volunteered information about my life, okaasan rarely did, or if she did, I was a bit too dim to pick up on her cues that there was in fact something to report. So I started revealing less about my life, not to be more distant, but out of fear that they would find cause to send something more. I was spiraling downward under the weight of their generosity.

Since then, I have gradually gotten closer to the family, due, I think, to a number of factors, not the least of which is that I no longer have any remote hope of achieving equity in the gifting department. Rather than “equity”, as our means grow a bit greater, I find myself looking forward to the events in the Uehara children’s lives that might afford the opportunity to mark the occasion with a gift of some kind. Not to pay them back—that is not even on the map at this moment. Just to do it. Because I’m older than the children are.

Tyler’s emergence on the scene, and the chance to introduce both him and Mika to the Ueharas in person when we traveled as a family to Japan meant a lot. Another time, I was able to deduce that grandfather, ojiisan, was in the hospital, and of course with each subsequent correspondence I could inquire more pointedly about his progress. But to be honest, okaasan has made the bigger adjustments, and is now revealing more. Like when she revealed out of the blue that their house had been nearly destroyed by an earthquake. Why does it take something like that? Tragedies, illnesses . . .

Having a more stable home in the U.S., where we can reasonably invite members of their family to visit, has made a difference too. They haven’t taken us up on our invitations yet, but I think maybe they, their kids or their grandkids just might before too long.

Mark 3: Never Getting into Gear: The Endless Good Guest

Here is the update on my homestay. My homestay pretty much continued on as described previously (See Mark 1, 2). Though I never really interacted with the family much outside of home life, I came to get to know them little by little through daily conversations. I wouldn’t exactly say that we bonded or became friends, but we learned a little about each other.

The mother was the person whom I interacted with most. She treated me very nicely and pretty much catered to my every need, which was an adjustment for me. I grew up mostly taking care of myself: laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. I couldn’t remember the last time someone else washed my clothes for me, so that was a little strange. At first I was uncomfortable having to rely on another person for those things, and it is something even today I don’t like that much.

But I got used to it, and found that she really enjoyed doing those things. As I found out, that was how she treated everyone in the family. She catered to everyone’s needs and took care of everyone in the family. So by including me in that way, I gradually accepted it as being part of the family, not as a privilege of being a guest. Not allowing her to do these things for me, in a way, would deprive her of the opportunity to be who she was.

Over the five months I lived with the family came to realize that I wasn’t really being treated like a guest. I was being treated like a family member, in many ways. But their idea of ‘family’ was a little different than the preconceived notion of a Japanese ‘family’ that I had before coming.

After I left Japan, I didn’t really stay in touch with them for the next year and a half until my graduation. I think maybe a letter or two was all that was exchanged. When I came back to Japan a couple months after finishing college, I stopped in to surprise them in their restaurant. When I walked in, my host father recognized me right away, but didn’t seem too phased by the fact that I was back. My host mother, however was speechless for several minutes. I don’t think she really ever expected to see me again. Since then I’ve kept in touch with them every so often. We talk on the phone once a month and get together once or twice every couple months (usually only with the host mother) and have dinner. The relationship pretty much picked up where it left off, and she still continues to worry about me and tries to spoil me. Not a birthday or Christmas goes by without my receiving some kind of present (usually fairly nice and expensive).

Over the past three years, the family seems to have changed a bit. The son has moved out and lives and works on his own. According to my host mother, he seldom comes back and visits though he lives only a little over an hour away. The daughter is also soon to move out, but I’m not sure when. I think this is makes my host mother a little sad, as her role as caterer and provider for her family is changing. It’s as if she were losing part of her identity each time she loses a responsibility or chore in her daily routine. But I think she’ll take it in stride. I just hope she learns to use her new free time to take care of herself and her own interests.

I’ll continue to keep in touch with them throughout my life. I also hope they will someday come visit me when I return to my home. Their generosity and the relationship we had (and still have) was very comfortable and helped me adjust to life in Japan at my own pace. It was a perfect situation for the type of person I am: a person who tends not to rely on others and is highly independent. They gave me a home to stay in and introduced me to many wonderful aspects of Japanese life, but at the same time gave me the room to learn and experience on my own. 

Module 10.2
Family Spirits?
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Theo manages to actually improve his relationship with his family, and move closer to them, after his homestay ends. Initially he kept in touch with them by writing them. This communicated his appreciation for the homestay, and his desire to reciprocate (which he also did through consistent and considerate gift-giving). He also kept the family informed of the major events in his life.   The family responded to Theo’s reciprocity–so much so, that Theo felt overwhelmed (once again) by their generosity. Yet the family’s presents were not garish expensive gifts; each was carefully chosen to fit a specific occasion. Theo and his family each managed some new milestones in their relationship. Theo’s milestone was taking his wife and child with him to meet the family when they traveled to Japan. Taking the trouble to visit the family certainly indicated he felt the relationship was important. The okaasan also contributed a milestone, with her gradual revelations of the family’s ura problems and even tragedies: that the ojiisan was in the hospital; that the family’s house was nearly destroyed by an earthquake.

Theo’s relationship became “closer” through his consistent and careful efforts to keep up the relationship. He also changed the nature of the reciprocity, from receiving deference as a guest, to giving deference to his family, and showing both sensitivity and consideration toward them. Bringing his family to meet them (which involved a trip of some distance) showed both his ongoing gratititude and his desire to continue the relationship. The okaasan responds, now including some of the family’s “inside” problems. Theo is now in a position to invite his host family to visit them in the U.S. He feels that they are now likely to respond to the invitation. Theo has managed to demonstrate a process of   cultural “growing up”, which deepened the relationship, even after the homestay ended.

Mark sees himself as independent. But he doesn’t recognize wrapping as relying on others. In fact, he sees being wrapped as a two-way relationship―where okaasan’s role is to wrap him, and his role is to allow her to play her host role and wrap him. As discussed in Module 7.3, Mark has learned to be a “good guest”. However, he hasn’t realized that he needs to go beyond this point; nor noticed that his relationship with his family is largely one-way.

Mark’s okaasan seems to have a high capacity for giving deference and so she continues the entry level wrapping throughout his 5-month homestay. (Most families would probably have become frustrated and angry, as Peter’s family did). Mark doesn’t realize what’s wrong because he’s not privy to honne, and his okaasan can’t tell him she’s not happy to wrap him endlessly. But when he reappears and “surprises them” after an absence of a year and a half, his host father doesn’t seem to react, and his host mother “is speechless for several minutes”. Once again, his family can’t show their honne , but they can’t manage to create a tatemae either. The breakdown in the okaasan’s reaction is an important clue―she shows no happiness at seeing Mark again. However, she ultimately manages to assume her role of “wrapping” him again, and the relationship continues in the same way. Yet Mark’s situation contrasts with Theo’s, in many respects. Mark doesn’t   make efforts to keep up his relationship with his family (except when he comes to Japan); and his gift-giving seems one-way also. (He doesn’t mention giving gifts to his family, but only receiving them.) Although it’s never too late for a cultural child to start growing,  Mark may see “growing” and moving into uchi as losing his independence. Yet he can only really be dependent, unless he begins to get beyond his wrapped state.

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