Asahi Broadcasting's radio drama, Nadeshiko Desukara (ナデシコですから), had an arch over the last week or so that I wanted to comment on.
I added some to the rant on Japanese language listening materials where I mentioned the program. Since I posted that rant, I have discovered the concept of Yamato Nadeshiko (大和撫子), the Japanese ideal wife.
That is, I discovered that the concept had a name.
So I now understand what the radio program is all about, I suppose.
By the way, there's a blog for the show, which will help with getting some of the cultural background worked out.
And while I'm here, I'll note that, for the past week or so, the show has been especially oriented towards extended family in Japanese culture. And the last couple or three days has been oriented towards the stylized romance of the perfect couple.
America, Yuuichiro's mother would be a stereotypical overbearing witch
of an interfering mother-in-law. Borderline harassment. Maybe grounds for divorce.
In Japan, her type is said to be a mother-in-law who cares, teaching her very patiently how to be Yamato Nadishiko, the ideal Japanese housewife the authors seem to have named her after.
all Japanese families are like this, but if you think you want to marry into Japanese culture, you must prepare yourself for
it. Figure out, if you can, your significant other's attitude towards
this level of functional integration, and assume that your attitudes
won't get the sympathy you expect, ever.
If you can't deal with that and
you aren't yet married, seriously consider backing out.
instance, in the 49th episode, Youichiro finally suggests moving away
from his parents. An American husband would have built the new couple's
house at least an hour away from his parents house in the first place. At least, a smart husband would have. We learned our lesson from the Bunkers.
In yesterday's episode (54), Nadeshiko confessed to her brother-in-law that her motivation is to be, essentially, Yamato Nadishiko,
the ideal, not Youichiro's wife. Sure, this is in the context of her
decision to forgive Youichiro of his supposed infidelity, but, even
that forgiveness, at three months into the marriage, is in keeping with the ideal.
today's episode, he tells her she doesn't have to stay up making his
lunch for the next day. This is after his giving her an early birthday present in yesterday's episode.
(That present was what he had sought help
in choosing from a young, pretty, member of the office staff. And he and the staff member were seen by Nadeshiko's friend. Which led to Nadeshiko thinking he was having an affair.)
So, today's episode -- It's one in the morning.
She opts for being the perfect wife and making his lunch, the aisai bentou (愛妻弁当、 loving wife's homemade lunch) that she makes him every day.
don't know what the Japanese man prefers in such a situation, but I
think the average man thinks nothing of the price of buying lunch.
Maybe some western men would have preferred the aisai bentou.
I think I would have preferred my wife to be sleeping beside me. Sure, I like food.
My wife is a wonderful cook. I appreciate the homemade lunch. I'll appreciate all the day's she made it for me even if she never makes me another.
prefer the time we can spend together, even it it's just sleeping time.
Somehow, I have to figure out how to explain that to my wife.
little time together, especially in the Japanese world of service
overtime being common sense, and the foreign worker having to bring the
work home because he has to compete that much harder.