Importance of Tradition in Seventeen Syllables

Ume Hanazono was the pen name adopted by Tome to write haikus. As a mother, she performed all the household activities as were expected by all the Japanese women and as a writer, she wrote with the Japanese style of writing poetry, the haiku. In Japanese traditional families, the men are given the authority and dominance over women and they are also allowed to exercise their control over their wives, daughters and other women of the family. Tome’s husband was a traditional male and enjoyed his authority over his family (Cheung 1991). He disliked his wife’s freedom to write haikus and showed his disgust on multiple occasions in the story. For example, at one night when the family went to Hayano’s family in the neighboring town, Tome’s husband without caring about the embarrassment her wife is going to face started to leave the house without taking her care and giving her any time to discuss her interests. Tome’s husband showed displeasure with Tome’s act of discussing haiku with Mr. Hayano.
Tome’s husband believes in the values of Japanese tradition and thinks that a woman should do as her husband wishes and also that her topmost duty is to manage her household. Domestic life is given utmost importance. Tome’s husband being a traditional husband did not want his authority to be challenged and thinks that the haiku writing passion of her wife is a kind of challenge to his authority. Due to this fact, he shows entirely disliking for her wife’s creativity of haiku writing. However, as far as Tome is concerned, she is shown as a rebellious woman in terms of Japanese society as she continues to write haikus without caring her husband’s disgust for her passion (Yogi 1997). She does not work according to the norms of society. With the support of her haiku writing, she is trying to gain power over her house.

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