Makiko's Diary - Makiko and the Tales of Her Magical Diary...

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Makiko and the Tales of Her Magical Diary The life of a Japanese family in the early 20 th century was much busier and more complicated than one would expect. In Makiko’s Diary by Kazuko Smith, that intricate life is exposed. Nakano Makiko was married to Nakano Chuhachi VI, the owner of a pharmaceutical store, and she wrote this diary in 1910. Their lives were full of close communal ties, strong family bonds and religious reverence. In Makiko’s time, women were expected to be obedient servants to their households. For the most part, each family member knew what was expected of them. The husband and wife worked as a dependent team to succeed in running the household, and although they were a team, the wife was always submissive unto her husband. Also, throughout the book we see western: inventions, cultural celebrations, food, and style find their way into the Japanese lifestyle. The diary also shows how culturally universal human emotions are. Although Makiko’s freedom was restricted when compared to a modern day woman’ life, she was content and carefree, never harboring animosity towards her culture. To Makiko and her family members, the most important thing was family. Whenever Makiko became the most emotional, it was over family related issues. Makiko thinks the ultimate joy is having both parents together and for everybody in the family to enjoy each other’s company (p. 94). The whole diary is filled with grief for her mother Nakao Yoshi. Makiko didn’t have much more than a month to grieve over her mother before starting this diary. Losing her mother at such a young age forced Makiko to mature quickly; she had to maintain responsibilities in two households. To Makiko, having children was a sign of womanhood, and it obviously upset her that she had none after being married for about 4 years. To Chuhachi, friends, business, and leisure were all valuable. Being apart of the Kyoto Pharmaceutical Association was more than just important to Chuhachi, it was his mission. He
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also strived to not only modernize the pharmaceutical business, but the industry as well. He tried to accomplish this through meetings with the Kyoto Pharmaceutical Association. Although the diary doesn’t tell much about the business he conducted, it’s implied that he worked very hard to help the business succeed each and every day (p. 5). He took up many things like oil panting and musical endeavors to which he passionately spent his leisure time. He consistently went over to Mr. Matsui’s house for dinner, they were very close friends.
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Makiko's Diary - Makiko and the Tales of Her Magical Diary...

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