Making a Life
Making a Life
Here, the focus is on the nature of daily life at home. Beginning with a “typical” August 1901 day in the “Ueki” household, the chapter shows that the effort to survive was framed by great struggle and even greater ingenuity. A section on the household shows fluidity and variety in family arrangements, with increasing stability as the era passed. Children sometimes roamed freely on the streets but most of the time they worked for pay, to enable the family to survive; few were able to go to school. Food was basic, and families bought from leftover food shops; the hinmin did, however, include alcohol in their budgets and they frequented cheap restaurants, including izakaya or grog shops. When things got especially tight, families took out loans, often at usurious rates, and resorted to the ubiquitous pawnshops (shichiya). Only a few received charity or assistance.
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