Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.467

on May 13, 2013
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***** 88th Planet Project *****


A Japanese house has a doorplate at its entrance. Typically, the surname of a household is written on it. Some families also add the first names of each family member on it. When I lived in my hometown with my grandparents, our house had a big wooden board as a doorplate at the gate. It had looked strange to me because the full name of my grandfather was written on it instead of just our surname. As a child, I didn’t understand why other members’ names of my family weren’t on it. Our plate said as if he lived alone. It was hung high at the gate with his full name proudly written with a writing brush. I’d gradually felt like I was going in his kingdom instead of coming home. The board had been getting on my nerves and finally I asked my father why our house had an annoying doorplate like that. He didn’t seem to care because it had been there since his childhood. I summoned the courage to ask my grandfather directly why only his name was on the family plate. His answer was the same one that he gave me when I asked him why I couldn’t have a dog – because it was his house. His theory was always that he’s a landlord and other family members are tenants. The doorplate had become a symbol of my grandfather’s dictatorship to me. I even asked him once if he knew democracy, and his reply was “Take it outside. This is my house.” My father couldn’t stand my constant complaints about the doorplate and found the solution for me. He joyfully took me to the back door to show me something. On the small wooden back door, a piece of paper was scotch-taped. All names of my family were written in my father’s handwriting on it. It was his handmade doorplate. The back door faced an alley that was used mostly only by a mailman. He claimed that it was our new doorplate, which was no longer a plate nor a board and no one would see. While my grandfather’s name was grandly shown at the front gate, ours became illegible quickly because of rain. When our house was rebuilt, high-grade lumber was selected as the main pillar in the middle of the house. Inside the joint to the roof, though invisible from the outside, my grandfather’s name was deeply carved into the lumber…

RECOMMENDED songs ; Meet your favorite artists.


***** 88th Planet Project *****

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