Welcome back! I'm sorry I missed the Sweet Saturday hop last week, but a killer cold knocked me out for several days. I've got a short scene from The Plum Blossom Covenant (my current work-in-progress set in Japan at the turn of the twentieth century)
in which Yasa has an interesting conversation with his father, Hiro Tanaka:
“It is time you married.”
Yasa nearly dropped his chopsticks at his father’s pronouncement. The hand holding his rice bowl went limp, and he felt some of his dinner fall into his lap.
“Married?” he croaked.
Hiro, having finished his meal, took a long draw on his pipe, and leisurely blew the smoke out. “I am getting older, and you will be taking over soon. We need to start the next generation. It is the way of things.”
Yasa’s mind whirled. Had his father found out about what had happened five years ago? Why would Hiro want him to marry and take over the farm? He was only twenty-five, younger than his father was when he married. Why would his father force the issue now, unless -
“Otousan, are you ill?”
Hiro’s brows rose. “Ill? No, I am healthy. But we must make arrangements so that your mother and I will not have to worry. Besides, one never knows when the unexpected will happen. There are many suitable young women in the area. The Yoshimori family has three girls, all of whom would make good farm wives.”
Yasa’s jaw dropped. Next to him, his younger brother shook with silent laughter. The eldest Yoshimori sister was nearly twice his age, and twice his weight as well. The second sister, at least ten years his senior, was well-known for her cooking, as well as her sharp tongue. The youngest sister, only a few years older than Yasa, had a sweet disposition, but she’d already made a match with a farmer from the western part of the island.
Hiro continued. “And then there is the Inoue family. They have a lovely young daughter.”
Yasa nearly choked. “Junko would be about twelve years old now, wouldn’t she?”
“Nearly fourteen, but she is intelligent, and will soon be of marriageable age.”
Yasa set his bowl down. “Otousan, what is going on?”
Hiro smiled. “Let’s go for a walk.”
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