The Old Capital The Old Capital question

The slap - Why did Takichiro slap Hideo in the face?
deleted member Jun 12, 2012 02:19AM
I was rather startled about this passage of chapter 3 when Takichiro shows his obi-design to Mr Sata and Hideo. Hideo hesitates too much to give his opinion about the design and Takichiro slaps him in the face.
I can't figure out the meaning of that slap.

"Takachiro had come to Otomo's shop in high spirits, but they were dampened considerably by Hideo's attitude.
He unrolled the drawing in front of the young weaver.
Hideo said nothing.
'What do you think?' Takachiro asked timidly.
Hideo stared without speaking.
'Isn't it any good?'
Still Hideo did not answer.
Sosuke lost patience with his son's stubborn silence. 'Hideo, don't you think it's rude not to respond?'
'Yes.' He still did not look up. 'I'm a weaver, so I'm examining Mr. Sada's design. This isn't some insignificant piece. This obi is for Chieko, isn't it?'
'Yes, it is,' his father nodded. He was suspicious of Hideo's abnormal manner.
'It isn't any good, is it?' Takichiro repeated, his tone becoming severe.
'It's fine.' Hideo was calm. 'I never said it wasn't good.'
'You didn't say it, but in your heart ... those eyes said so.'
'What do you mean ...' Takichiro stood and struck Hideo in the face. Hideo did not try to dodge the blow."

So ... Hideo is very rude. He is with an older man who is a good friend of his father and a customer of their firm. He would be expected to be effusive in his praise of the design. Instead he is sullen and withdrawn. In "The Old Cpaital", he would deserve a slap for this alone.

But crucially this is about Takichiro's daughter Chieko. See the bit where Takichiro says "but in your heart...". Essentially, it's "too many roosters in the hen house" time. Hideo is a young man flexing, testing and presuming to know what Chieko likes ... Takichiro is responding like many a father would.

deleted user Thank you for your answer. I didn't look at it this way, but you must be right. Thanks for quoting the English version also. But could the slap have s ...more
Feb 10, 2013 12:23PM · flag
David There is that tension ... but does that exist between Hideo and Takichiro? It's the women who are the "old school" characters, isn't it? The boys and ...more
Feb 15, 2013 01:47PM · flag

back to top