Episode from Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods
When my great-great-grandfather passed away, the family sought any possible way to sustain a line of the family succession. He had four sons. His firstborn, who had been supposed to succeed the family, was perverted possibly because his father had drunk up the family fortune. He had tattoos all over his body and became a yakuza, a Japanese Mafia member. His father disowned him and kicked him out from the family. He drifted in from time to time though, and the family member asked him to leave with some money.
My great-great-grandfather’s second son died young and his third son had been adopted to a samurai family. As his fourth son was too young, the family called back his third son as a successor from a samurai family. That’s my great-grandfather.
By then, most of our ancestral land and all the servants were gone thanks to my great-great-grandfather’s lavish extravagance. My great-grandfather needed to work as a farmer by himself on a scarce piece of the remaining land instead of making tenant farmers work for him, which his ancestors had been doing for a long time. While he worked side by side with the ex-tenant farmers whom the family once employed, he got married and had a daughter and a son who is my grandfather. Since my great-grandfather wanted my grandfather to be a teacher, I suppose that he was poised to end the family’s farming business and its succession.
But in reality, things went to the contrary. Because of his unaccustomed work and way of life, he got ill and passed away in his middle age. His son, that is my grandfather, gave up what he wanted for his life and began to work as a farmer to support the family. He did it well, gained back some land and passed it on to my father. Both the family business and its need for a successor sustained.
Even my great-great-grandfather who dissipated his inheritance money, his first son who became a yakuza, or his third son who wanted to close down the family business couldn’t break succession. They continued to live and raise a family on the same ancestral land, and their children did the same. Unexpectedly, it is I who finally moved out of the house and am very much likely to end the family by my way of living…