(Part of haikumania International Ren Project)
Here I find ren
in my head - between Cindy Tebo's verse in the
"Old Mother" rengay by Cindy Tebo and Debra Woolard
Bender and an extract from a paper by Yuko Tanaka professor of
Japanese Literature at Hosie University. The paper is
"The separation and immuring of the individual severed the family from its surroundings and shut it up. Now things are terribly inconvenient. Take, for example, a word coined two decades after the war, in the 1960s -- kagikko, "latchkey kid."
Parents were as hardworking in the 1960s as they were before the war. Still, the image of a child with a key is pitiful somehow. It isn't pitiful because the child's mother worked outside the home. Since long ago women everywhere have held jobs and still done housework.
It's pitiful because the child returns to a home with a bolted door, and must bolt the door again after he or she steps inside. It is pitiful because the child is cut off from the outside world and has no parents other than its natural ones. If the child lived in the country, there would be grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, and siblings.
In tenement houses every child had vicarious parents, and children were always visiting their playmates in other apartments. Redolent with the atmosphere of the tenement house are the conversations of patrons in the public baths and barbershops in the Low City, the low lying areas of eastern Edo, as depicted in Shikitei Sanba's Ukiyoburo ("The Bathhouse of the floating World;1809) and Ukiyodoko"("The Barbershop of the Floating World";1811). "
Extract from "The Tenement Way of Life - Reflections on the value
of the Person-to person connection" by Yuko
Tanaka professor of Japanese Literature at
From Yuko’s paper we find ren to to Paul David Mena’s "TENEMENT LANDSCAPES".