Chiisai ouchi



Eric Paroissien translation

"The Little House"

Family Nunomiya

Notice for the Nunomiya family.

You're invited to collect the remains.

Please wait in the lounge.

End of announcement.

That's it.

Grandma Taki died alone.

I told her many times.

"Don't stay on your own".

I invited her with us.

She'd say:
"No way, I'm happy on my own".

You found her, Takeshi.

We couldn't get her on the phone,

I asked him to go check.


He found her squatting

by the sink in the kitchen.

The TV was on.

She raised me and your father.

I always wanted to repay her somehow.

I brought her a present for New Year.

I wanted to make her smile

I told her a men's joke.

She told me:
"you're an idiot".

I thought she'd live a thousand years

No, really?

Taki Nunomiya was my grandma.

Why does God let her old age[].

She could be annoying or

hard to deal with sometimes.

But she certainly had a long

life with much happiness.



Come here.

It says, "this is for Takeshi".

Sir, what do we do with that picture?

Throw it away.

What is it written?

I told you she was writing

her autobiography.

She has a beautiful handwriting.

She like literature.

She was probably a good student.

Grandma was smart.




Let's throw this.

in the spring of 1935

I went to Tokyo to study.

Among 6 brothers and sisters

the 4 elders were sent as servants.

It was understood that I'd follow them.

The villages were overpopulated.

Some girls were sent as prostitutes.

In that time.

If a girl had a reputation to be pretty.

She could also be bought as a geisha.

As I wasn't that pretty,

it didn't come up.

Instead I was sent

to serve at relatives'.

Grandma, you're a good writer.

You make an occasional typo,

I'll correct it.

Keep writing like that.

You can flatter me, I won't pay you.

It isn't flattery.

I want 10 more pages for next time.

You do as you please but.

If I write your autobiography

you'll become a bestseller.

You'll be rich.

Don't talk nonsense.

What would you have for dinner?

Sorry, I'm with my buddies tonight.

I'll be back later [].

My sister said, don't forget

your medicine.


The keys of your motorcycle.

Call me if you need me.

About the electricity and the gas.

I still clearly remember

the day I left home.

I was only 18 more than the sadness

of leaving my parents.

My chest was filled with expections.

About that unknown life ahead.

Say, taki.

You have to learn to hold your

tongue, don't bother them.

You have to drop our dialect

and speak as they do in Tokyo.

You git it?

I git it.

You end your sentences

with "desu" and "masu".

I git it.

Don't tell them "I git it",

with that accent.

But you spoke to me with our accent,

I was only replying to you.

That's why I said "I git it".

I git it.

You're sure I didn't say "I gEt it"?

You sure didn't.

I git it.

Hey, postman.

I was longing for Tokyo, the City.

For a girl like me Tokyo

was a land of marvels.

The lively shopping streets,

people hasting to their business.

Bicycles rickshaws carriages.

Black luster cars,

and ringing streetcars.

Tokyo at that time was

such a fascinaating capital.


So you worked as a maid.

You worked hard.

Young people might think so.

In the early Showa era,

a working-class family in Tokyo.

A maid was a very common thing.

Is that right?

Now we call them an au-pair.

In my time it was a decent job.

And it prepared a girl for marriage.

No one would consider

it as a slaving job.

But you didn't get married.

Why is that?

But things happened?

Surely did.

You have to tell it all.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Chiisai ouchi" STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Oct. 2019. <>.

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