The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Yama Living

Coal Pits (Yama) in the Old Days: Marital Dispute
February 1966

Mukashi no Yama: Fufu Genka
[Coal Pits (Yama) in the Old Days: Marital Dispute]
37.9 x 53.9 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

(Note: Marital disputes were caused not only because husbands were vicious drinkers, but also because husbands who did not drink were more lecherous than drinkers.)
As the saying goes, one should not interfere in lovers' quarrels. However, marital disputes sometimes occurred in the pit. Young couples sometimes quarreled because of husbands' infidelities. Even in the Meiji era (1868-1912) when men were placed above women, each of the women miners gradually became conscious of human rights while they worked underground together with their husband. Manly women were all the more impatient about their husband's tyranny. If a husband became rude to his wife, quarrels were caused between them.
Though old couples had few disputes from infidelities, they often quarreled because they were pressed for money from their bad budgetary situations. No women pit workers in the past were vain like women in these days. However, all of them bravely resisted their husbands who drank heavily and gambled. However, husbands and wives with children should not have quarreled with each other, because children were not the only ones who had to cry.

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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