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Word Count: 1,732
The setting of Harukos World begins in 1974 in a small farming community in Japan The start of the book is the author getting acquainted with the area and the family she is about to spend the next few years with Bernstein goes into to detail to describe the home and her surroundings such as inadequate space in this drafty and dark house The area the family lives in is not far from poverty stricken with little shack-like homes shoulder to shoulder One of Harukos initial worries is that she would not be able to accommodate her guest with devoted care such as making breakfast mending and ironing clothes and cleaning her room Harukos had a very big concern with clothing and appearance Her obsession was not even to impress her husband but to impress other women Bernstein has to quickly learn the common forms of etiquette within the Japanese culture The main way she is to learn this is by watching and asking questions of Haruko Haruko is really kind of a control freak wanting to be in charge of pretty much everything that went on in her household This was just a sign of the times Womens responsibilities at this time and location were not limited to just daily household chores She would be responsible for different appointments of any kind for her family and she also would take charge of distributing work as well Eventually Bernstein begins to get the story between Haruko and her husband Sho-ichi The two met in 1949 in the home of her uncle while they were each helping with the rice harvest The relationship that develops between Haruko and her husband is unique Bernstein discovers that Sho-ichi could be physically abusive at times He may either strike her in face or push her forehead with the palm of his hand This was partially due to the fact that he was very laid back and she was not
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