|"Granny Dumping Mountain"
Long time ago in Japan, we had a custom of granny dumping, which was conventionalized to dump the elderly people over the age of 70.
People had to be obedient to the cruel rule.
In 1983, a Japanese movie named "Narayama bushi ko" was released and drew a lot of attention out there. At the poor rural communities of old Japan, even kids around the age of only 10 or so had to be sent to the rich house to enter into service. Also many girls were provided to the nightlife districts to get food for everyday life for her family. Newborn babies were also scarificed. Many of them were dumped around the fields of rice or burried under the earth.
In the movie, there was a healthy cheerful old woman who felt guilty about being a burden to her family by eating like young people. Suddenly, she destroyed her front teeth by herself with a hard stone then she smiled and said, "Now that I can't eat anymore!! You can eat mine instead." Her teeth were bloody a lot...
It was unforgettable scene indeed.
Needless to say, it is not an easy thing to dump our old parents to the mountains. In the movie, you will see a scene that a mother tried to turn off her son who could never dump his old mother while reciting a sutra quietly...
Also, an old father shouts loudly "Don't dump me!!" to his son but his son push his father by force and he was fallen into the deep valley.
Many skeletal remains are seen on the mountain in the movie but as a matter of fact, there are some possibilities that many dumped old people could survive by the food given secretly by the village people. (It may be depend on the seasons though.) Some people believe that they spent good times there like old folks home of the present day. Similarly, pregnant women were all gathered to a house called "Ubu-goya(Giving birth hutch)" and spent the time together before/after giving birth. Some people say that it was associated with the culture in those days that women were inferior to men. However, cohabitation would enable them to share a lot of effective information, know-how and concerns.
Even in today's highly sophisticated information society, the necessity of mother community like "Ubu-goya" is widely recognized. Time changed but "needs" remains unchanged.
Don't worry, there is no such bad custom in Japan any more, but someone ironically describes the old folk's house as "Granny dumping mountain at modern time." May be lack of something different though the time changes.
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