Youka Nitta
[Meta] The Iwaki Family... 
15th-Jan-2009 06:54 pm
As I was writing about Iwaki Masahiko, I was wondering what the family actually did for a living.

We know that they are rich (the big, traditional house) and we know that Masahiko had to take care of the house (and possibly also of the family business). But where does the money come from and what is it they do? Iwaki's father is the head of the local Niigata Yakuza group. Not! It is probably something very honourable...

Iwaki travels for his company (that's why he visits when Katou is alone at home, making Katou "enjoy" a loooong day, trying to entertain Masahiko until Iwaki gets away from work), and takes the Shinkansen to Tokyo (takes around 1.5 hour, if you want to know...).

As for Iwaki's father? Is he old enough to have retired?

The Iwaki family lives in Niigata, in Niigata Prefecture - a relatively large city approximately in the middle of Japan. It has around 1.2 million citizens. The main industries are food-related or chemical industries. Niigata has a large international harbour and airport as well. There are seven universities, and several are involved in research and education related to the many agricultural sources in the region. Niigata, due to the meterological conditions in the area (facing the Sea of Japan) has rain/snow/something wet coming out of the sky approximately 170-200 days a year. There is usually a lot of snow during winter.

Useless historical info: Niigata was one of three cities predestined to be A-bombed during WWII (A few other cities had been removed from the list earlier in August). As only two bombs were ready, bad weather over the Niigata area the week before the bombing changed the plans and the bombs were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead.
16th-Jan-2009 03:24 pm
Hmm, I've been wondering about this, too. Since Father-Iwaki is always wearing a kimono when we see him, I was speculating that he was in a profession where one is expected to dress traditionally--such as tea ceremony or flower arranging. However, Masahiko usually wears western-style clothes, so maybe Father is just old-fashioned, and in hindsight, when we see him, it's on a formal occasion or holiday--when he is in mourning for his wife in Book 3, and during New Year's in Book 9. So maybe he doesn't wear a kimono all the time, although I sort of get the feeling that he's the type who does.

Anyway, since Masahiko apparently wears a suit (Book 7) when he is working, the Iwaki family probably runs an ordinary sort of company rather than being involved in culture and the arts.

Father says that Masahiko gave up dreams of his own to succeed the family, which strongly implies that he took over the family business. Father looks old enough to be retired--maybe Masahiko consults him on major decisions affecting the business, but he probably leaves the day-to-day operation of the company to Masahiko, whom I am sure is very competent at his job.

So I seem to have spent a long time saying that I don't really know what the Iwaki family business is. ~_^ The idea you use in your fic--sake breweries and rice production--seems very logical, since Wikipedia's article on Niigata says that rice is the principle product of that prefecture. It's also a business that the family could have been running for many generations, which fits in with the big, traditional house and the air of "old money".

Although I do like the idea of Father being the head of the local Yakuza group! ^_^ I also see from the article that Niigata is famous for its koi (ornamental carp), and it's fun to imagine them raising these beautiful, expensive fish and having a large koi pond in back of the house, but I think the breweries/rice idea seems more likely. Still, if I were running with the idea for a fic, I could see Father raising the fish and Big Brother handling the business end of things, taking care of the finances and traveling to meet with clients.

Getting back to Masahiko, I do wonder what "dreams" he had to give up in order to succeed the family? (Although as the eldest, he would still be expected to succeed even if the younger brother hadn't left home, unless Kyosuke had been willing to take over the business in his brother's place.) Maybe something artsy, such as painting or photography? Or since he seems to like kids, maybe he would have liked to be a teacher if he'd been free to choose his profession? Whatever his secret dream was, I'm sure that he's completely suppressed it, and would deny that he ever wanted such a thing, or at most, dismiss it as a childish whim he had when he was young. I can sort of sympathize with him and understand why he has such a stick-up-his-arse attitude--Kyosuke got to be selfish and live out his dream by abandoning his family, so Masahiko seems to have decided to become the exact opposite and suppress all his own desires in order to carry out his filial duties.

My favorite moment in the Iwaki family reconciliation chapter in Book 3: when Katou tells the brothers how alike they are, and they practically say in chorus, "That's not true!" and "We're nothing alike!" ^_^

And hmm, looking at the scene again, Katou thinks that Iwaki's dad looks scary--maybe he really is a yakuza! Haha, but he's surprisingly kind and understanding beneath that stern-looking surface.
17th-Jan-2009 09:13 am
You mention two things here that make very much sense. First the koi carp hobby/breeding. I can so see Iwaki the older do that. It would fit him perfectly. (I have friends who breed koi, and even keep the sick ones in their bathtub in the winter. They are insane!) It seems like a very dignified fish to me, if that makes sense.

(And if Iwaki the older was really a Yakuza boss... OMG, now I bunnied myself wildly!... there would be a gang war and the opposing gang, the Asano family, would end up inviting the Iwakis to a pretend peace dinner and the main course would be Iwaki's prize kois, stolen behind his back.) *stabs bunny until ded and silent* Ah, well. Now I have to write Iwaki/Katou AU. Bugger.

Masahiko... yes. He could very well have wanted to be a painter, he is sensitive and thoughtful - but has, as you say, suppressed it. Somehow it has to be something to do with visual arts... can't precisely say why.

"...when Katou tells the brothers how alike they are, and they practically say in chorus, "That's not true!" and "We're nothing alike!"

Ahaha, yes! It was perfect. Also, the scene when Masahiko visits, and Katou realises that he just needs to treat Masahiko like he treated Iwaki (without the sex, obviously) when they first met, and he finds Masahiko extremely cute then.

I have a bit of a crush on Iwaki's dad, to be honest. He's one of the good guys, and stern men with a heart of gold... well...

17th-Jan-2009 10:03 pm
BWAHAHAHA! I love the Yakuza plot bunny with the Asanos cooking up the Iwakis' prized carp!

I also like your story about your friends who keep the sick koi in the bathtub. I was just picturing Katou and Iwaki staying over at the house for the holidays, and Katou going to take a bath: "Um...Iwaki-san, why is there a fish in the bathtub?" Argh, we really must stop bunny-ing each other!

And yes, I can really picture Masahiko as a repressed artist. I hope he gets to live out his dream someday, even if it's only as a hobby.

About Iwaki's dad: I seem to recall a meta post where someone (maybe you?) was saying that Iwaki senior ought to meet a nice woman and re-marry someday. I haven't introduced her into the series yet, but I had in mind that Onozuka's grandmother is a widow, and the only one in the family who supported his desire to become an actor. And now I'm thinking...what if Onozuka-grandma met Iwaki-papa and they hit it off? Wouldn't Onozuka be horrified if he and Iwaki became in-laws? *evil grin*

Augh! The bunnies are breeding again! *smacks bunny down*
19th-Jan-2009 08:24 am
I promise it was an odd experience and go to the loo there and sit for half an hour and watch carps in the Jacuzzi. *shakes head* The woman in the house was the chair of the local branch of the national animal rescue, so...

As for Iwaki's dad? I'd love to see him fall in love and get to know about the implications. There is also that absolutely gorgeous author of Fuyu no Semi - I like her a lot. She'd go well with him. Onozuka's grandmother... OMG. The Iwaki family will never be the same.

So the Iwakis are now yakuza. Masahiko has moved in with a host club owner, the younger son is a gay porn star and the head of the house is banging Onozuka's manipulating grandmother who'll make Morticia look like a gentle, direct woman - plus her grandson is in bed with the porn star's boyfriend's worst enemy. Talk about a chaotic family life...

Should we call in a bunny-eradicator?
19th-Jan-2009 04:14 pm
So the Iwakis are now yakuza. Masahiko has moved in with a host club owner, the younger son is a gay porn star and the head of the house is banging Onozuka's manipulating grandmother who'll make Morticia look like a gentle, direct woman - plus her grandson is in bed with the porn star's boyfriend's worst enemy. Talk about a chaotic family life...

Ah, this is really turning into a demented soap opera, isn't it? ~_^ Yes, I think it's time to call in the bunny-eradicator!
19th-Jan-2009 04:20 pm
Totally! And we've just hired Joan Collins and Keanu Reeves for the main parts. Hah!

*points to icon* I think kitty took care of that bunny. Thank god my time's too precious to actually write that.
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