"Ogawa-san, here's an interesting story. Among my friends, there was one fellow got fed up with his wife. So he asked her for a divorce. The wife told him no. She'd put down roots and was comfortable where she was. Whether he liked her or not, she was staying."
Haraguchi took a step back from the painting and surveyed the effects of his brushwork. Then he turned and addressed Mineko. "Satomi-san, this would be easier if you'd wear your summer kimono. I'm enhancing the color as best I can, but I'm afraid I've overdone it."
"Sorry about that," Mineko replied.
Haraguchi, without answering, stepped back to his painting. "Anyway, the wife was dead set on staying, so my friend tells her she can stay. She can stay if she wants, for as long as she wants, but he's going to leave. -- Satomi-san, please stand for a bit. Don't worry about the fan. Just stand. That's good. Thanks. -- The wife asks how he expects her to manage without him. He tells her to do what she can - marry in a surrogate groom."
"What happened next?" Sanshirō asked.
Haraguchi seemed to think the rest was not worth telling. "Nothing happened. The point is this - think twice before you marry. Alliances, once formed, aren't easily severed. Look at Professor Hirota, look at Nonomiya, look at Kyōsuke, look at me even. None of us are married. When women get the upper hand, bachelors like us turn up in droves. Society only functions when women know their place. They can't drive us all to bachelordom."