In taking up his position by the brazier, the master has also taken up his position by the dining table. Seated around the other three sides, and already working through their breakfasts, are Lil gal, who some moments ago had been washing her face with the cleaning rag, Tonko, who goes to school not in "Chanomizu" but "Chanomiso," and Sunko, whose finger had found its way into the jar of white face powder. The master casts his gaze over each of the three girls in turn. Tonko's face is round like the hand guard on a foreign-made sword. Sunko bears some resemblance to her older sister, adding the blush of a vermilion tray, laquered in the style of the Ryūkyū islands. Only Lil gal displays a distinctive countenance, oval in form. While an oval face is no rarity, the longer axis is most always oriented top-to-bottom. Lil gal's face, in contrast, is oval side-to-side. Standards of beauty are apt to change with time, but a face like this, stretched from side-to-side, is highly unlikely to ever find favor. The master reflects intently at times on these children of his. They're all growing. Like bamboo sprouts in a Zen temple that overnight erupt into young stalks, the pace and vigor of growth is astounding. Every time he marks their growth, he can't but feel harried, as though time is fast on his heels. Even the master, absent-minded as he is, is well aware that these three daughters will grow into young women. And given that they'll grow into young women, he's also aware that they'll need to be married off. Awareness is one thing, but the ability to carry through is another. This too weighs on the master's mind. In short, he's ill-equipped to manage the disposition of his own offspring. One shouldn't produce what one's not equipped to manage, but such is the human condition. In fact, the defining characteristic of humanity rests exactly on this point. Suffice it to say that men subject themselves to endless torment through imprudent products of their own making.