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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 249

Rosie Hayashi: Rosie is the teenage protagonist of this 1949 short story about intergenerational and marital communication difficulties in a Japanese-American family. Rosie cannot speak Japanese any better than her mother can speak English, so the two have a hard time understanding each other. On a cultural level, too, their lives have been so different it is difficult for them to relate to one another meaningfully.

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Jesús Carrasco: Jesús is a teenaged Mexican boy, a member of a family that Mr. Hayashi, Rosie's father, has hired to help with the harvest. Rosie is attracted to Jesús, especially after she slips out to see him while her family has guests, and he gives her her first kiss.

Tome Hayashi: Rosie's mother, Tome is a sensitive and artistic soul who finds joy and fulfillment writing haiku. Because of her own bad marriage, she would like Rosie not to marry.

Mr. Hayashi: Tome's husband and Rosie's father, Mr. Hayashi is a practical man whose concern is running his farm and making a living. He doesn't understand or appreciate his wife's haiku, destroying the award she gets for her poetry.

The Hayanos: This Japanese family consists of four daughters and their parents. When the Hayashis visit the Hayanos, Tome enjoys talking about haiku with Mr. Hayanos, while Rosie enjoys spending time with the Hayanos girls. Mr. Hayashi, however, does not like talking to Mrs. Hayano and is jealous of his wife's connection with Mr. Hayano over their shared love of haiku.

Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 177

Hisaye Yamamoto's short story “Seventeen Syllables” is centered around The Hayashi family , a Japanese immigrant...

(The entire section contains 426 words.)

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