Context: A mom talking to her son disapprovingly about him turning the family liquor store into a convenience store.


How do we know whose じいちゃん is being talked about here? Is it the son's grandfather, or the father's grandfather?

  • Is it clear from the context that the 死んだ親父 is the speaker's son's father (i.e. her husband)?
    – Chocolate
    Feb 25 at 0:45
  • Yes, she's referring to her husband.
    – ssuga
    Feb 25 at 2:14
  • I appreciate the attempt to give context, but that is not enough context. I can think of at least 3 ways to interpret that sentence.
    – By137
    Feb 25 at 7:19

If the mother is talking to the son, then the most obvious reference would be the son's grandfather. Since running a small family business could easily be seen as passing from one generation to the next, again it would seem that it's the son's grandfather who is being referenced. If it is indeed the father's grandfather, then I'd be curious why the position of running the shop jumped a generation. (And that could make for an interesting side story.)

But without further context, it's kind of hard to say. Neither is it clear which grandfather is being talked about: whether paternal or maternal grandfather. Again context could make that clear.

In an intergenerational family, ie., a family where multiple generations live under the same roof, these terms, like jiisan, can get rather twisted and used in unconventional ways. I know that's true in my own family where I sometimes have to explain that "Granpa" isn't really my granpa; he's just the guy in charge of everyone else.

Again, context should make these matters more clear about what was meant. My hunch would be, without further context, it's the son's gramps.

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