The Farmer’s Ingenious Method of Hiding His Mother in The Wise Old Woman

In the folktale “The Wise Old Woman” retold by Yoshiko Uchida, the story centers around a young farmer who defies a decree that requires anyone over the age of seventy-one to be left in the mountains to die. The farmer, deeply attached to his mother, devises a clever plan to hide her and protect her from this cruel fate. Through his resourcefulness and determination, he creates a secret room where his mother can reside undetected. This article will explore the methods employed by the farmer to conceal his mother and the measures he takes to maintain the secrecy of her presence.

The Hidden Room

To ensure the safety of his mother, the farmer decides to construct a hidden room within his own home. He excavates a deep hole in the floor of his kitchen, creating a concealed space where his mother can reside. This hidden room serves as a sanctuary, shielding her from the prying eyes of the authorities and the rest of the village.

A Life in Seclusion

Once the secret room is completed, the mother spends the majority of her time hidden away within its confines. The farmer takes great care to provide her with sustenance while keeping her presence concealed. He assumes the role of a solitary individual, acting as though he lives alone to avoid arousing suspicion among his neighbors and the village authorities.

Maintaining the Secret

To maintain the secrecy surrounding his mother’s presence, the farmer diligently carries out a series of precautions. He ensures that his daily routine aligns with the expectations of a single individual, working diligently in the fields and engaging in activities that would be expected of a young, unattached farmer. By doing so, he avoids raising any suspicions that may lead to the discovery of his hidden room.

The farmer’s commitment to his mother’s well-being is truly admirable. Despite the risks involved, he employs his resourcefulness and determination to create a safe haven for his beloved mother. Through his actions, he challenges the oppressive decree and demonstrates the power of love and respect for the elderly.


  1. Uchida, Yoshiko. “The Wise Old Woman Story.” Long Branch Public Schools,
  2. “The Wise Old Woman Storyboard.” Storyboard That,
  3. “Analysis of The Wise Old Women by Yoshiko Uchida – 611 Words.” Bartleby,


How does the farmer conceal his mother in “The Wise Old Woman”?

The farmer digs a deep hole in the floor of his kitchen and creates a hidden room where his mother can reside undetected.

Where does the mother spend her time while in hiding?

The mother spends the majority of her time in the secret room that the farmer has constructed.

How does the farmer ensure his mother’s safety and secrecy?

The farmer acts as though he lives alone and carefully maintains the appearance of a solitary individual. He carries out his daily routine and work in the fields, avoiding any suspicion or attention that may lead to the discovery of his mother’s hidden presence.

What measures does the farmer take to maintain the secret?

The farmer takes great care to work discreetly and align his activities with those of an unattached farmer. He carries meals to his mother in the hidden room, ensuring she is cared for while remaining concealed.

Does anyone in the village suspect the farmer’s actions?

In the story, there is no mention of anyone suspecting the farmer’s actions or discovering his mother’s hidden presence. The farmer’s precautions and secrecy seem to be effective in preventing any suspicion.

What risks does the farmer face in hiding his mother?

The farmer risks defying the decree that requires elderly individuals to be left in the mountains to die. If his actions were discovered, he could face severe consequences for defying the authorities.

What does the farmer’s actions reveal about his character?

The farmer’s actions reveal his deep love and devotion to his mother. He is willing to go to great lengths to protect her and challenge the unjust treatment of the elderly in the village.

How does the farmer’s method of hiding his mother contribute to the overall theme of the story?

The farmer’s ingenious method of hiding his mother highlights the themes of love, respect, and defiance against injustice. His actions demonstrate the importance of cherishing and protecting the elderly, ultimately leading to a change in the young lord’s perspective.