Dr. Sadao Hoki’s father is dead from the outset of the story, but his presence lingers throughout the story due to Sadao’s reflections and the servants’ loyalty to their “old master.” At the start of the story, Sadao thinks about how his harsh, domineering father, “who never joked or played with him,” pushed Sadao toward the best education possible, even if that meant sending him to a university in America. In life, Sadao’s father was a Japanese nationalist who believed firmly in racial purity—Sadao could only marry Hana if she was purely Japanese. He cleaved to the “old Japanese way” of doing things, seen by the way he properly arranged Sadao and Hana’s marriage (even though they met in college in America) and ensured that his bedroom was outfitted in a traditional Japanese fashion and contained only Japanese-made furniture and goods. The cook and the gardener both worked for Sadao’s father when Sadao was just a little boy, and as such they are far more loyal to their “old master” than the “young master.” When Tom enters into the picture, it is this loyalty to Sadao’s father (plus an understandable dose of fear of being seen as traitors by the authorities) that lead the gardener and the cook to quit and leave the household after several decades of working there. When Tom “escapes” (that is, when Sadao helps him steal away to a nearby island where he’s bound to be picked up by a Korean fishing boat), the servants return, suggesting that their roots in the household and their devotion to Sadao’s father’s memory was far too deep to sever permanently.