Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 432
This novel is narrated by Joji Kawai, a man of twenty eight who initially adopts a young girl named Naomi, aged fifteen, after he meets her while she works as a hostess at a local cafe he frequents. He is drawn to her somewhat Western-looking appearance as well as her Western-sounding name, and he decides that she seems intelligent, though her background is humble. Joji begins to take her out to the movies and dinners soon, and he eventually decides that he wants to take her in and educate her to be a "fine young woman." He gets permission from her relatively impoverished family to do so, and then they choose a little Western-style house together and live there as "friends." Joji pays for her English classes and music classes, and Naomi even calls him "Papa." In retrospect, Joji realizes that he was in love with Naomi long before he actually knew it. He indulged her every whim: for new Western clothes, for Western dance lessons, and so on. Eventually, they decide to marry, though they keep the real nature of their relationship a secret from their families, Joji's colleagues, and the rest of the world.
Years pass, and Naomi begins to develop friendships with other men. Joji then becomes suspicious of her activities. Although she assures him that she is still "chaste," he finds out from one of these other young men—who also happens to be in love with her—that she is having sex not just with him, but with several other men as well. As Naomi becomes more modern and more Westernized, she becomes more and more...
(The entire section contains 432 words.)
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