Chapters 11–12 Summary

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Chapter 11

Naomi agrees to dance the next set with Joji, but she is rude and dismissive of his awkward and unskilled efforts. She leaves the dance floor in a huff before the encores have finished. An embarrassed Joji returns to the table with her, where Naomi continues to mock him. Hamada politely defends him, suggesting that Joji and Kirako should dance the next set together. Joji attempts to decline, fearing further embarrassment, but Naomi chimes in telling him that he should accept.

To Joji’s surprise, his dance with Kirako goes much more smoothly, and he begins to enjoy himself. He compares Kirako’s demure femininity with Naomi’s brash tomboyishness and seems to find Naomi wanting. Over the course of the night, he grows increasingly disillusioned with Naomi’s rude and crass behavior. He begins to wonder if he has lost interest in her entirely. However, upon returning to their house, he finds himself once again overcome by her charms and sets his doubts aside.

Chapter 12

Naomi begins inviting her friends over to her and Joji‘s house. At first, they usually leave before dinnertime, but Naomi becomes increasingly insistent, and they begin staying later and later into the evening. On one occasion, Hamada and Kumagai are visiting late into the evening when it suddenly begins raining heavily. Naomi insists that they stay the night, which they reluctantly agree to do.

Since Joji and Naomi only have one mosquito net, all four people are forced to sleep in the same room with their sleeping mats pressed closely together. While the three men are content to sleep, Naomi treats the gathering more like a party, and she begins playfully taunting everyone. However, her taunting soon becomes sexual, and she intentionally wears a very thin nightgown while posing with her legs spread. Hamada and Kumagai respond with friendly banter while Joji stews in discomfort.

Eventually, everyone does fall asleep. Joji is the first one awake the next morning, and he quietly admires one of Naomi‘s small, delicate feet, reminiscing on when she was younger and more innocent.

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Chapters 9–10 Summary


Chapters 13–14 Summary