Chapters 13–14 Summary

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Chapter 13

During a work party, Joji is caught off guard when a few of his coworkers confront him about the mysterious beauty that he has been seen dancing with. They are unaware that Naomi is his wife and instead assume that she is either a sex worker or a casual girlfriend. They ask if they can have her number and jokingly scold Joji for not telling them about her sooner. One of the coworkers mentions that his relative is a student at Naomi’s music school, and Naomi allegedly has a reputation for promiscuity. A distraught Joji immediately leaves the party and begins walking home.

On his way home, Joji reflects on his relationship with Naomi. He wonders if the rumors about her promiscuity are true, and he begins to suspect Hamada and Kumagai. However, as his thoughts continue to spiral, he begins to fear that if he confronts Naomi about his concerns, she may try to leave him. He reassures himself that she is unlikely to be happy living without his considerable income due to her taste for extravagance.

Upon returning home, Joji is reassured when he finds Naomi asleep by herself, and he quietly admires the beauty of her resting form. When Naomi wakes up, she greets him enthusiastically, and the two settle into bed together.

Chapter 14

The next morning, Joji tells Naomi about what his coworkers said. She reassures him that the rumors are just people misunderstanding social dancing, which is a relatively new trend in traditionally conservative Japan. She reminds Joji that she will always feel indebted to him for taking her in when she was fifteen and tells him that she views him as both a father and a husband.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Naomi stops wanting to go dancing and stops having visitors to the house. She also begins behaving more affectionately with Joji, even asking him to take another trip to Kamakura. Joji is pleased by this development, and they decide to rent a small house in Kamakura for a full month. They will spend the first ten days on vacation, and Joji will spend the remainder of the month commuting to work from the rental house.

A few days after arriving in Kamakura, Joji is surprised to encounter Hamada, Kumagai, and their friends Seki and Nakamura at the beach. The younger men explain that they are just visiting for the day. Joji invites the group back to the rental house for dinner. He later tells Naomi that he enjoys seeing her friends once in a while, which seems to surprise her.

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Chapters 11–12 Summary


Chapters 15–16 Summary