Chapters 19–20 Summary

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Chapter 19

Joji develops a new plan in the hopes of fixing his relationship with Naomi: he will move them to a more traditional Japanese-style house in a suburb and hire housekeepers who can keep an eye on Naomi during the day. In order to finance this move, he asks his family for money, which they promptly send. He plans to keep this information from Naomi until he has found them a house to move into, as he knows she will likely be upset. However, Naomi looks through Joji‘s mail and uncovers his plans. He offers to let her help choose their new home, but she insists that it should be a Western-style house and that she should get to pick the maid. This results in even more tension between the couple.

The final straw for Joji comes when he discovers that Naomi is still seeing Kumagai. He angrily confronts her about the ongoing deceit, telling her to leave the house immediately. She begs to stay, but this only infuriates Joji more, and he reiterates his demand for her to leave. Naomi packs up as many of her things as possible and departs after curtly thanking Joji for everything.

Chapter 20

In the immediate aftermath of kicking Naomi out, Joji feels relieved. However, as the hours pass, he begins to wonder if he has made a mistake. The image of her furious expression during their last argument fills his mind, and he believes that she was more beautiful in that moment than anything else ever could be. He worries that he has given up the biggest source of happiness in his life.

As nostalgia takes over, Joji becomes increasingly certain that Naomi will come back to him. He rationalizes that no one else could possibly give her as much as he has and begins thinking about different ways he might find her and bring her home. He assumes she has returned to her family, and he waits diligently by the door, expecting someone to come collect the rest of Naomi’s things. When no one ever comes for them, he decides to visit her family and speak with Naomi directly. However, Naomi’s sister tells him she hasn’t seen Naomi in months.

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Chapters 17–18 Summary

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Chapters 21–22 Summary