Chapters 21–22 Summary

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Chapter 21

A distraught Joji leaves his contact information with Naomi’s family, asking them to tell him immediately if she comes home. He then begins to wonder if maybe she is instead staying with Kumagai and resolves to figure out where Kumagai lives. Joji calls Hamada in order to find out Kumagai’s address, only to discover that Hamada is already aware that Naomi has left home. He tells Joji that he saw Naomi in a gorgeous Western-style gown at the dance club the night before. Joji is extremely confused, and he wonders where Naomi could have found the money for such extravagant clothes.

Chapter 22

Joji asks Hamada to discover Naomi’s whereabouts and report back to him as soon as possible. Hamada agrees. An impatient Joji spends the rest of the day waiting for any news, anxious to reunite with Naomi and determined to apologize for everything that has happened.

Hamada eventually arrives at Joji’s house with a grim expression. He tells Joji that he should give up on Naomi entirely. A confused Joji asked him to explain himself. Hamada tells him that Naomi did originally try to stay with Kumagai after being kicked out, but that plan didn’t work out, as Kumagai’s wealthy family was home when Naomi arrived and would not allow it. Instead, she apparently sought out a Western man she had previously met at the dance club. He agreed to let her stay with him and then took her to the dance club dressed in a lavish Western gown. Naomi then openly flirted with numerous men at the club.

Hamada and Joji are both aghast at how shamelessly Naomi has behaved in comparison to conventional Japanese social etiquette. Joji speculates that she must have always been attracted to the Western man from the dance club—having in the past compared his appearance to American actor John Barrymore—but he is still appalled by her willingness to stay the night with almost a total stranger. Hamada indicates that this is not uncommon for Naomi, revealing that Kumagai and the other men from the music school call her unflattering names behind her back because of her promiscuous behavior. This reinvigorates Joji, who once again feels that he has made the right decision by kicking Naomi out.

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Chapters 19–20 Summary


Chapters 23–24 Summary