Chapters 5–6 Summary

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Chapter 5

Shortly after Naomi turns sixteen, she and Joji decide to get married. Naomi admits that she assumed that was Joji‘s intention from the beginning of their arrangement. Joji is overjoyed and promptly registers their marriage, although they decide to keep the knowledge discreet for at least a few more years on account of their age difference. Joji also does not want them to behave like a traditional married couple, instead encouraging Naomi to behave more like a confident, assertive Western woman.

Joji and Naomi soon begin exploring fashion, with Joji spending a great sum of money to buy strange and unorthodox fabrics with which to make striking, Western-inspired clothes. He describes Naomi as a precious doll or ornament that he will do anything to make look more beautiful. For her part, Naomi seems to delight in the reactions she receives from the public, many of whom assume she is a white woman or even a real movie star.

Chapter 6

Joji expresses concern over the fact that Naomi is increasingly more interested in playing around and dressing up than she is in studying. Although he enjoys dressing her up like a doll and is enamored with her Hollywood-inspired attitude, he also claims to want to raise her up to be a respectable young woman.

Joji also worries that Naomi is not progressing as well as she should be in her English studies. Although she has beautiful pronunciation, her grammar and ability to translate from Japanese to English are almost nonexistent. However, Naomi‘s English tutor—an elderly American woman named Ms. Harrison—reassures him that Naomi is a very bright girl and that her English is progressing just fine. Joji is doubtful of this assessment but is nonetheless pleased that a Western woman has acknowledged Naomi in this way. He begins forcing Naomi to practice her English more diligently at home, but this creates tension between them. One day, Joji becomes so frustrated with Naomi’s inability to grasp basic grammar concepts that he starts yelling at her. In a fit of defiance, Naomi rips up her notebook. An infuriated Joji threatens to kick her out of the house unless she apologizes, which she reluctantly does, all the while glaring at him with contempt in her eyes.

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Chapters 3–4 Summary


Chapters 7–8 Summary