Chapters 7–8 Summary

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Chapter 7

Joji laments that Naomi is simply not as intelligent as he had hoped, and he realizes that she is unlikely to become the respectable young woman he wanted her to be. However, as disappointed as he is with her sullen temperament and lack of intelligence, he is increasingly attracted to her physical characteristics.

Joji slowly allows his attraction to Naomi to overcome his rational sense. Believing that the key to harnessing a Western woman’s allure is confidence, he lets Naomi win at card games and stops scolding her for performing poorly during her lessons. He allows her to believe that she is as clever and talented as she thinks she is. Over time, this confidence translates into Naomi having even greater power over Joji, who finds himself losing large sums of money to her during their card games. Naomi also begins utilizing Joji’s sexual attraction to her against him in order to get what she wants.

Chapter 8

One day, when Joji arrives home early from work, he is startled to see a young man talking in the garden with Naomi. Naomi reassures him that the man—Hamada—is just a fellow student at her music school and that he only came by to invite her to join a new social dancing club. She then begs Joji to join the club with her, which he agrees to do. Naomi is easily bored, so Joji hopes the dance club will be a welcome distraction for her. The dance instructor is a stern Russian woman named Madame Shlemskaya, who was apparently a countess before fleeing the Russian revolution.

The dance club is held in the rooms above a local music shop. Joji is disconcerted when, upon arrival, Naomi interacts very casually with a group of young men from her music school who are loitering around the store. She explains that they are members of the Mandolin club and that she sees them quite often when she visits the shop, which is a sort of informal gathering place for students.

When they reach the studio where the dance lessons are being conducted, Joji is immediately intimidated by the sight of Madame Shlemskaya, who is in the process of teaching a class of petroleum workers. She carries a whip and sternly corrects any of the dancers who make a mistake. While waiting for their turn to dance, Naomi and Joji talk with Naomi‘s music teacher, Miss Sugizaki, who organized the dance club in order to help Madame Shlemskaya earn money, since fleeing Russia has left her destitute.

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Chapters 5–6 Summary


Chapters 9–10 Summary