Yuko Sakata fiction hinji arrived at his cousin's house early Monday after- noon after a four-hour train ride from Tokyo. His cousin's wife, Yumi, was the only one home. Despite short notice, she immediately made Shinji feel welcome. Over some tea and homemade apple cake--she said she taught cooking classes at a local cultural center--they had their semi-introductory conversation. They had never had a chance to sit down and talk one-on-one before. And in the course of this initial chat, she told him about an incident involving her son, Kazuo. Photo by Christa Lohman "Incident," they called it, because they had never found out what exactly happened. When Kazuo had come home one night a few months earlier, he had seemed a little quiet. He'd called out from the front door that he was home, gone up to his room to change out of his school uniform and come down for dinner. While he helped set the table, he only gave halfhearted responses to Yumi's questions about his day. But then again, at age thirteen, he was becoming less enthusiastic about sharing his thoughts with his mother in general. Shinji's cousin Akio had been working late, as was
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: May 3, 2012
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