Translation Works
To Japanese
The 3rd Selected Works
A Cappella
ENGLISH / Juliet W. Carpenter published
FRENCH / Jean-Marc Weiss
RUSSIAN / Alexey V. Zinov published
Originally Published by:
Shueisha (1990)
(1994) (pb)
  • A mysterious and sweet romantic novel in which loves fraught with anxiety race toward tragedy
I try to forget, but that painful scene is vivid in my mind to this day.
Kyoko is living with her aunt in Sendai during her final year of high school. Her father has been transferred to Tokyo, and Kyoko preferred to continue in her school in Sendai for her last year of high school. Her father has allowed her to live apart from him so long as she complies with four requirements—not participating in protest demonstrations or other rallies, passing her entrance examinations to gain admission to a university in Tokyo without taking a year off from school, not being truant from school without a good reason, and getting home by 7 each evening. Kyoko soon breaks her promise to her father by skipping classes to attend antiwar folksong gatherings and by socializing and smoking cigarettes at a jazz coffee shop. One day, she is invited by classmates to a baroque music coffee shop, where she meets Wataru, a university student. Impressionable Kyoko becomes passionately infatuated with Wataru and joins his circle of friends, which includes his friend Yunosuke, with whom Wataru is temporarily staying, and Yunosuke's girlfriend, Ema.
In the end, Kyoko does not take her university entrance examination that year and, after graduating from high school, begins enjoying time away from school while continuing to live in Sendai. Meanwhile, she has developed an interest in studies. While in school, she had been lazy about studying, but now she studies intensively when not socializing with Wataru. One day, when her aunt is away travelling, she invites Wataru to her house, but the appointed hour comes and goes, and he doesn't come. Worried, Kyoko goes to Yunosuke's house, where she is shocked to find him in bed with Yunosuke. But Wataru talks her into calming down. Soon afterward, Ema, who is pregnant with Yunosuke's child, is murdered, and Yunosuke and Wataru both disappear. Further tragedy ensues as things take a turn for the worse...
A love story fraught with danger and beauty, set against the tumultuous societal trends of the late 1960s.
GENRE: Popular fiction