July 1999. “Mas Arai didn’t believe in Jesus or Buddha, but thought there might be something in 罰 bachi”. This is a line quote from the novel.
Mas Arai is the protagonist Japanese-American and Hiroshima-bombing survivor. Mas Arai is a character modeled on Naomi Hirahara’s father. The “foil” character is “Chizuko” who is the wife of “Mas Arai”.