This horror novel begins with the discovery of a little girl, naked except for the shoes on her feet, inside a refrigerator left at an industrial waste processing facility. Her rescuers are two men who were drawn to the scene by the girl's "primal energy" or ki: Jogan, the head priest of a nearby Buddhist temple, and Yuto, 22, a salaryman who has arrived from afar in a rental car. As the girl begins to regain consciousness, she speaks Yuto's name?even though there is no reason she should know who he is. Jogan tells Yuto that the power by which the girl had summoned him is a dangerous and destructive force, and orders him never to come near the girl again. He says he will ask an acquaintance to raise the child, but instead takes her back to his temple and begins raising her himself. With only the shoes as a clue, Jogan manages to learn that the girl is five years old and her name is Miharu. Her father is a construction worker who lost his wife shortly after their daughter's birth, and then lost his job as well?which had apparently driven him to abandon the child.
At first, Miharu is unable even to speak, but under Jogan's mother's care she begins to thrive, and soon starts attending school. Then, following the death of a cat that Miharu has grown fond of, one strange event after another occurs in the community surrounding the temple. An old woman is bitten by her pet dog and
seriously wounded. Two people?a man and a woman?commit suicide. Miharu's father shows up, looking for his daughter. Jogan's mother becomes mentally disturbed. And then, six years after Miharu's rescue, she once again summons Yuto . . .
In compelling prose, the story unfolds of a young girl on the borderline between life and death.