Junpei Sakamoto, 21, is a good-natured, bottom-rung foot soldier in a yakuza syndicate that claims the Kabukicho entertainment district near Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station as its territory. He can be quick to pick a fight, but he’s good-looking, has a soft spot for women, and enjoys a good following around the neighborhood. When the boss orders him to kill one of the top brass of a rival group, Junpei takes it as the recognition he has been waiting for from the big man?and a chance to prove himself. Three days before the hit is to take place, the boss hands him ?300,000 (about $3,000) and gives him the time off, so Junpei pulls out the stops to enjoy himself. To a woman who has come on to him, he lets slip what he’s been ordered to do. Amused, she promptly posts it on a social website, and messages from warnings to razzing to cheering him on begin to stream in: “You might want to think this through some more, Junpei.” “What’s there to think about? Go for it!” “Is this Junpei guy handsome? Show us a picture.” And so on.
The three days fly by as Junpei lives it up in a hotel suite drinking with his yakuza buddies; is befriended by a former college professor who got caught trying to walk out on his bill; sees his mother for the first time in two years; and finally talks to the dancer he’s had a crush on for a long time. So what path does he choose to follow after these many meetings and partings? . . .
The publisher of the Korean translation paid more than ?10 million for the rights to this coming-of-age masterpiece.