Where Sky and Ocean Meet

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Where Sky and Ocean Meet
Author: Rui Kodemari
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591102978
256 pages
10.5 x 15.5 cm / 4.2 x 6.2 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2008
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


Konoha Kakehashi, 32, is a freelance illustrator. One day she receives a request from the publisher of a forthcoming children’s story by Yūi Igarashi, alias “Arashi,” to provide illustrations for the volume. According to the young editor, Arashi is currently on an extended trip overseas, but he has personally directed that Konoha be commissioned to illustrate the story.

Konoha and Arashi had in fact lived together until five years before, and not a day has gone by since without her thinking of him. The two had met when they were both 13, at a residential facility for children from troubled families. Konoha had become unable to go to school as a result of bullying; Arashi had been removed from his parents’ care and turned over to relatives. They are drawn to each other and exchange their first kiss. Arashi’s dream is to become a writer; when he leaves the facility he promises Konoha he will come to her aid if she ever finds herself in difficulty.

They run into each other again in their 20s, when Konoha is a budding illustrator and Arashi is trying to establish himself as a writer. They fall in love and soon move in together. Completing a manuscript he has poured heart and soul into, Arashi sends it off to a publisher with high hopes, only to receive a stinging rejection note in return. After seeing the note, he disappears for a time; when he finally comes home, he and Konoha have a falling out, in part due to his womanizing, and she ultimately leaves him. Five years have gone by since.

Arashi’s manuscript begins arriving in sections from overseas, and Konoha draws the requested illustrations. Through the events of the story, she comes to know the loneliness Arashi is experiencing and his awkwardness in expressing his love. Once the final section has arrived and the story is complete, communications from Arashi cease. With only his last post card as a clue, she goes to Ireland to look for him, and the two are finally reunited on a hill where they can look out over the sea to the distant horizon?where sky and ocean meet.

It is the story of a man who lives under an unbearable burden of loneliness, the woman who wants desperately to save him from it, and their love for each other that reaches across time and distance.