Naoto Matsubara works in a Tokyo publishing house, though the work doesn’t particularly interest him. What does interest him, we soon discover, is the purpose of life. Naoto ponders the powers of love, attachment, and mutual care by examining closely his own friends and lovers, searching out how exactly his connection to them confers meaning on his life. Along the way, Naoto also draws on the thought of many writers and philosophers, including Tolstoy, Fromm, and Mishima.
Born in 1958, Kazufumi Shiraishi is a prolific, award-winning novelist who debuted in 2000 to great critical acclaim with Isshun no hikari (A Ray of Light). The winner of two major Japanese literary awards (the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize and the Naoki Prize), he currently lives in Tokyo with his wife.