Chizuru Akitani, daughter of violinist Hiro Akitani, a National Living Treasure, and American Elena, who committed suicide by jumping from the Naruto Bridge, has apparently inherited her mother’s depression. With her mother gone and her father remote, 12-year-old Chizuru has little defense against the “black organ” — “a dark presence in (her)chest” — or the class bully, Tomoya Yu, whom she fatally stabs during a psychotic episode.

Chizuru is sent to a juvenile recovery center. When she’s released eight years later, without ever having had a visitor, she decides to renounce her Japanese citizenship and start life anew in America. She changes her name to Rio, after her mother’s favorite Duran Duran song, becomes a nurse and marries a kind man who knows nothing of her past. When she learns of her father’s death, she decides to make a solo trip back to Tokushima Prefecture for the memorial service and to confront her demons.

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