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Masao “Mas” Arai, a humble gardener from Southern California, is a righteous dude. Carrying the ashes of his lifelong friend and fellow hibakusha (A-bomb survivor) Haruo Mukai, the 86-year-old Arai arrives for what he realizes will be his last visit to Japan.

Arai’s destination is a nursing home on the Seto Inland Sea island of Ino, an allegory of Ninoshima — the island that played a tragic role as a field hospital for evacuees following the atomic bombing in August 1945 — where Mukai’s elder sister awaits. But before Arai can complete his task, the ashes are pilfered from his suitcase.

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